"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, 'Where are you?' He answered, 'I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.'"
This is going to sound really lame, but it's true - I've been hiding from my blog. Not for lack of something to say. On the contrary, for having too much on my mind, uncertain where to begin. When I started this journal-of-sorts last July, the intention was not so much for others to read as it was for me to process my own thoughts and feelings. And yet less than a year later, I found myself cowering from the light of my computer screen, hiding from the very core of who I am.
Being naked, in both the literal and figurative senses, is a scary thing. The word naked is defined as "having no covering; being without concealment, disguise or embellishment." An alternate definition cuts even deeper to our fears, "being exposed to harm; vulnerable." Sometimes we are so afraid to be naked that we hide under layers of covering as a preventative measure. If no one can touch you, then no one can hurt you. The only problem is that no one can love you, either.
The past few months have been a period of personal struggle and simultaneous growth. I've faced fears that I've hidden from for most of my life. I've battled wedges in my closest relationships. And I've gone toe to toe with the person who is most often my biggest critic and toughest challenge - myself. One of the most valuable lessons I've learned as a result is that I am a person in progress, I have by no means "made it." And that's okay.
I've spent too many years of my life covering up, concealing. I was afaid of the vulnerability that comes with admitting I am flawed. I don't always have the answers. I do make mistakes, I stumble, I get scared. I was foolish enough to believe that I'm the one who makes the rules, and that I had to follow them. And when it looked like things were not going according to MY plan, I found it so easy to wallow in self-pity and resentment.
The beauty of God's light is that it can find us in the darkest of dark places and gently lead us forth into warmth. That's where He found me, knowing I was disconnected, but afraid to make a move for fear of drifting even farther. Even when I was feeling bad, there was a twisted sense of comfort because it was familiar. I was hiding, but He found me. He carried me out into the light and removed the binding layers. He exposed my nakedness, not to embarrass or condemn me, but to liberate my soul. And once I felt His rays, I knew I was safe. I examined all of myself, the good and the bad, and found the me I'd been missing.
So here I am. I am a work in progress, and I'm not ashamed. I've rediscovered the people I love and experience them in a new way. Like a kid looking forward to a Disneyland trip or summer vacation, I have an excitement again. Oh, there are still weak moments, and there always will be. But they are no longer looming over me, overbearing, stifling. They are a part of the whole of me.
Here I am. Connected. Alive.
Thanks for listening.