There are places in our souls where we just don't want to go: Missed opportunities, bad decisions, hurts we experienced, hurts we caused, addictions we deny, conversations we need to have, regrets about parenting, habits we need to change, attitudes that damage relationships, and the list goes on.
We don't want to go there because:
- It hurts. We don't want to experience or relive the pain.
- It won't do any good. We believe that forgetting, not dealing with it, makes it go away.
- We might have to change. If I go there, I will have to admit my sin. Then I'll either feel guilty or have to make the change that I so dread.
- It will strain my relationships. Going there means having a difficult conversation, and I have no idea how that will turn out.
- We are ashamed. If I keep denying this problem, I don't have to face my shame.
- People will think badly of me. I've worked so hard to build this identity, and if I go there, it will change me. People will be disappointed. They won't like me anymore.
- We are not ready. Deep down I know that I'm not authentic. But I like this pose. It's working so far..
- You can stop pretending.
- You can stop hiding. You have been discovered. And it's okay.
- You will find some company. Whatever you are dealing with, you are not the only one. Some are hiding it, just like you. Others have already gone there and lived to tell about it.
- You are set free. Whatever is there has been mocking you, holding you captive, stealing your joy. When you face that thing, it loses power over you. You are free! You don't have to worry about being caught, because you have turned yourself in.
- Life looks brand new. When you have been there, life has nothing to threaten you with. And life was never really threatening you anyway. You just didn't know it.
- Pray. You can't go there alone. You need Jesus holding your hand.
- Receive God's forgiveness. Jesus died on the cross for your sin. You can only really be free when he takes your sin and guilt away. He paid your penalty for you.
- Forgive yourself. That may be really hard. But it is your path to freedom. No, you don't deserve it. That's the point: Jesus gives you what you don't deserve. That's how good he is!
- Be patient. Really going there may be a process for you. Keep working through it.