42 In Community/ Faith

Hiding Behind Words

Branch of forget me not flower over natural green background

This week I want to share with you another revelation the Lord has brought to my heart during my season of being quiet. I love when God gives us those “wow” moments. It’s something I should have realized early on in this journey. But His timing is perfect, and He knew that it was to be revealed at this time.

I’ve been hiding behind words.

Words.  They have the power to bring life, or death.  They wrap you up, cause you to ponder, to dream, to sing.  So much power that lies between the finality of a period, the pause of a comma and the bridge of a semi-colon.  Words are something I offer daily to others — to my children, my husband, my friends and my readers.  I’ve always tried to share openly and honestly, taking the truth of His Word and applying it to my own life. But in the giving of words, a little bit of my own reality has been lost in the process.

My husband lost his job in June of 2009, and remained unemployed for the better part of the next three years.  That season was hard, so very hard.  For nearly three years, I had something tangible to write about because of my circumstances. It was easy for me to turn to writing as well as reading the encouraging words of others.  There, hidden behind words, I felt safe.  I felt loved, supported and encouraged.  But I never realized how much I was still hurting.  Yes, we survived unemployment. Yes, we managed to marry off our first-born with a beautiful thrifty wedding.  But there are scars and remnants of pain that I just never really allowed myself to feel.

Until I lost my voice.

When you pour your heart and soul into something, running full steam ahead, to finally hit a wall years later, you realize how fractured your heart really is.

There are deep wounds in my heart that are in desperate need of the Lord’s touch.  I’ve had to face the stark reality that I’ve grown farther from my husband because of that season than closer.  We are working on it, but there is still so much work to be done.  I didn’t know how to help him during that time, so I hid in the writing. I disconnected from my emotions, afraid to feel, to let anyone see the depth of my hurt and pain.

As a child when I use to play hide and seek, it was always comforting to know I would be found.  And if I’m honest, I have wanted to be found in my writing.  But my reality is that I have used words to mask my pain.  I have written some amazing, God-breathed posts that have encouraged others.  And it feels good, this sense of accomplishment and the acknowledgement that what little I have to offer is making a difference.  But I forgot that I too needed encouraging.  As I was busy giving life to others, I forgot to allow Him to breathe life into me.

I don’t want to hide anymore.  I’m not saying that my blog has been a false reality and not a true representation of who I am.  I strive to be as real and vulnerable as possible when I write.  But I’ve thrown myself into Words, forgetting to look at the state of my own heart in the process. I’m at a crossroads in my life.  Perhaps it’s midlife.  Perhaps is post-manopause. Perhaps it’s having children who are almost grown or parents who are aging.  I need to admit that I lack joy, that I suffer from depression, that my marriage needs work, that my kids aren’t perfect, that I am a mess, that I desperately need Jesus, and that I sometimes feel like I can’t breath.

I want to write from a place of healing.  I believe God gives words to bring healing to others.  But I also believe that on the journey toward those words, there is healing for those who write in the process.  I don’t need to hide behind the words to see His hand at work. What you read here is raw, honest, beautiful truth about a woman who doesn’t have this life all figured out, who struggles to stay connected to the Vine, who sometimes wishes for a different life, and who fears losing control.

But my life is not my own.  I am hidden with Christ in God.  God is calling me to come out of hiding and to shake off the remnants of the past.  I cannot change it, but I can allow Him to come and heal what is broken.  When I hide myself in Him, my writing will come from a place of overflow. I’m tired of looking at my own life as lesser than.  I am tired of looking at the lives of others and wishing I somehow played a role in their reality.

[Tweet “Jesus has given me a burden to share my reality with others so that they might be encouraged.”]

What else can I do but write? What else can I do but allow Him to move through me, through the hurt and the pain?  His words bring light and life.  I will allow Him to breathe on me, afresh and anew.  I will come out of my hiding place, accepting my own reality, finding my own story, releasing the past and finding joy in the process.

Have you ever found yourself hiding behind words? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Linking up with the beautiful Beth for Three Word Wednesday, on a Thursday, because that’s how my life goes.

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Lori Harris
    May 15, 2014 at 3:59 am

    So beautifully said.
    Thank you for being brave enough to pull up one more layer of your heart.
    Lori Harris recently posted..In Which I Find the Right

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Oh yes, those dreaded layers that He calls us to peel pack. Painful, but so necessary. Thank you for stopping by Lori! Love to see your smiling face.

  • Reply
    Missy
    May 15, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Barbie, I so deeply appreciate your willingness to be honest. To share of what you are going through so that we can all be encouraged, yes, but rally behind you and pray you on, too! Your writing, whether being used as a shield for your emotions or not, is definitely used by God to touch this sinner’s heart. I pray He gives you more comfort and provides healing to the broken places. You are loved, Friend. So loved!
    Missy recently posted..A Breakfast Script

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Oh Missy, how I’ve missed you. I so appreciate you stopping by and for your prayers. I hope to visit your place again soon.

