I Hide

I hide. I hide who I am. I hide what I think. I hide what I feel. I hide my strengths, lest they threaten others or make them feel inadequate. I hide my weaknesses, lest they repulse others or give them weapons against me. I hide from others. I hide from myself. I hide from God.

Where did all this hiding begin? In one way, my hiding began in childhood. I was afraid of criticism and anger. I was afraid of being bad. I was afraid of being wrong. I was afraid of not pleasing my parents and not pleasing God. I was afraid of not being enough. 

How did I hide? I stopped trying to share my thoughts and feelings lest I be wrong or misunderstood. Hiding my thoughts and feelings, I disappeared. When tired, I disappeared into books and TV shows. When energetic, I disappeared into constant activity and hard work, physical and intellectual. Occasionally I showed glimpses of myself to friends, but friends safe and constant enough to not harm me were rare.

Hiding, I lived at half mast. I lived furled, folded over. Trying to avoid failure and rejection, I lived in retreat, afraid to move forward, afraid to risk. I lived covered, neither fully seeing nor fully seen.

Where did all this hiding begin? In one way, my hiding began in adulthood. I was afraid I was failing—failing as a wife, as a friend, as a parent. I was afraid of losing—losing my reputation, losing love, losing myself. I was afraid of both not being enough and being too much.

Hiding, I stayed where I knew I could succeed. Hiding, I took care of people instead of letting them care for me. Hiding, I wanted love and acceptance, not respect. I hid my needs and denied my desires, even from myself. Hiding, I tried to please God.

Where did all this hiding begin? In one way, my hiding began in Genesis. “Where are you?” God asks, though He sees all things, even me. “Why are you hiding? What have you done? Why are you not walking and talking with Me in the cool of the evening in our beautiful Garden?”

Like the Good Shepherd searching high and low for one lost sheep, God seeks me, calls for me, waits for me to respond to His voice. Yet, I hide from the One who wants to save me. 

Afraid I am not enough for the God who lived and died for me. Afraid He will ask too much of me. 

Afraid I am too much for the God who continues to create me. Afraid I will go ahead of Him, try to control Him, not submit to His sovereignty and wisdom in all things.

Afraid I am too feminine, too needy, too unsure and therefore not valuable. Not enough. 

Afraid I am too masculine, with too many talents and too much intensity, and therefore twisted. Not reflecting His order and beauty.

What do I need from You, God, to stop hiding? What do I need to know—about me, about You? Who more do You have to BE? What more could You give than what you have already given? Help me, God!

Help me to see what I already hold and be thankful. Help me to see who I already am and be thankful. Help me to look at You and see you and be thankful. Help me to see with Your eyes and Your mind and Your heart. Help me to celebrate You.

Help me to come out of hiding.  

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