What Happens With A Disclosure

Then Judah went up to him and said, “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself. Genesis 44:18

The brothers were cornered. Joseph planted treasure in Benjamin’s sack, knowing that he would have the legal right to claim Benjamin as his servant upon discovery. This brought his brothers to the breaking point. Judah repented for himself and his brothers, confessing the guilt which had only compounded over the years.

Oh, the power of confession. Not only am I to confess my sins to God, but I’m commanded to confess my sins to a brother or sister in Christ. This is hard. Instead, I’ll choose to carry the guilt of what I did long ago.  I’ll rationalize that I’ve asked God to forgive me, but the weight of my story presses in on me in ways I can’t measure. Not until I tell it and feel the release do I understand how much of a burden it really was.

Speaking my story to a safe person adds years to my life. Until I tell it, it isn’t real and has little clarity. The narrative is trapped in my own head and swirls around like a pool of sludge. Speaking what has been unspeakable gives it form. I am lighter. I am free as love and reminders of God’s forgiveness are returned from the one who is listening.

I think of the things I’ve said after talking about something private. “I never knew I felt this strongly about it.” “I’m surprised by how much I’m crying about this.” “Things make sense for the first time!”  Burdens of the heart crush us, and it need not be so.

For the one who is crying reading this, the one who cannot live another day in silence, give them the grace to tell their story. And show them who should be the ears of Joseph. Amen

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