We all do it. We convince ourselves that that sin—the one that no one knows about—isn’t hurting anyone. Isn’t a big deal. Doesn’t matter. But we also know that’s a lie. Because hidden sin isn’t hidden from God. Join guest Christy Bass Adams as she shares what happens when we stop hiding and give God everything—even our worst sin.
About Christy Bass Adams
Christy Bass Adams worked in education for 18 years and now serves as the Outreach and Connections Coordinator at Fellowship Baptist Church. She is passionate about connecting people within the Body of Christ and helping fellow believers find a place to serve and grow. Her writing career includes a weekly inspirational column for Greene Publishing and regular contributions to Vinewords.net and Inspireafire.com. She has also written devotions for CBN.com, christiandevotions.us, Inkspirations, and The Secret Place (Judson Press). Speaking and sharing about her own healing journey is also a big part of her life as she teaches a weekly bible study at Humble House recovery home for women and monthly leads workshops at Honey Lake Clinic (a Christian mental health center). Her most important role, however, is that of a wife, and mother to two busy, adventurous boys. Her debut book is a devotional, Learning As I Go: Big Lessons from Little People. Her second book is a middle grades novel, Cricket and Kyle: Imagination Checkers.
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Karen: Welcome, friends, to the deep. We have some exciting things to share with you today. We have a guest, Christy Bass Adams, and I’m gonna let Erin introduce her.
Erin: I get to do that. Yay! I met Christy at the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference last year, and we had such a grand time getting to know each other. It was so fun.
She is a former school teacher and trainer, and she now works for her local church. She’s been married for 18 years to a man she describes as a good ole’ country boy. Apparently, to keep her life from getting boring, he randomly tosses reptiles into her kitchen. I can relate to that kind of excitement, but usually it’s an accident when there’s a snake in my house!
My favorite picture on her website shows her in work clothes, wearing big knee pads and holding a power tool. She and her hubby are building their own house, which I totally respect. She has two young sons who may or may not be very helpful in that building process. Christy has a natural bent toward encouraging others, and she loves to share the life-giving breath of words with everyone she meets.
She’s been a weekly inspirational columnist and contributed to several other publications, including cbn.com, Christian devotions, inspireafire.com and all kinds of stuff. I’m super excited that her first two books released last month. One of them is a devotional called Learning As I Go: Big Lessons from Little People. The other is a middle grade novel called Cricket and Kyle: Imagination Checkers.
They sound so fun! Welcome, Christy. We’re super excited that you’re here, and we promise not to throw any reptiles at you.
Christy: Thank you so much.
Erin: She’s either thanking us for, you know, letting her come on the show or for not throwing reptiles. We’re not sure. No, actually, we’re blessed that she’s been willing to come on and share. Christy, let’s jump in. What does the deep mean to you?
Christy: Well, the deep to me, it goes way back. When I first decided to write, I kind of played it safe. I did easy devotions. I wrote easy picture books for the classroom, kind of math related. I kept it real safe.
I received lots of rejections, lots of rejection letters in the mail. After a season I got defeated and I quit. I could feel God nudging me way down deep, though, that I needed to write about my insecurities and write about my failures and struggles. But I was scared.
Christy: I was scared to air my dirty laundry. I was scared of how people would perceive me. Afraid to fully let God have my pen, really, is what it came down to. Through a series of divine appointments, which I could talk about forever, God reminded me of a deal that I made with him.
Let me say, as a sidebar, it’s not a good idea to make a deal with God. It just is not advisable. He takes you seriously.
My deal was if he would heal me and truly free me from my habitual, long-term sin and show me how to be whole in him, I’d do anything that he asked me to do. And if it was only for one person, it was worth my surrender.
I was reminded of that through that series of events, and so God and I had a pow wow on my back porch. I apologized to him for being afraid. I physically extended my hands and said, “I’m yours. This gift of writing is yours. If you choose to take it back and never let me use it again, I have to be okay with that. But I’m done taking the easy road. I’ll talk about the hard stuff. I’ll share my story. I’m surrendering at all. If I’m not writing to honor you, God, I’m wasting everything you’ve given me.”
What’s crazy is in that moment, there was this picture of a gift in my mind that was wrapped, and it was almost like God was handing me that gift back. I didn’t hear an audible voice. I didn’t hear anything specifically, but it was this feeling of, “Now, write for me. Everything you do, honor me with it.”
Christy: So the deep for me, it means full surrender and complete obedience. Whether it’s a text, an email, a handwritten card, a letter, a blog, a devotion, or even a book, they all are just as important in the Lord’s economy.
