When I hide and fail to self-disclose what is true about me I have migrated from the breeding grounds of stress to a far more dangerous place. It’s a place of isolation, lies, and fear. It is a place where I descend into the exhaustion that pretending inevitably produces. I am unknown in the midst of friendly people.
I thought hiding would keep me safe. It didn’t. It lead me to unceasing anxiety, burnout and depression.
Why? Here are four truths I personally discovered.
- What I hide always remains unresolved. My hiding never solved anything. In my hiding I intentionally distanced myself from those who could bring healing truth to me.
- What I hide grows bigger. What I bury I bury alive. And in that buried darkness it grows. Failing to tell God and others the truth about me is sin and sin is not passive. It grows. It leads to more sin. This is why hidden addictions can’t be controlled.
- What I hide becomes more controlling. It has had a longer lifespan. It is more defining of me. Now it requires more vigilance and energy to keep it hidden…and that need controls me. All the time.
- What I hide increases my shame. What I hide may be hidden from you, but I see it. I know it is there. And it is unresolved, increasingly defining me, and requiring more of my attention. Finally, I feel like I have become what I am hiding.
So what do I do to break the downward spiral of hiding? Two very important things.
- Come into the open with God. I Him the truth about me. He longs for me to trust Him enough to do this. And as we do this, we make a life-changing discovery, He still loves us – just as we are, not as we should be (Brennan Manning).
- Come into the open with a friend...but a very special kind of friend. Come into the open with someone who when I tell them the worst there is to know about me, they will love me more, not less. A friend who will come closer and hold us tighter – and in that tight grip will walk with us into the light of God’s healing truth.
As followers of Jesus, lets walk in the light, not because we should, but because we now can.
Are there ACTIONS you need to take? With God and with a trusted friend? You will be surprised at the freedom you discover in the light. It is a freedom Jesus died for you to experience.