I want to help my youth live a better story. Some of them have had bad stories written for them and some have chosen bad stories. But God has a great Story for them and I want to do everything I can to help them live a better story. A story of living life abundantly. A story that is a great adventure with God. A story where they realize how beautiful they are because God made them and God forgives them.
But in order to move forward and write better chapters, we all need to let go of some of the baggage from our bad stories. We need to confess, ask forgiveness and move forward.
We struggle with confession. For a lot of reasons. I think we try but we never allow sin to really leave our body and soul. Sometimes a prayer confession isn’t enough for us to feel like we’ve let go of something. It is no failure on God’s part because we know God forgives and casts our sin to the ocean floor. The problem is on our part. We either know but don’t believe God will forgive. Or believe God forgives but we can’t.
How do we get the toxins out of us? That is the power of confessing verbally – something that is a part of the Catholic tradition. But what about my Baptist youth and their friends? How do they practice confession as a way of owning their sin and also to learn to accept the power of God’s grace in their lives to truly forgive sin and give new starts?
There is a popular website and book entitled PostSecret. Thousands and thousands of people send in anonymous postcards with their secrets on them. This is not an endorsement of this site. In all honesty, many of the secrets told are secrets about hurting someone else through affairs, revenge, etc. and not having any remorse about it. Some secrets are sad because they show the empty lives and selfish desires of so many of us. But some secrets are beginnings to healing; the first time a secret is brought into the light and a person can begin to let go.
Last night I invited the youth to post a secret but with the intent that the secret is being revealed to God. It isn’t for us to celebrate secrets that have hurt others or ourselves. It is a way for us to pour out on paper what we are carrying in our hearts. Pour out to God what we need God to help us with so we can live a better story.
I told the kids that these were only for God and myself. That I would take their post secrets and pray over each way. If they want me to know, they could write their name. Otherwise, God knows and at least someone is hearing them.
So many of our young people are really hurting. So many of us are hurting yet we carry these secrets inside and they eat away at us. But we have a God who promises us that if we cast every anxiety upon Him and He will care for us. (I Peter 5:7). May we each find a way to cast our cares to God and allow Him to care for us.