His words through me can make an eternal impact as long as I let him have them. I always say I might as well put my pen down if I’m not gonna let God have it. So that’s what the deep is. It’s that obedience and surrender.
Karen: That’s amazing.
Erin: That is a deep place. From what you’re saying, I’m sensing a lot of backstory. I’m a fiction writer sometimes and non-fiction sometimes, but I know backstory when I hear it!
Karen: That’s exactly right.
Erin: If you’re willing, talk about what was going on with that struggle and the backstory. Why you didn’t wanna talk about what you needed to talk about and how that had happened.
Christy: It goes back to when I was a kid. I grew up in church. I have wonderful parents. I am blessed with Christian parents and I recognize what a blessing and true reward that is in this life to have good parents who took me to church, who taught me the values of Christ.
But somewhere in the process, I started this negative self-talk thing. I really beat myself up inside and I didn’t tell anybody about it. My friends were coming to me with big, big problems in middle school and high school, and their problems were overarching compared to mine.
I shoved all of my issues down. I was struggling with some depression, with a lot of insecurity. I was worried about my appearance, and my weight, and so many things that teenagers worry about. But I wasn’t gonna say anything because my friends were more important in my eyes. Now again, I’m going to church, I’m in a good home, but these lies. I started believing them and resting on them.
As middle school and high school kids do, I started having this desire to rebel. It is a thing that runs across the board in all teenagers, all adults. We just have this innate desire to rebel against the things that we know are good.
I decided that I wanted to keep a good name. I wanted to keep a good face. I wanted a facade of looking like I was doing everything right, but I still wanted to rebel like my friends were doing. And honestly, I was curious, so I sought out pornography from time to time. It wasn’t a big deal until I got into late high school and early college. Then the internet became more accessible.
I wanna say this, my problem was not pornography. My problem was that I was not satisfied by Christ. My insides were running from Jesus. My insides were not being totally surrendered. And I was using the excuse of, “God, you made me this way. Why won’t you take it away? Why won’t you fix this?”
I blamed him for a lot of things that were happening in my life, instead of going, “Christy, you did this. You chose this. You made this decision.”
Basically what happened during this ten year period from late middle school, all the way into early adulthood, outside of college, and on into my marriage is that I was trying so hard to keep up the outside facade of going to church, being a teacher—that’s what I went to school for—being a good wife, leading Sunday school, but I was basically a Pharisee when it comes down to it.
I was a hypocrite. There were two people living inside of me. I had the Christy who was broken and ashamed of the things that she was doing and the sin that she would not confess. Then I had this other version of Christy who was trying so hard on the outside to honor God, so I said, and do the right things on the outside.
But at some point I had come to the realization when a friend finally got the courage to confront me. In 2009, she came to my house. She checked my computer because she was checking her email for school. I had not cleared my history, and she got the courage to confront me.
I can tell you at that moment, because I was a Christian during all of this, I just was living in unconfessed habitual sin, and when she had the courage to finally confront me, God got hold of me.
I recognized that I was the one making excuses. I was the one not owning my sins, and I was living this fake version of Christianity that is not what God intended. I was not talking about my struggles, my sin. I wasn’t addressing the issues of my heart. And I wasn’t letting him have everything. I was just talking about it.
I was good at lip service. I was like a Christian Milli Vanilli. I was lip syncing this whole Christian walk thing instead of actually living it. So from 2009 until the present, God really rocked my world.
When my friend confronted me, she said, “Christy, you’ve gotta do four things. You’ve gotta tell your husband. You’ve got to step down from all leadership roles at church. You’ve got to tell your family, and go to a Christian counselor.”
Christy: Through Christian counseling, I was so prideful. I was like, “No, I don’t have a problem. No, this is not a big deal. I can take care of this on summer break.”
I made so many excuses and justifications for these sins that my moral compass, which used to run straight ahead, it would notch away a little at a time. And when I looked back, I was completely off track.
Christy: As God continued dealing with my heart and I began Christian counseling, the conversations came down to, “Christy, you’re believing lies.” That’s what my counselor told me.
One of the core lies that stemmed all the way back from middle school was that if anybody knew the real me, then they wouldn’t love me. If anybody saw my weaknesses, if I let them see who I really was, then they would make fun of me or reject me.
Instead of being rejected, I put walls up so nobody would ever see that weak version of myself. After that year of counseling, I said to my counselor, I call her Dr. T, and I said, ” Dr. T, you’ve walked with me this whole year. Where do I go from here?”
