(of a person) having one’s true identity concealed.
synonyms: under an assumed name, under a false name, in disguise, disguised, under cover, in plain clothes, camouflaged
God recently spoke to me about coming out of hiding,
Come out of your hiding places so that you can’t rely on them anymore.
I imagine the character, Oliver Queen (Green Arrow of DC Comics). Back to when he had been abandoned on the island. After becoming aware that he was supposed to be a dead and that there were villains sent to kill him, he began to hide. He hid in a variety of places. He hid to survive. Oliver Queen was hiding from the real threat of death and torture.
We hide from the real or perceived threat of hurt, rejection, shame and insecurity.
Why hide? We are afraid to be broken and we desire to save face in the presence of those threats.
Last fall I read Uninvited (Lysa Turkeurst), Unashamed (Christine Caine) and Without Rival (Lisa Bevere). The major themes were rejection, shame and God’s unique love for us as individuals. Uninvited led to a revelation of my deep needs to feel noticed and safe.
At our human core we are self-protectors and hiders. Adam and Eve tried to protect themselves from the sight of their nakedness and sin. They hid in the Garden from God unsuccessfully.
We have yet to perfect this hiding game. God beckons us out of our hiding places.
In December, I wrote in my journal:
Whats so hard with telling someone how you really feel? Why is rejection so terrifying? Why does rejection hurt so badly? So deeply? Whats so hard about showing your real feelings? With letting someone see you cry? Whats so hard about telling someone you hurt my feelings? Why are all of those things so scary? Why am I so afraid of those? Whats so hard about being vulnerable? I don’t know how to not hide. I don’t know how to come out of hiding.
The next day, God spoke to me about saving face. He said,
You want to save face, I AM your face.
I said Whhaaaa? I’m still trying to really grasp what He meant.
The concept of “saving face” has its roots in Chinese culture [when you search Google]. I know its roots go way back. The Chinese “saving face” is a way to avoid humiliation for yourself or for someone else. Using this definition, I could say I’m trying to save myself from humiliation. A synonym of humiliate is shame or making someone feel ashamed. So here we have arrived at Shame once again. Shame always causes us to hide.
Though we try to avoid shame, humiliation, rejection, incompetency, inability, inadequacy–
God takes those away and makes us delightful, honored, accepted, competent, able, adequate.
I am your dwelling place Deuteronomy 33:27
One night in January, I couldnt get to sleep. I got out of bed and ate a bowl of cereal. Looking around my living room I read a sign I have up that says,
The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still. Exodus 14:14
I began seeing it in a very new way. Often times, we focus on the “be still” portion of this scripture. Telling ourselves to chill out- Gods got this. This time I saw the “The Lord will fight for you” even larger and bolder than ever before. The Lord…will FIGHT. FIGHT for ME. Little ‘ol me. I began to pray,
Father God, please fight for me. I release me. I release me from the duty to fight for myself. I invite you, the Holy Spirit to fight for me.
Tears fell. Tears I didn’t know were ready to be released. God has been speaking to me for years about these issues. My way of having my emotions controlled. I most often, feel the safest when alone. Though I have close relationships with a small (tiny) group of people, I continue to stay retreated within myself.
“I can allow the Holy Spirit to become my defense mechanism (p. 88, Unashamed).”
Last week, I began to think of the story in Matthew 14 of the disciples on a boat during the night. We are often amazed at the story. Just before dawn, the disciples saw someone on the water. They thought it was a ghost! Jesus told them “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Peter told Jesus, if it really is you “tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus does tell him to come out onto the water. Peter gets out of the boat but upon looking down at the water gets a little freaked and Jesus steps in and keeps him above the water.
Lets back up though. Matthew 14:28 tells us that Peter told Jesus to tell him to come out onto the water.
!!!WHAT??? I would never have said that. First, because I do have a fear of deep water, drowning and very large sea creatures swallowing me. I would have been one of the disciples that was not talking, trying to camouflage with the boat. I would have hoped that Jesus was a ghost so I didn’t have to get out of that boat! Peter didn’t hide. He didn’t retreat in fear. Jesus beckoned him out of the boat. Out of safety – because He was the Safety. He was the boat, the safety net, the refuge.
He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Psalm 91:2
I recently listened to a short webcast from a woman named, Jennifer LeClaire. She prophesied, “Emerge from your Cave.”
The notes I took were yet another addition to this entire message from God to me.
-look upon God’s face
-dont look at their face – look upon Mine
-emerge from the cave, cave dwellers
I’m coming out the caves. I’m revealing my hiding spots so that I can’t go back to them. In the moments to come when I feel like retreating, defending myself against the threats of hurt, rejection, shame and insecurity I will rely on the Lord. It will be a case by case basis because I don’t know what exactly I’m in for. I will show up though. I wont play it safe from inside the caverns. I’m aware the only way to achieve this is to take myself out of the equation and yield it to the Holy Spirit. Less of me, more of HIM.
(Unashamed- Christine Caine)
“Always keep in mind you are accepted by God.” – John Eckhardt
Uninvited by Lysa Turkeurst
Unashamed by Christine Caine
Without Rival by Lisa Bevere