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TITLE: My Secret
By Megan Starbuck
01/02/11
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This is what I spoke to a few audiences on my mission trip to Africa. I've adjusted it a little to fit the present--it's part of my testimony.
I used to be afraid to go to church because I had a secret. I was scared God would tell my secret to someone, and then they would tell everyone else. After a while I realized that God would not embarrass me unless it was to make things better. About five years ago, a guy a couple of years older than me came and spoke to my church--and he told my secret.

But he told it as his own. When he was young, he had been abused...and he asked everyone who had the same secret of being hurt that way to come to the front so we could pray and realize that other people would not treat us differently. When I saw one of my best friends go down, I didn't care who knew my secret.

I was in a room with my teachers, classmates, and even my little brother. None of them knew my secret even though they had known me for about ten years. Several more of my friends went down, to my surprise. We had all experienced the same thing but never talked about it.

I had been afraid that people would think I was gross or that they either wouldn't know what to say to me...and therefore would say nothing at all, or that they'd try to fix me because they think something is wrong with me.

But none of my fears came true.

There are still many people I haven't told; it was many years later before I even told my sister. However, I finally shared it with a large group of friends and strangers--just as the guy had done at my church. I didn't ask them to come down for prayer--honestly, I wasn't sure that anyone in that whole room had been abused besides me. It didn't seem like they would need to hear what I had to say or be able to relate to it, but for some reason I felt like it was my opportunity. And I was prepared.

Afterwards, my friends hugged me, and one even said, "You're gonna have to speak more often." Women older than myself, that I didn't know previously, were asking me for advice on how I was able to speak about it publicly. Even though I'll probably never see them again, there was a bond made that never would have been there otherwise. It was our common ground, and that was something that had been my prayer for many years--that God would use my secret to help someone with their secret.

"Praise be to God, Who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!"
-Psalm 66:20

God not only answered my prayer but also showed me His love. I can look back on my past and see that He was with me. I can see that He is helping me even now, and I look forward to what He is going to do through me in the future.

Your fear or secret might be different than mine--but God is not different. He can do the same thing for you that He has done for me, so don't give up even if it takes many years. We all have secrets. This is one of mine.

Our secrets are not so much a secret once we have told them.
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