She said, “Well, you don’t need me anymore. You’ve got Jesus, and you’re walking with him.” But she also said, “You’re a writer. You have journaled through this whole process and you need to write your story.”
Christy: So I really thought that I was supposed to write a book about my testimony. I started it, and then I set it down, and I got scared. That season that I talked about in my answer about what is the deep, that was the season that I walked away and got scared. I went to easy, safe writing. I set aside my testimony, and for probably ten years, I did not pick it up and I did not write it.
That series of events I mentioned earlier was workshops and conferences where God kept putting people in my path going, “Hey, Christy, you need to tell your story. You need to write your story. You need to let God use these things because he can bring redemption where Satan wanted ruin.”
Christy: So the last, really three, four years I got serious. One of my friends looked at me, her name’s Vicki, and she said, “Christy, when are you writing?”
I went, “I don’t know when I’m writing. I mean, I’m just doing it when I can. I’ve got kids, you know. I just pick it up when I can.”
She said, “No. When are you writing? If you’re serious about this and you really have surrendered your pen to God, then you need to set aside time to write.”
Through her encouragement and through her opening her home, where I’m actually sitting right now, in her extra room because it’s quiet and I’m not distracted by the things at my house—the dishes and the garbage and the laundry that would distract me—
Erin: And the reptiles!
Christy: And the reptiles that are randomly thrown on my floor. She offered me this space, and she offered me a gift. She said, “Christy, you need to designate a whole day and not let anybody take that from you and write.”
I finished writing my testimony. I put it in book form. It’s a Christian living book. I tried to put it out there, and I offered it to God, and nobody’s wanted it so far. That’s okay because I was obedient. When the time comes, God will take it .
But I’ll tell you what he’s done. He’s opened the door for speaking at recovery clinics. I go twice a month and I speak at a recovery clinic, Honey Lake Clinic, over in Greenville, Florida. I get to teach them about how to go home, and how to make a plan, and how to protect their minds, and how to change, and how to heal.
I always tell them, “Your story’s not my story, and my story’s not your story. But the healing process of wandering away from Jesus and losing ourselves, and moving back to him, and taking up residence and abiding in him, that process is the same. That healing process of grace and forgiveness and redemption and restoration, that looks the same, no matter what our journey is.”
As God has continued growing me in that area, I’m recognizing, you know, pornography? Yes, that was a struggle of mine. But that was a symptom just like alcohol, drugs, appearance, overeating, under-eating, exercise, all those things that we focus on and become outward symptoms of inward problems.
God is calling me to heal and help heal others on this journey. So that’s the big picture of the struggles that I had and how God is now using them, for writing, for encouraging. And speaking, which honestly terrifies me.
Karen: Which is why he’s called you there.
Christy: There you go.
Erin: You don’t sound terrified, so that’s good. It’s always good.
Karen: It’s interesting to me, because I think that another, human, earthly, natural thing inside of us is deflection. There’s something—especially
in Pharisees and believers minds—especially wrong with a woman with pornography. I mean, you see men with pornography and you think to yourself, “Well, of course. They’re men.”
When it happens with a woman, the attitude from people in the church can be especially judgmental, and they become this deflection about their own sin and saying, “Well, at least I don’t…”
It’s such a dangerous place for anyone to be who claims to be a believer because that’s the first foothold into pride, saying, “Sure, I may do this, but I would never do that.”
Satan absolutely loves it when Jesus’ children say things like that. Satan is just so excited and clapping his hands because that’s his access point to get into us.
All of us need to recognize that those sins that we continually return back to, those are weaknesses inside of us that separate us from Christ. And it doesn’t matter. There are no degrees of sin when it separates us from Christ. They’re all equally damaging. It’s not that Jesus is saying that you’re a terrible person for doing that.
He’s saying, “I want you close, and this is between us, and it has to end.”
Karen: Wow. I don’t know about you guys, but this has been such an amazing podcast. I so respect Christy and everything that she’s shared with us, everything that you’ve shared with us, Christy, and thank you for that. But here’s the good news. There’s more to come!
Karen: We will have another podcast finishing our conversation up, but talking about things like courage and brutal honesty, so don’t miss it!Hidden sin is never hidden from God. Join guest Christy Bass Adams as she shares what happens when we stop hiding and give God everything—even our worst sin. #ChristianWriter #amwriting @christyadams008 Click To Tweet
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Do you have someone in your life who will confront you about your sin? If not, what steps can you take to find someone?
Books by Christy Bass Adams mentioned in the podcast
Learning as I Go: Big Lessons from Little People by Christy Bass Adams
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