I’m an incredible actor. No, seriously, I’m an Academy Award worthy actor who has performed my heart out for the world to see…Sadly, it hasn’t often been on film or the stage; most of my acting is done on a daily basis in the real world.
You may or may not understand, but it’s incredibly difficult to perform a job, pursue vision, or love others when your anxiety is firing on all cylinders. And yet, in my life, bills still require payment, dreams still demand effort, and loved ones continue to expect my attention. Life requires much of our energy, but I have often felt depleted of my energy reserve by mid-day, merely going through the motions as I battle the fears, depression, and questions of my day. Anxiety takes it out of you…I don’t recommend it.
If anxiety isn’t your struggle, maybe you are overwhelmed with depression, financial pressure, troubled relationships, spiritual questions, or something else. Whatever the difficulties of your life, we all are faced with two questions:
- Will I face this difficulty with honesty and humility to ask for help?
- Will I pretend that I’m OK in fear that others will see who I really am?
Most of us, including myself, primarily choose #2. Pretending to be “alright” has always been easier than saying to those close to us, “You know, I’m not OK…” It doesn’t mean that we should share our hearts with everyone, as that would be unwise. However, owning the reality swirling in our hearts is always the first step towards healing. Are we trying to act like we’re all-together, or are we willing to be visible in all of our complexity?
Oddly enough, we don’t just hide from people; we also hide from God.
In Jeremiah 17, we find the following reminder of how ridiculous our hiding is in the eyes of God:
“‘The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, GOD, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.’” – Jeremiah 17:9-10 MSG
“Not as they pretend to be….”
I’ve gone to work so often in a state of fear, answering every “How are you?” with “I’m good, how are you?” Such a faker. Questions of doubt have punished my mind while I bow my head and pray to God in ritual, not in desperation to know His heart. Such a poser. I’ve acted like I care about the lives of others through generosity, when in reality I’m seeking the glory for myself so that others will say, “Dude, that Andrew guy is pretty awesome. What a good guy!” An Oscar-worthy performance.
The older I get, the more I’m willing to say, “You know, it’s not the best day, but I know it will get better.” Asking for help from those who are wise has been a massive instrument in healing, as well. Having humility to tell close friends that I’m struggling has brought intimate friendship, not surface-level hang-outs with no substance.
What are you hiding in the grand performance of your life and how’s that working for you?
Just in case you’re one of those peeps who thinks that God’s not interested in you, you’re incredibly mistaken. As the verses stated above, He knows exactly who you really are. And yet, what’s even more incredible is that He still died to know you, regardless of your brokenness.
“Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” – Romans 5:6-8 MSG
“While we were of no use whatever to him.”
Haha! I have to laugh because that’s brutally honest, yet refreshingly full of grace…We are adored by the Father at our worst. Though the rest of the world may turn its back on us, God does the opposite: He runs towards us with open arms of grace, longing to heal us.
If you think you’re unloved by God because of your past and the darkness you carry, you have been incredibly deceived. God loved you in the darkest moments of your life…Your Creator finds you beautiful, offers forgiveness, and desires to redeem everything in your life for His greater purpose.
Are you hiding in plain sight, scared to be visible for fear that you will be unloved, rejected, and alone?
Are you believing the lie that you can hide from God?
No one will love you as much or as unconditionally as Jesus does – even right now. No one.
Stop hiding; breathe in the grace of the Jesus who pursues your heart and who gave His life for your shame.