For lack of knowing how and where to begin, I'm just going to begin where I am.
The place where I have been tucked away has been a very lonely and dark place.
The thing is, when you seek out a hiding place, you may not be fully prepared for the repercussions of the very thing you sought. To be hidden means you are not seen. To be unseen means others are unaware of your presence, both what you carry and what you lack.
There have been times over the last 18 months or so, that I have wished to disappear. To not exist. In my efforts to not be hurt or wounded any longer, in my attempts to be safe and protected, I actually cut myself off from the life all around me. I cut myself off from being wounded, from being betrayed, from being misunderstood and accused. But I also cut myself off from healing, from being championed, from being accepted and loved. I suppose I didn't feel worthy of those things. I had realized that so much of what I had faith for seemed to be untrue.
I was faced with the harsh realization that what I had been waiting for and longing for was actually never going to happen. Were my prayers wrong? How had I missed the mark so badly? This sharp realization of missing the mark brought me to the conclusion that I deserved all of this pain. I deserved betrayal and loss on a monumental scale. To suddenly be left with nothing. Only one friend remained. Only one friend chose to fight through the pain to stay in relationship. All others turned away. To suddenly be left with no money, no retirement, no income, no meaning, and I could certainly not envision a future with hope. I simply could not understand or reconcile myself to these facts.
To now, put hands to keyboard and try to make sense of things... or to explain my lack of making sense of these things... it is simply what I must do for myself to move ahead. See, I know that God is gracious. He allows and actually sets us up for come backs. It's the thought of a do-over I truly wanted to avoid. A do-over implies that you are starting from scratch. I simply had no energy left to start over from the beginning. I felt as though my whole life was messed up and I simply could not imagine that I would have to go back and live enough life to make up for 50 years of seeming chaos. I DID NOT HAVE THE ENERGY OR FORTITUDE OF SPIRIT FOR THAT!
I told myself, "God knows where you are, He knows what you need, and He will provide." So I just sat. I sat and I built a place to hide from the pain of the world around me. Brick by brick, I built the walls that I thought kept me protected.
The hiding place of my own design actually became a prison cell. I designed it and built it with my own hands. Out of continual, unrelenting, extended pain, out of the fear of things getting worse, out of a desire to protect my own heart, I built the walls thick and strong. The walls were thick enough to quiet the voices of accusation. There was no wind so strong or light so bright that could slice through the barred, darkened windows I had put in place. I felt safe, yes, but I was also entirely alone in there. This is what I discovered: There is no hiding place so secret, so tucked away, that He cannot find me.
He found me. In fact, the truth is, He was with me even as I built those walls, brick by brick. I believe His heart was saying, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 NIV But I wouldn't. I could not allow myself to come to Him. He might ask more of me. He might ask too much. He might ask for what I don't have. I simply couldn't stand any more rejection.
To truly live means you must leave yourself exposed to those you trust the most. To truly live requires risk. Trust requires the wild abandon to self preservation, you stand unprotected before Him.
So how much do I trust Him? Do I trust Him enough to let Him see me? Do I trust that He has good plans for my life? Will I trade one hiding place for another? Trading the one I built, for the one only He can provide... I say yes.
Yes Lord, I give you the freedom to deal with my fears, my pain and my future, as I know only You can. So I give it to You, God. I stand unprotected before You.
"Lord, you are my secret hiding place, protecting me from these troubles, surrounding me with songs of gladness! Your joyous shouts of rescue release my breakthrough." Psalm 32:7 TPT