Jenny Rain is passionate about missions in Africa, deep relationships with God and others, and a myriad of other fun things. She and her new husband live in Northern Virginia. You can find her on her blog, Jenny Rain: Rainmakers and Stormchasers, or follow her on twitter @JennyRain. When I first read the post you are about to read, I was immediately struck with the similarities: Wow. She hides just like me. Perhaps you will see yourself here as well.

I am a professional hider. Whether it is skating through a crowd to find an elevator I do not have to share, or eating lunch in my office to avoid the lunch crowd, I know how to hide. I hide because of fear.

Fear has been a constant companion in my life, but not a welcome one. It has been an uninvited straggler in my attempts to prove myself in the world. The weight of fear has lumbered awkwardly like an extra appendage and tethered my should-be-soaring-leaps to the flattened landscape. Like a genetic anomaly, fear has woven its code into the DNA helix of my life. I hide because of shame.

When I was younger shame tangled around my ankles and wound itself like a creeping vine around my abilities. By the time I was six, the roots had embedded themselves in my life and I could barely move. Most of my younger years were spent encased in my toy-room creating make-believe worlds with my Barbies. They had fancy toy cars, lots of friends, and lived in a world inaccessible to my tiny imagination.

I lived my life behind a mask. My masks took many forms . . . self-reliance, people-pleasing, religiosity, intellectualization, corporate success, infatuation with beauty, and relationships. But the masks were all formed as a reaction to the same two villains named: Fear and Shame.

Hiding was so natural for me. It was no longer what I did, but who I was. Like Adam and Eve, the fig leaf was no longer an unusual decoration in the land of freedom, it had become my permanent wardrobe. Yet even in my hiding, God saw me and loved me into being.

He knew my heart rhythm. When I placed my hands over my ears to drown out the fluttering palpitations of my
heartbeat, God heard a melody. When I plugged my ears to the screams of my silenced heart, God tuned into my aria. He was never afraid. He was never ashamed of me.

And it was in His knowing that I reached up my tiny fingertips and clung to His Vine of hope. I dug my toes into the sides
of the muddy hole I was stuck in for leverage, leaned my entire weight on the Vine, and allowed the Vine to heave me
out of the pit into freedom. There are days that I still hide, but now I realize it is a choice, its not who I am.

I am thankful for this reminder this morning – that the hiding is sometimes a way I cope, but it is not who I am. To learn more about Jenny, visit her blog and say hello.