Hidden Territories…

Many of us are hiding, and the weight of guilt, the weight of shame, the weight of feeling unable to share ourselves as we are is great… We spend much time putting on a facade that things are better than they are, but we aren’t the only one dealing with not so beautiful things. Because of the gospel, we don’t have to hide. Seek godly counsel. God is not limited in His abilities to reveal the truth. Be free…

This spoke to me on so many levels. The past two months have been rough. Does anyone else know that it’s been rough for me? No… I’m too busy pretending to be happy because it makes others feel better. Unfortunately, in the past few weeks I’ve realized that I do more to put others at ease, and to make them happy than I put into myself to achieve that peace of mind and happiness. I’m sure I could probably use a few mental health days from work and some time away from others if only for a moment, just to focus on me. 

I have a few decisions to make and they will bring about great change for me, but instead of making them I’ve thought of every reason NOT to make them. In almost every aspect of it, the reasons were more so about other people than they were about me. Walking around with this “I’m fine and everything is good” attitude when on the inside, I’m dealing with what feels like the weight of the world. You can’t tell people that you’re unhappy; they like to think that you’re just not thankful for the things in your life. Truth is I’m grateful to have a job but I don’t like being here. I can smile all day and be nice to clients but knowing that I don’t want to be here and the only reason I have for staying it that my family will look at me like I’m crazy makes coming in seem like a chore that I loathe. 

I’ve spent a great deal of time hiding and always being the shoulder others can lean on. Granted, I have a few people I talk to and even with them I am fairly guarded and hold back certain things. My last year of college, I was homeless. A few people knew, but for the most part, not too many people knew. I never shared that I was living in my car on most days or spending my time in the 24 hour computer lab and leaving around 6am or so just to go to the Health Education complex to workout and shower. I was doing so well with hiding that most days people didn’t even know that I had not eaten. I got good at hiding, and it seemed that no matter what, people always thought I had it together when in actuality I was falling apart. I was so good at hiding that in a time where I could have been using my story to help someone else out, I was holding it in. 

Almost a year ago, I went to visit my school and had a meeting with the Dean of Students. To my surprise, after seeing me battle homelessness and not having food and such, they implemented a pantry for students who may not have access to food as well as a fund that professors put money in, so that students in a situation that was similar to mine could tap into and have certain resources. I hid from most people, but she knew my situation and she figured out a way that other students wouldn’t have to go through similar circumstances because if I was hiding, I’m sure that there a few more hiding right along with me. 

There are few decisions that I made mentally that I need to make a reality. I am also at a growing point where I allow people in and want to increase my level of transparency breaking down the facade of having it all together and understanding that it isn’t just me going through things. It isn’t just me battling hard times and even when I don’t want to because I think it shows “strength” it’s okay to cry. In turn, I’m going to stop playing hide and seek with what has to be dealt with because running from it won’t change it; hiding from it won’t fix it. Simply going to continue giving it to God while also seeking counsel from those around me who I know have my best interest at heart and can pray with me, and give me Godly advice (not just things I want to hear but what I need to hear).

These hidden territories need to be open. I have to leave my comfort zone and be free.  #messyfaith #findingourstoryinesther


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