Friday, February 18, 2011

Sooner Secrets

So there's this thing on display at the Union called "Sooner Secrets." It's where students can write their secrets on an index card anonymously and some group makes it a display. It is very cool looking and pretty neat. However as I read through the secrets my heart began to break for all the people on that display. I assume a majority of these are girls, but here are just a few that stood out to me.

"I haven't been swimming in years because I'm too embarrassed of my body. I live on a lake."

"I don't feel like I ever fit in."

"It's embarrassing to tell people I don't drink or do drugs."

"I've been compared to people my whole life...I'm nothing more than average."

"If my boyfriend knew about my religion, I don't think he would date me."

"I would keep a guy around if the sex was really good."

There are plenty more where these came from, but these are just some I found on their blog site. (http://soonersecrets.blogspot.com/)

I don't know if any of you can identify with any of these secrets, and I don't know if any of the people who wrote these are reading this. But I want to speak to you

anyways. I heard a quote once that said

"We are all desperately insecure in this world; we've just learned how to mask it."

How true is this quote? I know I can identify with almost every one of these secrets. I used to center my whole life on trying to please people. I thought I didn't care. I thought I was just bein' me. But the truth was, I was dressing to impress guys, I was living to impress my friends, and I didn't do the thing I knew were right because it wasn't cool in society's eyes. I spend 5 years of my life living this way. Struggling to keep up, gasping for air and flapping my arms around my head until the water was on top of my head and I was slowly cutting off my own air. And the funny thing is... I thought I was happy. I thought everyone loved me because I was so popular and I could juggle all this. But one summer I found out that the truth was...I was miserable. Completely miserable.

So what changed? How can I live now with truly a free spirit, an open heart, and reassurance of who I am as an individual? God. I know that sounds cliché and religious, but it's not. The thing that made the difference for me was when I found out the God of the universe loves me. Every single part of me. He didn't care that I have hurt hundreds of people. He didn't care that I ignored him for 5 years and lived my life for others. He didn't care that I betrayed him for temporary satisfaction from friends and boys. He knew about all the secret, horrible, selfish things I had done, and yet he chose to love me anyways.

Even more than that, he wanted a relationship with me. Not a selfish one where I am used and abused, but a free, open, honest, full of love, humbling, merciful, extravagant, passionate love relationship with me. How humbled I felt. How could anyone love me after all that I had done? How could I ever be completely honest with people and not expect hurt or pain in return?

I know for most of us this is something that is hard to understand, but its grace. Not receiving something we deserve. Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God. We all make mistakes, and Romans 6:23 says we deserve eternal death because of it. Every single one of us deserves to go to hell. BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. All that means is that God sent us a ticket out of jail. He has a better, more fulfilling life for you (John 10:10) we just have to take it. Romans 10:13 says it's open to anyone who calls on the name of the Lord. He turns down no one. No sin is too bad for God to forgive you and you are not too bad for him to restore you and show you true life. John 10:9-10 says if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead you will be saved.

Even if you've never believed any of this, I know if you wrote a Sooner Secret you found relief in confessing your secret to someone. Just think of what relief I have as a Christian, I confess every last sin to God, sometimes even right after they happen. The freeing feeling comes from confessing and knowing that God forgives me and loves me anyways. And that's enough for me, because he is the only person whose opinion truly matters. He is the only one who will ultimately judge me and decide if I am to spend eternity burning and suffering in hell, or praising and rejoicing in his glory. So try opening your heart and honestly confessing your sins, secrets, and insecurities to God. Then believe. Believe that he heals and changes hearts. He changes lives and I can attest to that. He changes everything when you have faith in him and trust him with your heart.

If you need further explanation or someone to talk to, feel free to contact me. I want the best for everyone's life, because I know how hard it is and I know how much freedom comes from a life with God.