How do you hide?
Here's the truth.
I have always been an extreme introvert.
I've shied away from social functions. I've avoided groups of people. I've sat at the back during events. I didn't feel that I had anything to offer. I was petrified that if I said something it would be stupid.
My biggest goal in most circumstances was to blend in.
Disappear? Even better.
Marriage didn't magically cure me of my lack of confidence and my aspirations to be invisible. It became my crutch. I didn't need to make friends because I could stay home with my family. I didn't have to take risks with people that I didn't want to take, because I was married and that was going to be forever...so I was set.
I thought I'd eliminated the risk of getting hurt or embarrassed or singled out.
I didn't care that I didn't have a very good chance of engaging with people, sharing my gifts and talents, or making any kind of a difference in my world.
I was hiding.
Then one day I woke up...
And I didn't have that title or that relationship or that life to hide behind anymore.
My hiding place was gone.
I was exposed.
I was a grown woman, a mother - with children of my own - and all of my not-enough was staring me in the face... and for every venture I made out into the world on my own I might as well have been a new kid standing alone on the first day of school.
It was like starting from the very beginning.
I've thought many times about how I could possibly share about the good that has come from devastation.
How can an event that rips you wide open and cracks you straight through the middle... have a story of redemption laced through it?
The thing is...God uses everything.
All of it.
In fighting to find breath, and strength, and healing, I ended up finding the truth about who God is and what He does. In a season where hiding would've made a LOT of sense...
I learned that hiding isn't actually living. And I really, really wanted to feel what it felt like to...live.
I believe right down to my core that our paths and our twists and our turns, our wanderings and wondering, our hard fought and our sadly lost... and our discoveries and revelations through all of that... are to be shared.
It's what the human experience is about. It's what connects us and draws us closer to each other. The sharing is what spreads hope.
Sometimes that won't be pretty and polished. Sometimes it may reveal unsavoury things, and sometimes it won't land, and sometimes the result may be gritty and uncomfortable.
But that's okay.
The truth is only scary when it is hidden. Monsters hide in the dark. And for all of the silence that wafts through the air after the real is offered up...there is usually one quiet whisper that says...thank you...or...me too.
There is nothing more comforting and hopeful than finding out that you're not the only one.
All of us have ways that we hide...and we have reasons for our hiding.
I had my reasons, and I thought they were good reasons.
But here's what I know today...
I am thankful for the ways that my life was laid bare.
I am thankful for the undoing that lead to rebuilding.
I am thankful that the stripping away revealed things I would've never uncovered.
I am thankful for a God who showed up in the darkest of dark shadows and saw my pieces and shards and tatters and immediately said, "I won't leave you here and I don't want you to hide any longer."
In stepping out of the dark, the light can be shone on your worth...the Light is for me and it's for you too...
"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."
Martin Luther King, Jr.