Saturday, February 6, 2016

Out of hiding

Where to start? I've got a lot to say today that's been on my mind for a while, stuff that seems obvious but was operating as a giant block in my life. It's not easy to share this, but I think it's necessary, and I think you'll see why in a minute. OK. Here we go.

As I said, I've felt like there's been a barrier in my heart for a while. I can't exactly say how long, because I really don't know. For the past few months especially, I've been trying to figure it out, spending lots and lots of time and energy asking a million questions, testing every theory I could. It's caused a lot of frustration, doubt, and pain. Well, I think I've finally figured out what it is. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that it's true.

I promise I'll get to what "it" is in a minute. First, I want to say that my anthem for the year is Out of Hiding by Steffany Gritzinger. Give it a listen here . It's a powerful song. It covers everything. I love it! It's not easy to hear, but it's real. Anyway, I was thinking about that song and thinking about what exactly I've been hiding from. It finally came to me, so obvious but poignant.

God is calling me to be real, and I've been hiding from that. 

There a lots of factors that convinces me that this is the truth. In understanding holiness as embracing yourself in all your strengths and weaknesses, embracing your personal struggles, and always striving to put other people first, (plus like a million other things) this makes sense for me. I also understand it as becoming more and more who I am, who I was created to be. As I've written on this blog before, I'm often afraid. I hide it pretty well, but it's the truth. I like being in control of everything, and I'm terrified when I don't know all of the variables. I hate being different or standing out. I hate being weak and vulnerable.

I've been living most of my life, especially lately, being satisfied with and often seeking out substitutes for real life, like getting wrapped up in tv shows instead of experiencing things for myself. Ironically, I pride myself on being authentic. (Btw, this is only a very superficial example. I've been experiencing this on an extremely deep level.) Let me say, there is no substitute for the real thing. It's left me feeling so empty and unsatisfied.

Suffering has been one of the ways that I've been painfully confronted by reality. In suffering, there's nowhere to hide or pretend that everything's OK. I've been suffering a lot lately, for various reasons. I can say now that I'm thankful for it, since it's helped lead me here. It's not been easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it has been necessary. I can say, humbly and truthfully, that it has made me more into me. This, again, is part of my journey to personal freedom, to holiness.

I can't hide anymore. I can't pretend I'm someone other than myself. I have to embrace me, all of me.

Lent is coming at the perfect time. It's supposed to help us sacrifice the comfortable patterns that we've fallen into, to choose to be courageous and stop hiding behind the false realities that we've created. Only when we've chosen this path can we really experience Holy Week and Easter as life changing as they are meant to be. As part of my Lenten journey, I'm planning on taking back my life, stepping out against fear, choosing to open my heart to any and all chances to follow Love (meaning God). I'd encourage you to do the same, however that looks in your own life.

I'd appreciate your prayers. This is part of my path to holiness but it's probably the hardest mission I'll undertake. I wouldn't have it any other way. In allowing myself to be open to what I'm really hiding from, I've discovered a freedom that's authentic. It's not fluffy or glamorous, but it's beautiful.

Thanks for reading this. It's one way that I'm choosing to come out of hiding.
God bless you. I hope that this Lent leads you to see how God's redemption is real in your life, so you can truly experience Easter joy!