Hide and Seek
I’ve never been a fan of hide and seek. I don’t know what it was exactly: the scurrying to the threat of a countdown, the heart-pounding pressure to find the “ideal hiding spot” (usually a dark tight space in isolation), and then the hold-your-breath anticipation of being ripped from my concealed spot into the open met with loud hollering and a game-over failure. It’s just so fuzzy, I can’t put my finger on it. I’ll just go ride my bike or play Frisbee - thank you very much.
Many love the pastime though, and they usually love practical jokes too. (I’ll save my angst with practical joking for another blog. Or counseling session.)
Unfortunately my predisposition against “hide and seek” as a game, hasn’t kept me from hiding as an adult. Somehow I’ve learned since childhood how to “hide” my true self in times when being myself may not be received favorably by others. One way in particular was with humor. I found that being “funny” protected me at times from being picked on or rejected as a child, and gained the “acceptance” I was desperate to know. As Pastor Tom pointed out on Sunday in his new series (“Family Life in HD – Real life. Real hope.”), ever since Adam and Eve first walked about in the Garden and yielded to temptation in sin, humankind has struggled head-on with fear of rejection. And in that struggle we all tend to hide. If you missed Sunday’s message, you can listen today.
Hiding is something we all do, no human is exempt. As we age, we develop ways to manage our appearance - shape our presentation to the world. It looks and sounds different for every person, and for most of us it’s not every moment or every interaction. Some seasons in our lives find us more vulnerable than others, exposing our underlying beliefs about our identity, our God and our world. (*Disclaimer*: please don’t start hunting for the “real people hiding” from you in relationships – this approach will not make them want to “surface” for sure! Pray for God’s wisdom and for Him to invite you both into authenticity together.) Plus, we don’t have to, nor should we, tell everyone how we are doing. It’s important though that “someone” knows what’s really going on with us.
Emily Freeman writes about some of the “hiding patterns” well-meaning Christian women tend to resort to in life, in her whimsically-written but profound book “Grace for the Good Girl.” As each chapter described a new pattern I was bewildered by how easily I try on different “masks” in order to avoid possible rejection. It is only God’s grace that continually calls me out from my hiding place into His marvelous light of acceptance, forgiveness, assurance of security and the promise of His continual presence. Humor is a gift to me now, I enjoy laughing and making others laugh, but it’s not my Master or my Protector from rejection (at least not always – I’m still human!). But for His gentle nudging grace, I’d be lost in a heap of masks to help me manage my “lack” in a culture demanding the appearance of perfection.
Have you been playing “hide and seek” yourself? There is a safe place to hide, a way that gives us the complete acceptance and love we crave. King David pointed us to our safe place in God’s presence: “Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8) Where do we place our hope for love, satisfaction, acceptance – something so precious we don’t want to leave it out in the open to be stolen or mocked? We can hide our hope in God who alone can fulfill our hope and nourish it! Then in peace and confidence that He is with us, guiding and protecting us ultimately, we are free to be who we are and where we are as we engage in relationships.
You won’t want to miss any of Pastor Tom’s new series, consider it an investment in the quality of the life you live, and the relationships you will leave behind. Studying God’s Word will help you begin to follow Christ out from behind your masks, and make connections with other women who are tempted to hide themselves. Perhaps inviting a woman to have coffee and share what you’re learning in God’s Word, or by reading a book like Emily Freeman’s together. If you are a woman new to GFC and want to make more connections, check out Let’s Have Coffee, and contact a Coffee Host to step further into community!
Last but not least, why don’t you go ahead today and mark your calendars for Saturday, August 10th. Why?
Emily Freeman is coming to GFC!
Stepping out from the shadows daily holding Christ’s hand, with you…
 “Grace for the Good Girl – letting go of the try-hard life,” by Emily P. Freeman. Revell Books, 2011. See Part I, “the hiding”.
Posted on Wed, April 10, 2013
by Heather Yates