I do that sometimes. Hide through the grocery store. Not because I don’t love people and love to talk. Because I do! But sometimes I’m in a hurry, or come in my grubby clothes (I’ve gone without combing my hair before and later thought, “What was I thinking?”), or sometimes I just don’t feel like talking to anyone (no offense).
But this particular day, I was at the pool in Florida. She was there with her boys. I noticed her because of her boys. She had all boys as I do. I always feel an instant connection to moms of boys. Her boys were respectful and well-behaved. That’s what I noticed as they played. I wanted to share that with her, but she wouldn’t look at me or anyone else. Her large brimmed hat nearly covered her entire face and her body was covered with swim clothing (the kind women wear when they don’t want to be seen by anyone). She barely had any skin revealed, and she was at the pool. If you are a woman, you can probably relate.
“Hiding” can be a tactic of the enemy. Lies and secrets are, too. Not that we need to be loud, noticed, and take attention. That’s not it. Being hidden by Jesus is sweet, but there’s no freedom in hiding in shame. But Body Image hiding, if you will, is covered in shame.
I don’t know if this is her story or not. But I have worked with enough women to know it’s likely. It appeared she was unhappy with her physical body. But what she doesn’t know is that I still noticed her, and I also noticed something inside of me. I noticed I was hiding, too. My face had broken out that week and shame knocked me off my feet. I actually felt bad for Chad because he had to look at me this way. Oh, how the enemy hates truth and tries to fill us with lies.
As much as I wanted to hide, I couldn’t. I had too much to do that day. I was there to enjoy my family and to be present. Hmmm… Being present is the opposite of hiding. Life still went on whether I “felt like it” or not. So I went on, too. And I’m so glad that I did because I noticed another woman, like me, hiding from everyone around her. I thought to myself, “I should tell her I noticed her, and that I appreciated how well her boys behaved. I wanted her to know that she mattered even if she was ashamed and wanted to hide. I wanted her to know that hiding is generally shame-based and that I understand. I could relate. I wanted to tell her that I was done with shame and feeling bad about myself and that she could be, too.
Life is worth living even on those days we see lies first instead of beauty. Keep digging on those days. Your life is worth living.
Living present… That’s where I want to be. Feel free to join me!
This picture is of me doing the best I could to hide behind a microphone due to the breakout I had.
Hiding is for the birds. 🙂
I’m using an All-Natural Lavender Cleansing Bar. It’s gentle and clears up my skin (and… I kept using my $7 toner from CVS). This bar of soap has been keeping me from “hiding.” You can get one here (plus receive $10 off for a new order)