Do you hide away when things go a bit skew-whiff? Maybe life feels like a game of peekaboo! At the top of your game (or when you feel strong enough to pretend you are), you are out there doing your thing, unconcerned when eyes are on you. When things start to go pear-shaped, you tuck yourself away in your box until you feel on form again. You hope you are ‘out of sight, out of mind’ long enough for no-one to notice your imperfections.
What if life is always skew-whiff? What if circumstances dont allow you to get on top of your game. Sometimes we face circumstances that are unchanging – a disabled child; longterm sickness; mental illness, general parenthood! Should you resign yourself to living in a box? Safe, protected, unseen. Restricted, trapped, alone. Maybe you feel like your resources have been exhausted. Caring for yourself and your own family has meant there is nothing left you can offer the world. If this is you, will you allow me to gently challenge your thinking?
You do have something to offer this world. You are unique and you have gifts to share. When you stop hiding away, you empower others to do the same. When you allow yourself to be seen in your weakness, you teach others it’s ok to be weak. Anyone can pretend to be strong. It takes a strong person to acknowledge they are weak. If others are uncomfortable with your dishevelled imperfection, it says more about them than you. The perfection perception is what needs to be challenged. Are you ready to be you? Unfiltered, raw, real. Brave, strong, courageous.
Over the years, I’ve tried to keep it real and keep giving of myself but playing peek-a-boo is more appealing and eventually my preference was to be hidden in the box, emerging less and less, hiding more and more. I kept waiting for those moments I would feel strong enough to re-emerge with something to offer the world, but those moments rarely came.
During this last year, as we have all been forced into hiding, there have been some benefits. Although it has been challenging in many ways, there has been internal breathing space from the external world. I’ve been learning how to hide my weakness in God and draw on His strength. In practice that means I’ve taken my fears, worries and imperfections to Him in prayer often and then listened, really listened to what He speaks into my heart. I hear Him say I love you and I accept you. He never says I told you so and He never says you must try harder. Thats how I know its Him because my internal narrative always tells me to try harder. I visualise Jesus loving me despite my failings and that gives me strength. I hear Him say “love others with the same love I give you”. To do that I need to get out my box, just as I am, perfectly imperfect and love others with all that God has given me. How can I love others when I stay hidden?
So here I am, imperfect and strong, incapable and available, hidden and emerging to let you know He loves you, I love you and you dont have to hide away anymore.
“You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of mankind; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.” Psalm 31:20