The very first game ever played, it seems, was hide and seek. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden they ate off the one tree that God had specifically said not to eat from. God came walking through the garden looking for them, calling out to them, and where were they? Hiding. Hoping in their desperation and fear that somehow their omnipresent Father would miss them. They knew that they had disobeyed and done wrong, so what was their first inclination? Was it to look for God and tell him what they had done? No. It was to hide.
Growing up, I learned all about hiding. I figure we all have hidden things, or from things. Maybe hiding a broken toy, halloween candy that you don’t want anyone else to eat, or vitamins behind your dresser (really, who in the world would do that?). I did that and much more. I hid my vitamins, I hid peas in my napkin, I hid cookies under my bed, I hid a ripped book in pre kindergarten. I hid from my mom when I didn’t want to go to school. Then I hid behind the story of a stomach ache.
I hid wrappers from food that I ate. I hid notes from teachers, and progress reports. I hid bills. I hid many many things from many many people. I thought I was good at it. And maybe for a time I was. But, eventually, things that are “hidden” more likely then not are found. God found Adam and Eve. My parents found the vitamins, and creditors found the bills, unpaid. 😛
I feel like I have grown so much, and have stepped into the light with my hands thrown to my sides saying “here I am!!” “find me”. But am I really letting the light hit all my dark places? Am I hiding still? The answer I believe, is yes.
Perhaps not in the same ways- money and bills are not in hiding anymore, thanks to a patient, loving husband and an amazing God. Vitamins, well, I take them each morning now without any behind my dresser. 🙂 And thankfully no report cards anymore.
I am still struggling. I am still dealing with the food issue. This has been since I was a little girl. I was a chubby little thing. I can remember being about 7 or so, and one of my dad’s students (he was a coach) looked at me on the field and said “are you Coach Bradbury’s daughter?” I said “yes”. And he smirked. “you are FAT. I didn’t know coaches kids were fat”. I ran. I hid under the play structure and cried.
I always felt chubby. When I was in 4th grade, I went over to a friends house to play. We were in her kitchen and her mom looked at me and said “have you lost weight?” And I just shrugged (I really don’t think I had) and said “I don’t know” and She smiled and said I looked good. I vowed right then and there to always wear that blue uniform.
I would go on countless diets. And fail. And I would be offered a dollar a pound. Yes, a dollar a pound to lose weight. I went on long bike rides. Those bike rides were to a local market where I would buy a bunch of donuts and eat them on the way home. And stash the wrappers. I would eat all sorts of things, and then make sure the evidence was hidden.
As an adult, it goes in waves. There are times when the ability to eat in moderation is easy. Healthy food and exercise become second nature. And then, in times of stress, I go back to my childhood pattern of eating and hiding. I am trying to fool myself into thinking that I am not doing it that much. And then, I find myself going for one more serving, one more cookie. And hiding it. And I am tired.
I want to be the one counting. I want to be seeking. I want to run out into the warming light of my Father with my arms open wide singing “here I am!!!” “find me find me!!” But, what is it that is holding me back? Of this I am unsure. My fear? My selfishness of wanting what I want when I want it? My worldly attitude? All of those things combined = a very hidden person.
Hiding can be helpful. Hiding from the world sometimes is an ok thing. But when it becomes not only hiding from things that may hinder your relationships with your family and God, but you are hiding from your family and God….that’s when it becomes and issue.
Hiding also can have huge benefits. Hiding God’s Word in your heart so that in times when you are struggling, the comfort and correction are already there is crucial.
But, hiding under the covers to avoid your day, or hiding the donut box in the trash around the corner…. not.
So friends. “Here I am” “find me find me find me”!!! I am a flawed person, who has been in hiding lately, but no more. It will be a struggle. It won’t be fun. But I don’t want a pile of vitamins on my mind. I don’t want a candy wrapper to be keeping me in the shadows. I am ready to be dancing in the warm light, flaws and all with my arms flung wide open. No more hiding.
I am the seeker now.