  • Reply
    Carrie
    May 15, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Oh, friend! Yes, I too have hidden behind words – I loved the ability and freedom to polish and edit to suit my perfectionist personality. The one area of my chaotic life that I could control. Praying and keeping you close to my heart.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Oh yes, but even I am finding that these days I can’t even control that. Thanks for your love and support!

  • Reply
    Jolene Underwood (@Faith_Eyes)
    May 15, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Barbie – this is a truly beautiful post! I know what it’s like to lose your voice, in fact for years. I wanted to write for many years but for many years I simply didn’t do any. Then, when we came back from our season of serving I finally had a chance to write. I had plenty of time to write, but really couldn’t. I tried and did some, but God kept taking me back into the quiet. To just being there with him. This time has been so crucial to my healing. I’m starting to come out of it now but want to be ready to follow His leading to stay quiet when needed as well. If I need to write during those moments, they are private thoughts in journals as I learn and process with God. It is such a precious time to say yes, even in this, the not writing. May your time continue to be blessed immensely as you seek Him in all things! Standing with you sister to say, “Lord, your will. Thank you for your mercies that are new every morning and thank you for leading me to quiet waters. Fill me with your love.”
    Jolene Underwood (@Faith_Eyes) recently posted..Super hero sons

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Jolene, I so appreciate you! Thank you so much for your encouragement.

  • Reply
    Joy Toffel
    May 15, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Your honest words have blessed me immeasurably. I am calling forth my healing, this has been a most difficult time for me. I know that I am in the palm of His hands. Our words are critical. I have never been in this place before but I choose to trust Him and Praise Him for all things.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Joy, I am so thankful that you stopped by today and were encouraged. I will say a prayer for you. I do not know what you are facing, but I know the One who promises to bring you through. May He give you peace and strength as you seek Him.

  • Reply
    Mia
    May 15, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Dear sweet Barbie
    I think we all do this from time to time! Perhaps it is because we sort of yearn for love when we go through a rough time. It is not wrong for we all need our sisters in Jesus to help us carry our burdens. I believe it becomes sort of an escape mechanism when we are not honest with ourselves about why we do what we do! I am so grateful for all your support that I gave received fom you this last year.
    Blessings XX
    Mia
    Mia recently posted..The Lonely Desert

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Mia, thank you. That’s exactly what it is, an escape mechanism, as we hide ourselves behind words and the encouragement of others. I yearn for Him to fill me. I am so thankful to be on this journey with you!

  • Reply
    Beth
    May 15, 2014 at 8:47 am

    “But I also believe that on the journey toward those words, there is healing for those who write in the process.” I so believe this too, Barbie. I’ve found so much healing through writing. It always brings me closer to Him. However, I know I’m guilty of also hiding behind my words. Meaning, for me it can be easier to write them and share in a blog post, when often times how I’m feeling needs to be shared with those sitting right next to me. I wait for them to see me through my blog instead of being willing to open my heart directly to them. Thank you for taking us on this journey with you, friend. I know it’s a difficult time. Your words continue to encourage…encourage us to be real and encourage us to draw nearer to Him. Praying for you. Love you so much.
    Beth recently posted..Three Word Wednesday: Time For Fun

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      So true, my friend. Those who sit next to me in life really don’t even read my blog. Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy for me to hide behind the encouragement of a beautiful community of like-minded sisters. Hugs!

  • Reply
    Wanda
    May 15, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Barbie, I can’t tell you how much your willingness to speak your truth helps me and echos something God has been whispering to me about writing through the darkness. Because I’ve been in a bit of dry place I haven’t writing much but I have had the gentle nudge that it’s important to keep an account of those times as well. Our journeys with Jesus are not just comprises of mountaintop experiences. Btw, I like that you have changed up your blogging space again 🙂
    Wanda recently posted..Topping Off Thankfulness

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      I am so grateful for your love and support Wanda. Thank you for your comments on my new blog design. It’s fun to change it around. Hopefully not too much.

  • Reply
    Ceil
    May 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Barbie! I am coming over from Beth’s. I recently met with her and she told me you were a wonderful blogger, and that I should get to know you.

    Wow, can I relate to you. My husband is closing in on two years of unemployment, and it’s very hard sometimes. Sometimes the seasons of my life look nothing like I thought they would, and this is one of those times. So much stress, right? And we have to find the places of comfort that we can find, the ones that God gives us in his overflowing water jars. Your writing was probably a wonderful God-given safety net.
    I will add you to my prayers. I pray the wisdom you showed in finding the places to work on, spills over to the right solutions. Something tells me you’ll find them.

    A grace to be here today,
    Ceil
    Ceil recently posted..Connor and Me

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Ceil, I LOVE Beth! I found out from your blog that you had the privilege of meeting her. I’m jealous! I will be keeping you in my prayers. I understand your situation. If you ever want to talk, I have a good listening ear. There are several posts on my blog about unemployment. I also belong to a private FB group for women with unemployed husbands, if you are interested.

  • Reply
    Shelly Hendricks (@Renewed_Daily)
    May 15, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    “I lack joy, that I suffer from depression, that my marriage needs work, that my kids aren’t perfect, that I am a mess, that I desperately need Jesus, and that I sometimes feel like I can’t breath.”

