As a little girl, I would have this reoccurring nightmare of hundreds of black snakes crawling up the sides of my bed to get me. Needless to say, it terrified me. I would run into my parents room and wake my mom. She would have me climb into bed with her. My parents had “Ozzie and Harriet” beds, AKA twin beds, so it was a small space for mom and I to share. Inevitably, I would end up squished in the crack between the wall and the bed, but I felt safe and could return to sleep.
Another place I would head to for safety as a child was the closet. The closet was different. I felt safe as if no one could hurt me, but I was still filled with fear. I was alone and hiding. There was no human connection. There was no connection to God. There was no one to bring comfort and security to a small afraid little girl. I was trying to protect myself by keeping others away from me. I was literally shutting them out. No one knew I was there. I was undercover and in darkness.
This was a logical way for a young girl to handle fear and uncertainty. However, many of us go through our daily lives undercover. We wear masks and personas to keep others from seeing who we really are inside. We feel safer shutting people out, or keeping them at a distance. We fear letting them see the real us will bring us pain and shame. We don’t feel that we can be loved for who we truly are, loved unconditionally. Our inner life becomes a dark and lonely place. We never learn a new way from our childhood understanding. We become stuck. We don’t like how it feels, but we don’t know how to move forward.
Thankfully, scripture tells us a different story. A story where coming out from undercover brings freedom, grace and unconditional love. It shows us a way to move forward out of fear to redemption.
And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 ESV).
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 ESV).
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:11 ESV).
God proclaims that He will take us on a new path and will not leave us. We are chosen and royal. It takes courage and vulnerability to walk in the light. Letting others see who we truly are is scary, but God says that within that there is freedom. There is freedom in our hearts. Coming out from undercover has lifted a burden in my soul. Trusting God was hard, but He never fails us. Letting my truest self be known has deepened relationships and opened the door for others to be real. We all have warts and shortcomings in our personalities. We are all a work in progress. It’s time to embrace that within ourselves and with others.
Are you still in hiding? Are you ready to come out from undercover and share grace with yourself and others? Trust God. Lean on God. It’s a marvelous journey.
How has God brought you out of darkness? How has He changed your life? Share your story to breathe life and bring hope to others.