From Hiding to Love
Yesterday I was in a training class for communication, and one of the women leading us said that she wanted us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I am pretty sure I have spent most of my life running from that place.
After moving to new schools and even a new country and back five times before starting high school, I became an increasingly fearful girl. The people and the rules kept changing and I couldn’t keep up. I remember hiding in a bathroom stall more than once, in more than one elementary school, to avoid the awkward feeling of wandering around a playground at recess with no one to play with. In those stalls, I found comfort. I also found an aching loneliness that embarrassed me to the core.
Hiding became my go-to when I was afraid. On the outside I just seemed like a shy little girl, but underneath was one layer after another of shame. The layers stacked up inside like Jenga blocks ready to fall; I knew that when they did, the crash would be loud enough for everyone to hear.
Things have changed since then. While that same little girl is a part of me, I am not the same little girl. Some fears have been conquered. I have been on adventures I would have never believed I would go on if you had told me when I was that little girl.
But today, more than 30 years later, there are still places that I want to run from. There are still places that I want to talk myself out of, or even worse, try to talk God out of. Like Moses' response when he was at the burning bush and God told him to go, I want to remind God of every shortcoming, every unlikable, unable, unworthy, unskilled, unfit, and utterly weak and wobbly thing about me.
"But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” -Exodus 4:10-12
I am tempted to believe that my list of shortcomings is too big for him to use me. Lies are very loud and convincing when we hide.
The truth is, I have been afraid of my own voice and what will happen if I use it when he asks me to, for a very long time.
As I sat in that room yesterday, listening to my friend and one of my favorite leaders say that she wanted us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, I heard another voice in her words.
I heard The One Voice out there that has been calling me out of hiding from the beginning. He has called me out of my own brokenness and every bathroom stall I have ever hidden in.
No matter how often I tremble or want to run, His voice keeps calling and it is full of love and purpose and kindness. It is his voice that calls me out into the open, not to embarrass me, but to show me how to taste and see that he is love and that his love is more than enough. It is His love, the love of Jesus Christ, that will not give up on me. Or you. It’s His voice of love now, after all this time, convincing me that uncomfortable continues to be one of the sweetest places where He can hold me close and show me that he has given me a voice that was never meant to be hidden.