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You Don’t Have to Struggle in Secret

You Don’t Have to Struggle in Secret

Editor’s note: Our friend, Lisa Whittle, has written a wonderful new book about the comforting omniscience of God. He knows everything about you, who you are, what you’ve gone through, and every single concern. Enjoy this excerpt:


Secret struggles aren’t always what we think. They aren’t necessarily an addiction or terrible money problems or being hooked on porn.

Sometimes it is chronic perfectionism that has become debilitating. Control that has wrecked our relationships. Worry that is keeping us from living.

Or perhaps, the weight of caring for someone else – or keeping their secret -- whose struggle has now become yours. 

My mother had a secret struggle that for years, she never told anyone. It wasn’t sinful. It wasn’t even really about her.

She used to go to the pharmacy every day and buy 2 pills my elderly, ailing father needed to stay alive, simply because they couldn’t afford to buy his expensive heart prescriptions all at one time. It was a quiet, daily battle. Only God knew about her lonely daily routine.

Meanwhile, she would go about with her “usual life,” as an art teacher. She would welcome art students into her home (with a smile on her face) to make ends meet… while caring for her disabled husband. Things were busy, but she would be sure to never miss her pharmacy visit, every morning like clockwork.

Though our secret struggles may not stem from us, when they effect people we love, they become our burden, too. We want to help them. We want to keep their issue quiet. We don’t want to expose their pain. All the while, we are compromising our own souls by allowing a secret to nag at us, every day.

We may feel alone, as if there is not another person on the planet who knows what we are going through. But we know from Psalm 44:21 that

[God] knows the secrets of every heart.

  • There is always One who knows.

It may feel scary to think God knows about something we have tried hard to keep hidden. But His lovingkindness is what assures us that in that unique intimate knowledge of all things past, present and future (God’s omniscience), there exists an eternal intention to rescue, comfort and relieve us as we lay bare before Him. God knows everything about all He created and loves so much. That, my friend, includes you.

If you find yourself with a secret struggle – either one of your own or one that has become yours due to someone close to you, know that God doesn’t want you to live limited in this way. Instead, there are some important things you can do:

  1. Learn the difference between privacy and secrecy. We are all entitled to keeping aspects of our life private. But things can become dangerous “secrets” when we try to handle them without letting anyone else in to help us or share with them the issues we face.
  1. Stop assuming it’s just you. One of the ways Satan keeps us discouraged and isolated is by making us believe we are the only one who has a secret struggle. But it’s not true. “Don’t assume because you perceive perfection there is not hidden pain. Many people have smiled through struggle and laughed through loss. We are all creatively coping in some way.” - God Knows
  1. Address the shame cycle. Ask yourself these questions to see if shame from living with secrecy has affected you: 1. Do I avoid people to ensure I won’t have an uncomfortable (or probing) conversation? 2. Do I feel distant from God? 3. Do I feel negatively toward myself for something I am doing that other people don’t know about? (Remember: Just because something is packaged prettier doesn’t mean it’s not a secret struggle that’s keeping you in a negative train of thought.)

  1. Accept help. We often want to push people away because we feel like our struggles will burden them. As I write in God Knows, “Sometimes it’s hard to let people love you when you think you’re loving them harder by refusing their help. But this isn’t a love contest.”

The truth is, everyone has something only God knows about.

Someone reading is struggling in secret. To make ends meet. With a worried heart. Carrying someone else’s issue that has now become yours. Things are barren and feel desperate. Maybe that someone is you.

I want you to know that God will not leave you, He knows the depth of your burden and overwhelm, and you can trust Him to have more for you.

Written for Devotionals Daily by Lisa Whittle, author of God Knows.

Watch the Video from Lisa

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Your Turn

Whatever secret you’re holding inside, God already knows it. He is with you and for you and you are never ever alone. Bring your thoughts, worries, concerns, and emotions to Him who loves you dearly! Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you about the God who knows. ~ Devotionals Daily