I woke up every morning last week thinking, “I have got to write something today.”
It didn’t feel like pressure. It just felt like reality. Like I needed to get my thoughts and feelings down on some kind of paper.
When I feel like that – like I have to write or else I will suffocate – it’s usually because I’m trying to hide.
There was/is a lot going on around me, and I have a lot of thoughts about all of it, but I don’t really have words for my thoughts. Just a swirling echo of memories and hopes.
My little brother got married on Saturday! One of my dearest friends had her first baby. Two friends just moved into my house, and I moved into a new room. I now live with people for the first time in four years.
And I couldn’t be happier about any of it. But change takes a little more than a minute for me to process, and it’s made me go pretty quiet.
I can’t really explain myself.
And when I can’t explain myself, I’ve usually just hidden myself away.
But, like I mentioned, now I have roommates. It’s significantly harder to hide when there are two other humans in the same house.
They know when you get home late. They know when you get up, get coffee, and climb back into bed. They know when you have a headache. They know when your mom calls. They know when you ignore the text message. They are liable to notice when you’ve been crying and are very likely to notice when you get quiet.
We were putting things away in the refrigerator last week, and I was frustrated about something. “I’m not in a bad mood about the fridge,” I offered up kind of lamely.
Because I can’t really explain myself.
“Okay,” she said. Unfazed. And she kept putting her stuff away.
And so did I. Silently. Still frustrated. But something in me relaxed. I was less inclined to hide. Because it didn’t seem like I needed to.
I’ve grown accustomed to hiding my less-than-ideal self away in the safety of silence and seclusion. I called it introversion (and sometimes it’s true). Sometimes I do need a few hours to myself. Sometimes we just want to be alone, and I think that’s okay.
But I’m learning something about myself, and maybe it’s true for you too:
Most of the time I wasn’t hiding because I wanted to be alone; I was hiding because I wanted the freedom to be myself.
To be angry or sad or something that I can’t articulate. To be quiet or calm or confused. To be excited or awed or sentimental. To be whatever I am and nothing I’m not.
Except we don’t actually have to hide to be ourselves.
It’s not about roommates – not really, though they are how the Lord is currently teaching me this truth. And they have been gracious to let Him.
The truth is that I hide from God too. I pull the covers up real high and snuggle down a little farther in the dark, and I don’t say a word to Him before I fall asleep.
Because I can’t explain myself.
And I keep thinking that He’s asking me to.
Like He doesn’t know me. Like He didn’t form me. Like He isn’t right there beside me in the dark.
I don’t have to explain myself.
There is safety in a home to be yourself – to be hidden and safe and secure, tucked away from the world.
There is that same security in the presence of our God. There is this place, tucked right into Him, where we are simultaneously perfectly hidden and perfectly known.
And our inclination to hide is really just our desire to be known twisted by the fear that we might not be liked.
But there’s this great big God beside us. The One who wove us together. The One who holds us together.
The One who holds us.
And we can let Him.
May you know the presence of the One who bids you come wordless or rambling, tired or restless, broken or bubbly.
Safely hidden in Him. But not hidden from view.
We can rest here, and I think I will.
Perfectly known. Perfectly loved. Perfectly free.