As a naturally shy and quiet introvert, sometimes opening up to people can be hard. Especially when I want people to view me a certain way like being strong or independent. Not only do I not like attention, I also don’t want help when trying to solve problems, because sinfully, I often think I can fix everything on my own. But what happens is I end up bottling everything up, and I’m left feeling incompetent and exhausted. Do you ever feel that way? I hold everything close and don’t let anyone in. I stubbornly refuse to believe that being vulnerable could help me.
I never realized the power of being vulnerable until a few years ago. Let me set the scene for you: I was living in some serious sin, was depressed, had no self-esteem, and honestly just felt like giving up. I was battling my broken relationship with my mother, trying to fit in with all my sorority sisters, and felt worthless.
One week, I got a call from a family member saying my little sister was in the hospital after an overdose. My favorite human in the whole world had tried to end her life, and I had had no idea. Why didn’t she tell me? I began retracing every conversation, every text message to search for some clue. If only I had known how she felt, what she was going through. Could I have prevented this?
My secrets kept piling on top of one another faster and faster and darkness began to sink in heavily. I felt another depressive episode stirring up within me and a cloudy fog begin to cover my eyes. Thoughts of hurting myself and a feeling of no hope flooded around me.
Even when I was distant from God, this event showed me He wasn’t distant from me. That same week, an older member in my sorority whom I really admired asked if I’d go get McDonald’s with her. I don’t eat McDonald’s, but she wanted to hang out, so I decided to go anyway. I climbed into the car and she looked at me and asked how I was doing. It was as if time stopped, and what she meant as a casual question became one of the most important questions in my life. Do I tell her what’s going on? If she knows my secrets, she won’t like me anymore. I don’t want to open up.
And then my mind flashed to my little sister in the hospital room, broken, hurt, and feeling alone. I didn’t ever want to get to that awful point. So can you guess what I did? Yep, I spilled everything to her—probably more than she was prepared for! From big to small, I released all my secrets and quite a few tears as well. What I found out was that after telling my secrets, I no longer felt tied down by them. I was free! And I began to finally receive healing.
Not only did I begin to heal, but I made the most important decision of my life that night. I decided to trust God with everything I have, to follow Him and to trust Him through every trouble and every battle. If I hadn’t told my secrets that night, I don’t know if I ever would have. Telling my secrets brought me healing and brought me life.