Coming Out of Hiding

Libations at Kate’s. August, 2010.

There’s Only One of Me

“I don’t post much on Facebook. I teach Sunday School at my church, you know.” The woman at the party shook her head. “I don’t need my pupils’ parents seeing that I’m coming over here for margaritas.” I smiled and nodded. My heart wanted to cry, though.

Because Hiding Hurts. 

I thought of the beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service my husband Rich and I had attended a few nights earlier, filled with singing and candles and rejoicing in the birth of our Savior. After the service, a friend leaned back over her pew to me and said, “You know, when I was at Trader Joe’s the other day, I saw they’re carrying an Irish single malt scotch now.”

Just a few weeks ago, I stopped at the grocery store to grab a bottle of Malbec and a loaf of freshly-baked bread to complement our dinner. Walking to the checkout, I felt a hand on my arm. I wheeled around. There stood my pastor and his seven-year-old daughter. “Wine, hmm?” He offered me a mock scowl, then grinned.


“Enjoy!” He told me, eyes twinkling.

I am not a teetotaler. But I’m not a drunkard, either. I am also not perpetually filled with joy, thankful in all things, gentle in  my speech, nor self-sacrificing. Some days I relish my time immersed in God’s word. Some days it feels like a chore. Sometimes I see a way I could go out of my way to help someone–and I don’t. Most people would describe me as kind, decent, maybe even godly. And in my most shining moments, those descriptions would be accurate.

I don’t shine all the time, though. In short, I’m a sinner. I used to work hard to maintain a mask of bliss, to share only my best self, to conceal my shortcomings, to hide. It exhausted me. And it isolated me. It wore me down until I gave up.

Surrendering that image was the best thing that ever happened to me. Once I could say, out loud, “I’m really sad today,” or “That conversation upset me,” or even, “I don’t want to be helpful right now,” amazing things happened.

People offered me grace. People said, “Me, too.” We’re all broken. We’re all needy. I know it, you know it. So why do we drain ourselves trying to hide the reality of our nature?

Today I’m inviting you to strip off your mask of bliss and show your true self. Start small, if you must. But start. Confession really is good for the soul. It’s good for healing. It’s good for relationships.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
I John 1:6-10 (NASB)