Hurrah! It’s my birthday!!! It’s a time for celebration, lots of cake, but also reflection and goal planning for the coming year.

Part of my reflection concerns my legacy … I definitely have more years behind me than ahead, so I wonder:

  • What will people remember about me?
  • Have I made a difference?
  • Do I have any secrets left to deal with?

When we die, hidden things get exposed.

Our journals, our dresser drawers, our computer history, our credit card balances, and every corner of every closet will be exposed.

Loved ones and strangers will sift and sort and dig and ultimately judge us by the contents of our treasures and our trash.

I know this because I have been the one to sift and sort through the stacks and shelves of dead men’s things.

I have buried many who were close to me. They all left behind stuff that tells a story about the way they lived. The choices they made, the secrets they kept.

Amusing surprises.

Though my mom lived in her condo for 7 years, her oven racks were still bound up in the original packaging.  She had never turned on her oven!

Pleasant discoveries.

A love letter I’d written to my husband decades earlier was tucked in the recesses of his wallet. A bible filled with personal notes and declarations. 

Reminders of glory days

Boxes of photos. Wedding dresses and pressed flowers. A high school letterman’s jacket, stiff with age, laden with medals.

Ugly discoveries.

Overwhelming credit card balances and girly magazines. 

Secrets rarely stay secret forever.

It can be a little scary, can’t it? When your office is emptied and your computer is scanned, what will be found? What secrets will be discovered when your family rummages through your belongings and your bank statements?

It’s so important to make choices you can live with because they last long after you die.

Your legacy is determined by how you live now. The body of work you create in the days on this earth could be overshadowed by the choices you make in the dark.

  • Break attachments with that which will kill.
  • Choose to discard that which steals.
  • Refuse to continue that which will destroy.
  • Don’t betray a lifetime of encouragement and good works with a secret that will overtake your legacy and impugn your reputation.

The legacy you leave in the future starts with the decisions you make today.

How do you bring secrets out of the dark?

1.

Confess it to God. Repent (change your mind about the way you think about the secret) Ask for forgiveness.

2.

Take responsibility for your actions. Seek help from a friend, pastor or counselor. Beg God for self-control and a solution for restoration.

3.

Be accountable for your behavior. Develop an action plan to keep you safe and begin the restoration. Share your journey and your victory in safe groups.

4.

Praise God for the new legacy He is creating for you.

Don’t live in fear of being found out. 

By making different decisions today, and dealing with the secrets now, you can guarantee your legacy and reputation will be intact for as long as you live and long after you die.

Verse for today:  I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. Acts 24:16 NIV

Prayer: Father, Create in me a clean heart. Let me work with clean hands. Guide me to keep a clear conscience.  I want to represent you well and leave a legacy of grace and righteousness. Help me to follow you all the days of my life so that I can leave this life unashamed.

19 Comments

  1. Tracy Noyes on September 27, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 28, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks Tracy!

  2. Bev. Frost on September 27, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Happy Birthday Robyn! Thank u for the great tips . This is somethink i don’t think any of us people think of . I will be cleaning house this coming week. Have a blessed week. Bev.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 28, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      Hi Bev,
      Thanks for writing! You bless me.

  3. Analyn Megison on September 27, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    Thank you so much Robyn! Your courage, faith, honesty and sense of humor are just what I needed. Back I go to finish cleaning out that closet and throwing out the board games I kept with missing pieces in case they were found…..

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 28, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Oh Analyn, you are the best!
      Yes, Girlfriend, it’s safe to pitch the boardgames with missing pieces. 🙂
      THANK YOU for your encouragement to me.

  4. Michelle on September 28, 2020 at 1:33 am

    Wow Robyn !
    This is powerful!! Yes I want to always live in the freedom of no secrets!! Thank you for making it so real and encouraging us to seek help if needed!! No regrets !!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 28, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      Hi Michelle,
      You are welcome. I figure if I’m having “issues” I’m not alone.
      Thanks for your encouragement!

  5. Loretta Miller on September 28, 2020 at 3:29 am

    Have a very Happy Birthday. What you share in an encouragement to me. I am trying to straighten up what I will be leaving behind when I go to see the Lord. Thanks for helping to keep me on track.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 28, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      Hey Loretta,
      How do we accumulate so much stuff!!! Well done to start the sorting process and do a little at a time.
      Just a suggestion … My grandma started giving Christmas and birthday presents out of her attic as a way to purge some stuff and bless us with her memories. Maybe your kids, neighbors, BFF would treasure your treasure?

  6. Celine Hutchinson on September 28, 2020 at 11:29 am

    This is good. It made me think ???

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 28, 2020 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Celine,
      Thanks for writing. Such a big gift to the generations to follow if we live in freedom. Freedom from clutter and freedom from secrets.
      Praying God guides you in truth and courage as you contemplate your next steps.

  7. Jeanie monk on September 28, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Happy Birthday Robyn!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 28, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks Jeanie!

  8. Ruthie C on September 28, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Happy Birthday 🙂 I just wanted to AMEN! the truth shared about secrets. Rather than living in the freedom Christ offers us (and paid a high price for!), I think many live in bondage to secrets. Bringing them into the light and dealing with them takes away their power!

    Have a great day!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 28, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Ruthie,
      So glad to hear from a kindred thinker!
      Set the captives FREE!

  9. MaryAnn Hicks on September 28, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Happy Birthday

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 28, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks MaryAnn!

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