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London, United Kingdom
Follower of Jesus. Husband. Father. Son. Poet. Writer. Preacher. Story-teller. Learner. Pilgrim.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Abuse: Secrets

Have you ever had to keep a secret? If you are anything like me you probably want to tell the world. A secret can be a lot of fun – like a surprise birthday party. How do we handle secrets that are not nice? Bad secrets are the ones that we really want to tell someone, but for some reason we find we cannot. Robert is 37 and he has a secret.

Robert was at his grandparent’s house for the weekend. His family also were there and he had got bored with the adults talking so he began to explore the house. He looked in every room. He looked at every picture. He looked in every corner. After a few hours he found himself at the entrance to the attic room. He entered and began to rummage around. A few minutes later he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Robert hid behind a wooden box. His grandfather entered the room and closed the door. Robert sheepishly came out from behind the box, while apologising quietly for being there. His Grandfather reassured him that it was okay and that he wouldn’t tell Robert’s parents, but Robert would need to do something in return. Ten minutes later Robert was in the garden. Tears flooded his eyes as he tried to forget the secret. Robert had a secret and he would never tell.

It has been estimated that one in every four girls and one in every ten boys are sexually abused before the age of eighteen. There are many adults today who have carried childhood secrets about abuse into adult life. Often we feel ashamed or guilty about what we have experienced. Often we think no-one will understand, or even believe us. Secrets like Robert’s ought to be broken. It took me a very long time to tell my parents what I’d been through, but I remember the relief I felt when I’d told my secret. It was my first step towards healing and restoration.

If you have a secret like Robert’s that is causing you pain and stealing your enjoyment of life please talk to someone today. Chat with a friend or phone your Church leader and arrange to discus it. You could call the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service for a confidential chat. Whatever you do, let the secret out.

Please allow me to pray with you now.

Loving God, please help all of us to openly talk about the things that have happened in secret. Thank you that nothing is hidden from your eyes and you understand everything perfectly. Help us to take whatever steps we need to take to walk in freedom. In Jesus’ name Amen.

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