Friends and Secrets

This pic popped up today on my On This Day app from 19 years ago.  I had hiked up into Alaska’s Talkeetna Range, shed my boots, and was basking my 10 little piggies in the sunshine . . . obviously I’m not into pedicures 😊

I remember that day. Gazing out over the snow surrendering in Spring’s retreat from approaching Summer. It was one of those Alone With Dad times in creation I so cherish. His mountain cathedrals are my mediation chapel. There, in the hush of silence, God’s magnificence dwarfs my minuteness, and . . . I ponder . . . I listen . . . and my soul is refreshed.

In the aftermath of one of my life’s greatest disasters, I sat in overwhelming gratitude of how truly blessed I was to be there. Two things occupied my thoughts . . . friends who had stood by me, and secrets that had devastated me.

A gifted writer friend recently posted on their blog, “Secrets are something you’d be ashamed of if anyone found out. Things that are private aren’t anyone else’s business.” It’s oxymoronic that there would be no need for secrets without anyone else to keep them from, or better yet, if everyone could be trusted to keep them.

I’m convicted and humbled sharing my ‘ashamed secrets’ with the One who knows my every one, assured that He will never reveal them to anyone. ‘Fessing up”, He reminds me they all have been forgotten and forgiven . . . so Divinely freeing!

‘Ashamed secrets’ (we all have them) aren’t so readily sharable. The fear of rejection from others who don’t know them, and may not forgive and forget, keep them hidden . . . but they linger . . . whispering “Remember when you ______? “, discouraging and dampening life’s joys.

I’m genuinely thankful and appreciate my every friend. Their crucial “…two are better than one…” support have richly blessed and eased my life’s journey. Friends come in three genres, distinguished by their relationship and trust levels:

  • Casual – “Hello. Good to see you again. How’s everything?
  • Good – “What’s new? Anything I can help out with? Let’s get together sometime.”
  • Confidant – “I’m struggling and need to share and pray together with you about it.”

It’s with my trusted few Confidants where I “…confess your sins one to another…”, sharing in open, honest transparency my ‘ashamed secrets’. Doing so releases cathartic, joyous freedom from the fearful prison of ‘ashamed secrets’ being found out, and of being rejected. 

Three characteristics identify my treasured “…sticks closer than a brother…” Confidants:

  • They listen without judgement, accepting me “Just as I am, not as I should be.” – Brennan Manning
  • They offer constructive, ‘tough love’ advice where needed.
  • They trust and share their failures and ‘ashamed secrets’ with me, and . . .  as we pray, laugh, and cry together . . . and we heal together.

Nothing is as freeing as a confessed sin. Nothing is as isolating as a guilty secret.”

Mark Batterson

I M Blessed . . .  May U B 2

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Two lives diverged along life’s journey and, in the time we walked together, you made a difference in mine . . . Thank You

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Wherever and with whomever this may find you together with this Thanksgiving, may you experience His richest blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Making a Difference

Who are the people who have made a positive difference in your life? Take a moment to answer these two sets of questions:

  • Name the last 3 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award
  • Name the last 3 Nobel Peace prize winners
  • Name the last 3 Pulitzer Prize winners

I scored zero . . . how did you do? These individuals represent the finest in their fields, but few of us remember yesterday’s ‘headliners’.  When the applause dies and the awards begin to tarnish, save for the journals of history, they’re forgotten.

Here’s another set of questions:

  • Name 3 teachers who taught you something that made a positive difference
  • Name 3 people who have made you feel accepted, appreciated, and loved
  • Name 3 friends who have helped you through a difficult and lonely time

I scored 100%, and I suspect you did as well.

With all due respect to the accomplishments and contributions of this world’s ‘headliners’, those who have truly make a positive difference in our lives are most likely not those honored in award ceremonies . . . they’re the ones off-stage who cared and loved us in spite of our faults, failures, and disappointments. They:

  • Stood by me throughout my entire life
  • Taught me things that made a positive difference
  • Made me feel appreciated, special, and loved
  • Helped me through life’s most difficult, lonely, and deepest valleys
  •  Cared, forgiven, and loved me unconditionally

Included among those teachers, people, and friends who have made a lasting positive difference in my life are two that are most special . . .

Thank you Mom . . . Thank you Jesus . . . who Mom introduced me to and went to be with at 94 years young.

My Mom signifying . . . Keep Looking Up, His best is yet to come!

Happy Mother’s Day!