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31 Days in My [Insert Label Here] Skin:
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There was a big chunk of years wherein I felt like I had been put “on hold.” Or like I had been placed somewhere where no one could see me. I don’t think I felt forgotten or anything… but I definitely didn’t feel like I was doing anything particularly “noteworthy” for awhile there. I was being faithful to what I felt God calling me to do and be, but I felt… hidden.
I had dreams and desires and even certain giftings and talents— but I didn’t feel like I had the time or space or energy or permission to do anything about it all. I was raising two young kids at the time and felt like that was pretty much all I could handle. Feeding them, helping them with their schoolwork, providing them opportunities to be physically active, and trying to help them find their niche in the world, navigate the social arena of life, and learn how to help me out by cleaning the house properly took all my time and energy. Plus, I was simultaneously doing my best to be kind to them and help encourage and cultivate in them a realization of how good God is and how much He loves them. With all of that going on— plus trying to navigate marriage and all the drama and conflict and frustration that comes out of that– I just didn’t have anything left to give anyone or anything else.
And there were times when I felt guilty because of it.
If I’m honest, there were many times when I wanted to be doing something more “important” than “just” keeping my kids alive and helping them know how loved they were. It felt so measly and pitiful to only serve and give to the people who lived under my roof. I felt I ought to do something “more beneficial to the world.” Sure, I had a couple of good friends that I spent time with and made sure to encourage and bless them and their families. And my husband and I gave financially it to a few different organizations that were doing work that we felt was important. And, as I felt able to and led, I would look beyond myself and help others here and there in whatever ways I felt capable— a meal or a note of encouragement here, a handmade blanket or a gift there.
But mostly I felt alone in my little “tucked away” corner of the globe. Most of my prayers were asking God for help in my present moments and for guidance in how to navigate whatever crisis or challenge I or my husband or my kids were facing at the time.
It all felt so small, so insignificant, so… unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
AND YET my intimacy with God grew incredibly during that season. My humility and the realization of how very desperately I needed God became undeniably apparent during that season. There was no doubt that I was a broken, needy daughter of God – and there was also no doubt that He loved me anyway. Time and time again, especially in those moments wherein I felt such a strong urge to prove myself to the world around me and try to explain and justify to “them” (whoever “them” is) why I was the way I was, or why I lived the way I lived, I heard the Lord gently ask me the question “Would you like to know what I think of you?” And whenever I did turn my attention to Him, I kept hearing Him tell me that He was pleased; that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to do; that it didn’t matter what anyone else was doing or what anyone else was thinking about what I was doing. He loved me.
He saw my imperfections, He saw what a mess I was, He saw how “out of sight” and small my life was… and He TREASURED me anyway.
I may have felt hidden and unseen (and maybe even unimportant) by the rest of the world— but GOD SAW ME. He was with me through it all, He grew me in that secluded space, and He showered His love and affection all over me despite it all.
Thank You, Lord.
I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. ~Isaiah 45:3
“Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. ~Jeremiah 23:24
You taught me wisdom in that secret place. ~Psalm 51:6
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. ~Psalm 139:15
Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. ~Matthew 6:4
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What about you?
Have you ever felt forgotten or sidelined? How has God met and loved on you when you were in moments of silence, moments of feeling small or insignificant or hidden?
Please share your journey in the comment section below.