By D.S. Coleman
After my husband and I got engaged, I was on the metaphorical cloud nine. I envisioned the wedding: the colors I wanted, the way the room would be set up, the floral arrangements and dreamed about the perfect dress. I spent hours researching websites (this was in the stone age before Pinterest existed). I scoured the web trying to find just-the-right-thing for our special day. Every intricate detail was planned. And while I invested a lot in ensuring that day was special, but I didn’t anticipate that God would completely change my life before that day even arrived – challenging me and changing me so I could no longer continue business as usual. I had come undone.
I had carried the weight of secrecy for so long that what started as emotional luggage, was now baggage that was permanently affixed to my life.
The truth is that, I had lived with a secret for years that few people knew. This was a secret that I’d held close to the vest since childhood. In fact, I could count on my left hand the number of people who I had shared this soul-bearing secret with. I had carried the weight of secrecy for so long, that what started as emotional luggage, was now baggage that was permanently affixed to my life. It had been there for so many years, that it was a part of my scenery.
Acknowledging My Secret
The sexual abuse I had experienced as a child was a chapter that I never wanted to re-read, but during the wedding planning process, God brought those painful memories back like a rushing river. I re-lived the anxiety, the shame, and the confusion all over. God uprooted the memories that I had buried. Allowing those memories to fade into the background and slip comfortably into my subconscious was a survival mechanism. But the time had come and though painful, my loving God brought them back to the forefront so that I could deal with my past. This was the beginning of my healing. This was the start of transformation.
As much as I wanted to look to the future, dealing with my past helped me to realize that I couldn’t carry doubt, worry or fear into my marriage. I needed to be healed. Inner healing requires commitment. I saw a professional counselor who walked through that valley with me. My counselor also knew the Lord and offered a listening year, books, reflection, and words of encouragement that assured everything would be ok. So, it was blend of faith and science that helped me realize I didn’t have to live with the shame of the past. I could break the shackles of secrecy. I was free to walk in truth, light and transparency.
Releasing My Secret
I eventually shared my secret with those around me and invited them to walk on my journey of healing. This helped me smile in a different way on my wedding day. I had dealt with my stuff and was empowered to give my husband all of me. Not just fractured pieces, but a whole me. This laid the foundation for a stronger marriage. Secrets easily fester to erode the emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy that make love and relationships beautiful.
Now that I’m on the other side, I pose this question: What is your thing? Is there an unresolved issue in your life that could be hindering you? What do you need to take the time to address? Is there something that is affecting your relationships or your life? Expose the secrets and start the journey to healing. I realized that its great to have a beautiful wedding day. But, its even better to have a wonderful life.
BWMK, What’s your thing? What do you need to take the time to address?
D.S. Coleman is a love, dating and relationships expert who did the dating scene, experienced heartbreak and lived to tell the story. She’s happily married with two kids and from her experiences, she birthed: www.courtshipchallenge.com – an online community which blends real stories, inspiring anecdotes and Christian faith into practical content for singles unwilling to settle for less than the best in relationships. Find her on Instagram & Twitter: @courtship101
Leave a Reply