Where Are You Hiding?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

M_Claire2

The memory is clear: six years ago, I was sitting behind the wheel of my car at an intersection close to my home, waiting for the light to turn green. I was singing along to a song on the radio:

“… when you feel like you’re done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you’re not lost.”

Lost, by Michael Bublé, has become one of my all time favourite tunes, because the lyrics are so close to my heart.

I know that lost girl well—the younger version of myself that I’m still trying to break down. She’s the one sitting in the corner of the classroom hoping the teacher doesn’t see her. She’s desperate for a part in the school musical, but too afraid to put herself forward. She’s the one blushing and stammering when her boss simply asks her a question.

Waiting at that intersection I felt her presence again, knocking on the door of my soul, whispering, Look at me—I’m here.

I wanted so badly to ignore her, to tell her, I’m over you. But there she was again, making her presence known through my fears, inadequacies and timidities.

That’s me, I whispered, as Bublé’s smooth voice drowned out my own.

I’m lost.

I think God may have been taking notice, because not long after that I became a Christian.

Sitting in church week after week I thought I had given my eight-year-old self the slip. I was learning, growing, showing up. I could almost feel myself crawling out from a dark corner and stepping into visibility. I began to connect to the people around me, to offer my thoughts and opinions. I was starting to find my voice and step out onto the stage I had always shied away from.

So when I looked in the mirror one day and felt like I was staring down my inner child, I was exasperated. I didn’t want to pander to her needs or give her room to talk. She was the one who was lost, not the new Christian me. Surely not the new me.

I have to admit I was kind of ashamed of that girl. Just when I thought I had it all together she showed up like a pesky shadow, stealing my light and shrouding me in darkness. She came in the form of self-comparison, self-doubt and depression. She rocked my faith and she took me right back to that intersection with Michael Bublé. Lost. Lost. Lost. And I was afraid. Because if God couldn’t save me from her, who could?

Wasn’t God supposed to scoop me up into His arms and set me free from the past? Isn’t that what relationship with Him is all about?

Sometimes I want to go back to that time at the intersection and stay there. It was easier somehow. I didn’t have to face the little girl; I could ride along in apparent disconnect, numbing myself to the world. I could watch TV at night and pretend I was doing okay. I could post a certain persona on Facebook that I wanted people to see. I could ignore the constant niggling that told me I really didn’t have it together.

But God?

God sees it all. Hiding any part of myself is impossible. He knows the girl who is afraid to speak and calls her out of darkness. But He doesn’t call her out by bathing her in light—instead he challenges her to turn around and face the dark, to look that lost little girl square in the eye and figure out why she keeps showing up.

There have been times over the last six years when I’ve felt more lost and vulnerable with God in my life than without Him. I have faced my insecurities and hurts of long ago, and felt myself slipping into the shadows all over again. But then I have sensed Him with me, asking, “Where are you hiding?” I remember I’m not that lost little girl anymore; I am a woman who is fully alive, fully seen and with so much to give.

I don’t believe God has any intention of freeing me from the inner child I have continually punished. I think God wants me to embrace her, know her, and accept that she is part of me. He is taking the fragmented pieces of all that I am and stitching them back together, one by one. Many of the pieces are new to me; I’m discovering parts of myself I didn’t know existed. And many pieces I’d rather stuff away and forget. But I believe God is looking to stitch every piece of my life together into one beautiful colourful quilt—the bad turned into good, the good fully realized.

I know the day will come again when I’m lost, afraid and desperate to go into hiding. But when it does, I know who will be looking for me.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Claire De Boer
Hi, I’m Claire and though you may only see my words here once a month I’m part of the wonderful sisterhood of women who edit, upload and brainstorm behind the scenes of SheLoves. I was born and raised in England but pretty much see myself as a fully fledged Canadian. I spend just about all of my spare time blogging, editing and creating stories. I’ve also ventured into the world of teaching and mentor students in using writing as a tool for personal growth. My passion is to help others find the value and beauty in their stories and to find healing or self-awareness via journaling, memoir, or just "soul writing", as I like to call it. To learn more about my journey and the work I'm doing visit The Gift of Writing
Claire De Boer
Claire De Boer

Latest posts by Claire De Boer (see all)

Claire De Boer
  • In her eighties, Madeleine L’Engle said, “I am all the ages I have ever been.”
    Like you, there are ages I would like to leave behind and forget about — for me it’s entire decades! Thanks be to God, His grace folds in all the rough edges, weaves a new thing from the rags of my former days. Blessings on your “beautiful, colorful quilt!”

