There are things in life that we hide from, we run and I mean flat out sprint in the opposite direction from. There are moments when fight or flight kicks in and you just run in the opposite direction. But the thing about running is that no matter how fast you run, how far you get or how good you are at hiding whatever you are hiding from will always catch up to you. There are days when you think you can outrun what is chasing you, but no matter what happens there will always be a something in your path that causes you to stumble and that one stumble is enough to get caught. You can be cautious and careful, you can hide all traces that you were ever there but no one ever truly goes unnoticed and that is the trouble with hiding. You can be the best chameleon and blend in almost completely with everything going on around you, but it only takes one person in one moment to spot you and then you are faced with the same choice fight or flight? Do you fight what are you are hiding from or do you try and run? All it takes is one person who sees you for who you are and sees you where you are and it makes it nearly impossible for you to hide. I have gotten pretty good at hiding, I have it down to an art really. I can hide in a crowded room just as well as I can hide in a one-on-one conversation. The hiding that I am talking about is not going unnoticed when people look around a room but it is hiding the deepest parts of yourself from others. It is hiding who you are and becoming that person that you are expected to be. I have been to enough fancy, formal and stuffy events that I can blend in easily there and I have been to enough college parties that I can hide there too. I have been everywhere in between and I know what I am supposed to say and do. I can tell you exactly how every conversation is going to happen and exactly what is going to happen, heck I can even tell you when there will be polite laughter or a shocked gasp at a story. Like I said I have perfected the art of hiding in plain sight. Maybe it’s that I grew up in a big family and I could watch people and not always be the center of attention. Maybe it’s that for the most part I am rather unremarkable and have always been surrounded by remarkable people who shine in the spotlight. I like the shadows, I like to watch how people interact and watching has shown me exactly what I am supposed to do. I know when to put a polite laugh in a boring sentence and when to flip my hair when talking to a boy, I know all of this but there are so many people in my life who don’t realize that I am hiding. There are people in my life who saw me hiding and called bullshit on me. Those are the people who know the real me and have seen for me who I am and where I am. People and friends like that are few and far between, especially when you have been successfully hiding for nearly 20 years. I have about two decades worth of experience and believe me when I say if I don’t want you to find me you won’t. You will either never know me to begin with or I’ll give a piece of information I don’t care about but make you think that is precious and then I’ll leave before you realize how worthless that one piece truly is. It has happened a few times where someone has caught me and called me on the worthless piece I gave them and that is when I let them see me and not just the mask that I present to those around me. I let them see me for who I am. Some people have thought that they saw me for who I am, but when they tried to rip off my mask I simply twisted out of their grasp and ran for cover making sure that they would never see me. It has taken me a long time to figure out just how good I am at hiding and how good I am at keeping people at arm’s length. Hiding is something that I am proud of but also something I hate. I hate that when I first meet someone new my first instinct is to hide and only show them what I think they can handle. It is worse when I am hurting, if I am hurting then I will really make people think that they know me and they have access to my heart while I put up more defenses and protect myself more securely than ever before. If life is going well and I am happy I relax my defenses and I will let my mask slip. Jeremiah 23: 23-24 says “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? Declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? Declares the Lord”. I wish that I could say that hiding hasn’t affected my relationship with God but it has. At first, I showed God my mask and did everything that I thought I was supposed to do. It took me a long time, and I’m still learning about it, to realize that God wants to see all of me. He doesn’t want the perfect me that I let others see, he wants me when I am hurting and broken. I don’t need to hide who I am from him because his love for me is unlike another love that I have ever or will ever experience. This is a love that is never ending and will capture me and never let me leave even when I try to run. No matter how many times I have tried to run from God and hide parts of myself from him, he always catches me and lets me know that he wants ALL of me. This is something that blows me away all the time because I am so imperfect and so flawed but no matter how broken I see myself, God sees me as his perfect and wonderful daughter. There is nothing I can do to deserve this love and there is nothing that I can do to lose this love. It is a love that has made me stop hiding. This love is so powerful and effects every part of my life. The love that God has for me is a love that has made me start to drop my mask and let more see who I really am and not who I want them to think I am. It is a love that has made me come out of hiding.
A Regular Girl