Do you ever feel hidden and tucked away?
My first experience of this is when I had two small children. I had stopped doing full-time ministry, lived far away from family and friends, and was trying to figure out my identity. I have never forgotten a Bible Study I attended at that time where the teaching leader spoke from the book of Matthew and reminded us that we didn’t know much about Jesus before the age of 30. He had been “hidden” away, growing in stature and wisdom. She encouraged us who felt like we were unseen by reminding us that God was with us, growing us, and building our character. These years were not wasted.
We all go through these seasons throughout our lives where we feel hidden, usually many times over the course of a lifetime. As a mother-of-many whose schedule is fuller than it has ever been, I recently began struggling with these same feelings again. Am I noticed? Am I known? I know that my work matters and that the investment that I am making at home is good + worthy, but do I matter?
I have been sitting with these questions. And when we sit in vulnerability and allow ourselves some self-compassion and not shame ourselves for these questions, God begins to quietly answer. He cares about our hearts, our insecurities, our fears, and is always, always patient. He loves to shower us with identity and specifically sent us the Holy Spirit to remind us over and again of whose we are and who we are.
I turned on a worship playlist last Wednesday, my parched soul crying out for connection with Christ. This was a Spotify playlist that they curated for me based on the music that I had listened to in the past. The first song that came up was “You Know Me” by Steffany Gretzinger. One of the lyrics is “you know every detail of my life, you are God and you don’t miss a thing” and then at the end she sings the precious three-word phrase: you memorize me.
I also began reading the book Unseen by Sara Hagerty and am still in the middle of it. She and I have walked similar journeys in that we both received identity from being in full-time ministry but then received children (we both have 6!) and life became quiet and hidden which makes us question our worth, our belovedness, our meaning. She reminded me of Psalm 139 where we were not hidden from God when we were formed in the secret places. He made us to be seen, to be known. This is a legitimate need, not a selfish or narcissistic one. And the good news is that He sees us and He knows us. We are never ever hidden from Him even though we may feel hidden and tucked away from the world, from notoriety, from accolades.
If you are struggling right now like I have been in feeling unnoticed and unseen, you can know that Jesus has prepared a table for you. In Luke 14:17 He says, “Come, for everything is now ready.” We have a daily open invitation to come sit with Him, to be known, fed, loved. He offers us eye-contact, warmth, empathy, and connection. He offers us Himself and wants all of you.
No amount of time with friends, likes on social media, date nights, or parties will fill the deeper places that long to be seen and known. The One Who formed us, knitted us, knows those places, loves us tenderly, and invites us to healing, intimacy, and unconditional acceptance. Jesus has memorized you. This is Tuesday Good News!