“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:13
‘Wanna know how to instantly get children quiet? Whisper into someone’s ear. Suddenly a hush will fill the room as ears strain to hear the private message.
Kids learn at a young age to protect their privacy. They know when others should mind their own business. If anyone tries to intrude, they shout, “It’s none of your business!”
But they’re curious to know other people’s business. A craving shared by some adults. Living on a diet of juicy gossip. Discovering protected stories is their mission. Proudly passing them along is their delight.
Why do some people thrive on learning sensitive information? Why do they get such a thrill from capturing scandalous facts?
Perhaps, we all secretly want to peek into the lives of others. To know we’re not the only ones with shocking experiences locked in the vault of our mind. In hopes that our skeletons in the closet aren’t as bad as other’s.
Why don’t we want others to know our child has mental illness (MI)? Our motherly instincts compel us to protect. Protect from what? Is it that we fear our child will be teased? We’ll do anything to shield our child from more pain.
Is there a time to share our secret? Esther knew the importance of waiting until the right time to reveal her family secret (Esther 2:20). Sometimes, it’s best to wait before sharing. Especially when many misunderstand and unfairly judge those who have MI. God will grant us wisdom to know when and if to share our secret.
Could anything good come from revealing the diagnosis?
Think about how heavy a shopping bag feels when it’s stuffed with groceries. Consider how the weight seems to get heavier as the bag is carried a great distance to the car. Such relief comes when that load is laid down!
We’re carrying a heavy load in our hearts. Looking for someone with outstretched arms, ready to receive our pain.
Finally, we find a trusted friend. We share our secret. Lay down our burden. And experience such relief!
We’re no longer alone.
Dear heavenly Father,
Protect my child from those who would tease or treat him unkindly if they discovered he has MI. Thank You for giving me a friend who can be trusted with our family secret. How I long for people to have a greater understanding of those who have MI! Move mightily in the hearts and minds of people so the shame and stigma associated with MI will be replaced with insight and compassion. In Jesus’ name, Amen.