I was an expert at hiding.
Even as a child, when we moved to a new home, I did not come out to meet other children. In fact, when I saw them, I ran and hid. I didn’t want anyone to see me, thinking if I remained invisible, no one could hurt me anymore.
I found refuge in a loft above our garage. I spent hours there alone with my books, hiding from the world. When I climbed that ladder, I knew no one could get to me, let alone find me.
I was good at hiding.
This became my status quo as I grew into adulthood. If I couldn’t physically hide, I hid by not saying anything, by not letting anyone see me. I became an expert at being invisible even while physically present.
When my name was mentioned at a women’s group I had been attending for over a year, I heard people say, “Who?”
It was really when I started Bible College that God started to take away that invisibility. It was a small college, and everyone knew each other. I knew God wanted me there, but it was a huge step out of my comfort zone to let people see me, to have them even notice I was there.
Sometimes, it was painful. I knew they saw how broken I was and I wanted to run and hide again. But something in me knew that I couldn’t hide anymore. I knew God had a plan for me, and it included allowing myself to be known.
Have you struggled with hiding? Does fear of rejection keep the door of your heart closed to those around you? Are you an expert at being invisible even while physically present? Do you feel that no one notices or even cares when you are there, or if you’re not?
You are a valuable human being with gifts and talents that the world around you is being robbed of by not knowing you. You are so much more than just broken.
I invite you to sign up for a small group at your local church. Make a commitment to yourself to keep going. Sign up to volunteer.
There will be thoughts; thoughts that say you don’t want to go, that no one will care if you do, or that you’re tired and just want to stay home.
I heard someone say once, “The more I didn’t want to go, the more I knew I needed to be there.”
There is a very real enemy, the devil, who would like to keep you alone and isolated. He puts these thoughts into your mind and tells you that you shouldn’t’ go. That way he has access to your life, and no one to refute the lies he tells.
Go, even with those thoughts running through your mind.
And when you do go, don’t just sit there being silent either. It may take all the courage you have, but talk to just one person. Share a little bit about yourself, and then ask about them.
It will become easier every time you go. You may have to make yourself walk out that door, but the next time it will be easier. It is through relationship with Jesus Christ, and with each other, that we learn and grow as Christians, and as people.
God has not called us to hide or isolate. He has called us to community.
That may be scary at first, but as you overcome that fear, God will meet you there, and you may make some wonderful friends along the way.
It’s time to step out of hiding.
In His Love,
© Carolyn Rice 2018