Stop living in the shadow of...should've
It's a beautiful, slow Sunday morning for me. I woke up to the sounds of the birds chirping (literally), I could hear joy-filled children outside and heard a challenging but power message at church. It was a different start to the day - like something had shifted. I decided to go for a nice, lazy walk. Not for distance or speed (I was wearing flip flops haha) - but just to clear my head and enjoy some sunshine and coffee.
As I started walking it was fascinating to see people all around suddenly out in their gardens, walking around, getting coffee with kids exploring all over. It's weird how once seasons begin to shift, we shift with them - not forcefully but naturally. Our behaviour changes. There is nothing like the warmth of the sun. It was like people were coming out of their winter hibernation. Like they were coming out hiding (especially after Uncle Cyril's announcement). And then...I felt like God gently whispered to me to come out of hiding.
Me? Hiding? You know when God says something and you would rather just ignore it? haha - maybe it's just me but I can be like that little girl who hears her Father and yet chooses to pretend she did not (maybe like your kids?). What did God mean by hiding? He nudged me to listen to "out of hiding" - a song by Steffany Gretzinger & Amanda Cook. One of the ways God speaks to me is through music. I love music, I love to sing and worship and I (rather secretly) love to dance. But as I put that song on, I heard it:
"Come out of hiding
You're safe here with Me There's no need to cover What I already see
You've got your reasons But I hold your peace You've been on lock-down And I hold the key"
Hahaha God you are funny - We have been on lockdown hahah I had a good giggle there. But I realised that this lockdown was so much more than anything Covid related. You see shame is one of the biggest things I struggle with. And out of this lockdown season much has been brought to the surface. Like the things I put my trust in other than God, the people I live to gain approval from and the shame that lies deep underneath the surface that I try to hide. My default is to try and hide. Retract. Cover yourself and don't bother anyone else. Just deal with it. I don't know if you can relate to that but that's where I have found myself repeatedly in this season. But someone wise said this to me during the week: "Don't just deal with it, grow through it!".
The truth is I have been hiding. I have felt a sense of shame and my insecurities and doubts have been MAGNIFIED like never before. I have looked at the things I long for through the lenses of the things I lack. I have felt shame for getting older and being no closer to bearing children (yes I used the word bearing haha). I have felt ashamed of being alone and I felt like a failure for not being where I thought I'd be by now. I had this revelation that I live in the shadow of should've's. That.. I should've already had children now - you know my ovaries are almost dusty or I should've already bought my own house. I should've already found someone to spend my life with. I should've already been able to employ more people...I should've been able to do more! I should've, I should've, I should've. But that shadow becomes a home or a blanket where I hide myself. Because I feel like I should have - I am ashamed because have not.
SERIOUSLY - according to who?? That is the thing. It's not according to God or his word. It's society and people that somehow dictates things. Culture too. I realise biologically I am older but don't you think God knows that too? I wonder if I'll ever feel like I have measured up to my should've (s) and if I do was that really what God was leading me to?
The thing with seasons is that they cannot be forced and they cannot be controlled. They cannot be accelerated and they cannot be skipped. It made me think of that analogy where the little boy looks outside and wants the season to change - so he shakes all the leaves off a tree - only to find that the season is still there.
So here's what I am wondering: What tree's are you shaking in your life? What shadows are you living in? Where have you been hiding? I love that the lyrics of that song say: "there's no need to cover what I already see". You see, God sees and He knows, EVEN when it feels like He doesn't. Even when it feels like we are affectively hiding something. When we are hiding - He is right there with us. And the change of season can only come when it's time for it. No microwave there. Nature teaches us of that patient endurance. I wonder if trees look at other trees and think: but I still have some leaves and that tree doesn't - or something like that?
I don't necessarily have answers or deep revelation as of yet - but I wanted to encourage you to come out of hiding. Whatever it may be. Walk into the sun today, maybe even take a physical step out as a prophetic step - and come out of your hiding place. Let God do what He does best. I don't only want to deal with things, I want to grow through them. I want to stop letting shame keep me in the shadows. I want the wild and untamed Kelsey to emerge confidently because my trust is in God and as long as I am obedient to where He points me then I couldn't care where anyone else thinks I should be!
All that to say - God's plans often don't look like ours - but what a beautiful, unlikely, faith-filled adventure it is!