    • cjdeboer

      Oh thank you Michele! I love pretty much everything Madeleine L’Engle says 🙂

  • Donna-Jean Brown

    Maybe it’s good to keep that inner child alive because she’s the one who recognizes all the other little girls and boys hiding in adult bodies behind Facebook personas.
    Thankyou for your honest writing, Claire. What good is our witness to Christ’s saving if we don’t tell it like it is?

    • Amen to that, DJ.

    • cjdeboer

      Hi Donna-Jean – I love telling it how it is! I’ve learned it’s the only way to be… And you’re right, keeping that little girl around is probably a good thing. Xo

  • Sandy Hay

    Allowing God to stitch all those pieces of you together can only be beautiful Claire. It’s the allowing Him to do it that’s so hard 🙂

    • cjdeboer

      Isn’t it Sandy? Always so hard — it becomes easier the closer we are to Him though, I hope!

  • This part of you that says you don’t think God wants you to punish the little girl in you any more? Instead: “I think God wants me to embrace her, know her, and accept that she is part of me.” Yes!

    • cjdeboer

      Exactly! It took me a while to realize that… Xo

  • pastordt

    Yes, yes, YES. This is the truth of it. We are invited to embrace all the sad little girls inside ourselves, no matter their age, and to let them know they’re safe, folded into the love of God and friends to us. As hard as it is to admit that sometimes, that little one inside is an important and necessary part of who we are, a part that needs the healing power of God’s love and light. Thanks for this beautiful piece, Claire.

    • cjdeboer

      Thanks so much Diana – yes I’m slowly learning all of these things 🙂

  • Emily B

    “There have been times over the last six years when I’ve felt more lost and vulnerable with God in my life than without Him. I have faced my insecurities and hurts of long ago, and felt myself slipping into the shadows all over again. But then I have sensed Him with me, asking, “Where are you hiding?” I remember I’m not that lost little girl anymore; I am a woman who is fully alive, fully seen and with so much to give”
    Thank you so much for your beautiful writing – it has touched my heart today. You can have no idea how important your message was, felt like it was written just for me… I have been on a rollercoaster of an adventure over the past two years, facing those ‘insecurities and hurts of long ago’, holding hands with the little girl inside me who is trying to find her voice, watched over by my God who sees me and longs for me to be ‘fully alive’… I do have so much to give.

    • cjdeboer

      Oh Emily – I’m so glad my words were able to touch you in this way. What a blessing you are. xo

  • Jacoba Jane

    “But He doesn’t call her out by bathing her in light—instead he challenges her to turn around and face the dark, to look that lost little girl square in the eye and figure out why she keeps showing up.” These words struck a chord in me. For years I have been plagued with anxiety that strikes when I am driving, or when I am at home cooking, or when I am simply gazing out my living room window. There is no rhyme or reason to it. I pray for light, but you are so right. I have been ignoring that pain, refusing to face it, refusing to acknowledge the root of its place in my life. Thank you so much for shedding a new perspective on the past for me.

    • cjdeboer

      Thank you Jacoba – I pray you are able to find peace from the anxiety, a greater understanding of its presence in your life, and an awareness of where it came from. xo

    • Donna-Jean Brown

      Horrible feeling. May you soon find whatever you need to be free.

  • Knowing that there is no hiding from God…the scary and the safe. The tension I live with until I can believe God is always safe. Thanks, Claire, for your healing and honest words.

    • cjdeboer

      Thanks for reading Debby!

  • Awesome post, I’ve learned that we have to go back and get our younger selves and bring them with us today. I stopped being depressed and insecure about so many things once I brought my younger self with me today. This has brought me deliverance in so many different way. I admire your realness in blogging, its refreshing and I wish you the best.

    • cjdeboer

      Thanks so much Marshae! I think you’re right—we need to bring our younger selves along for the journey.

  • Pingback: The scary and the safe | Living In Grace{land}()