    Me, too, Barbie. Me, too. Standing in the gap with you. <3
    Shelly Hendricks (@Renewed_Daily) recently posted..Open Your Eyes

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Praying for you too my friend. This too shall pass!

  • Reply
    Denise
    May 15, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Appreciate your sharing.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you Denise. I appreciate you reading!

  • Reply
    Carla
    May 15, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Barbie,

    I think we all do that. It’s easy to have the concept in our heads, but the actually walking it out is the hard part.

    I’m a word person too. I can speak the truth. The speaking the truth in love is what I’m still working on, because a lot of times I want to skip that part and beat people over the head with it. 🙂

    But I think the knowing that we still need the daily redemption of our Redeemer is the key. When we think that we are past needing a Saviour, that we have it all figured out, that is when we have a big problem.

    One of my favorite verses is Psalm 51:10-12, “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore me to the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you.”

    I like it because it illustrates that even in cleaning up our personal garbage, God has to do it for us, we can’t do it on our own. It’s all him.

    When I first started reading this post and the focus on words, it reminded me of something I learned in my Hebrew class.

    The Hebrew word for “circumcision” and “words” is exactly the same. When it’s written, there is a difference in a vowel point, but when spoken it sounds exactly the same.

    We had been learning a letter a week and this was the first lesson where we really got into grammar.

    My teacher said, “You’ll know which it is by the context.” And I was thinking, “But what if I don’t know the rest of the words?”

    When I thought about it later, it made sense. Circumcision is sign of the covenant between God and the Jewish people, and words are a covenant.
    Carla recently posted..Fighting Discouragement & Why Little Things Matter

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 17, 2014 at 1:05 am

      Such beautiful insight Carla. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    May 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Barbie, I continue to hold you close in prayer. The aftermath of the storm never leaves us untouched. When my son Andrew was killed, my husband and I grieved differently and it made us both withdraw into our own worlds, but we were able to come back from it and you can too! I even went through a time where God was very silent and I felt competley alone. My husband was my pastor, my father-in-law was my child hood pastor and both of them were grieving their only child and only grandson. I was a pastors wife, people were sharing their burdens with me. How could I let them know I was crashing? I had no one and I went on a downward spiral that lasted 3 years. I was in ministry with lots of responsibilities and I felt like a hollow shell going through all the motions to keep everything together, yet dying silently. Through this journey I learned a lot about my self and immersed deeper with God than ever before in my life. My life is for sure not trial free, but God has restored so many things back to me and Tim that I am daily in awe of his love and care. I have said all this to say…God will carry you through, touch your emotional spirit, revive your relationship and take your ALL and become your everything…it will just take time. I am sending you a big hug filled with lots of love and encouragement! Many blessing to my friend…<
    .
    Cathy recently posted..Run…A Life Storms is Coming!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 17, 2014 at 1:06 am

      Cathy, you’ve encouraged my heart greatly. I so appreciate you!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    May 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Layer upon layer God heals us. He’s revealed another layer in His mercy. Be kind to yourself, friend. You got through a season of great loss by putting one foot in front of the other and you kept on walking. It is easy to disconnect from our spouse as we struggle to handle our own grief and pain. I pray that you enter into a new season of restoration in every area. Much love to you.
    Elizabeth recently posted..Yellow…

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks so much Elizabeth. Congratulations on your new grand baby!

  • Reply
    Karin Madden
    May 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Well, Barbie, your words may have beautifully encouraged before… but, I believe God is taking you to a place where you can really, truly touch the hearts of others. This is the stuff we need to read. Thank you, friend, for your honesty. A sigh of great relief here. Love you.
    Karin Madden recently posted..When You Don’t Know How To Forgive Yourself

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 17, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      Allowing myself to write through the hard places is indeed bringing healing & more freedom. Thanks for cheering me on!

  • Reply
    Dolly@Soulstops
    May 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Dear Barbie,
    Thank you for taking the first step toward healing by being honest about the pain still there: “But there are scars and remnants of pain that I just never really allowed myself to feel.”

    It is in the allowing ourselves to feel, with loving support, that we can begin to heal…it is a hard and holy work to admit where we’re at…giving you a big hug …I’m proud of you…and praying God will give you safe places to feel, grieve, and wrap His loving arms around you, my friend.
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted..When you friend a flower…

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 17, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      Thank you friend. I’ve walked numbly through life for too long. I am looking forward to getting back in touch with my feelings. Hugs!

  • Reply
    Deanna
    May 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    As much as we use our words to hide at times, when the time is right, you will be able to use those same words to heal. Don’t rush through this season. When you are in a better state, then I know that God will use your experiences to grow your writing, and also to give a voice to others who have been depressed and simply do not know how to deal with it. He will allow you not only to educate others about depression who have never experienced it, but to encourage those who are in the pit of depression.

    “For everything there is a season”
    Deanna recently posted..Do Something

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      Thank you so much Deanna!

  • Reply
    June
    May 16, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Precious, beloved, child of God. That is what you are, my dear Barbie. I sense a turning point here in these raw, but beautifully ministering words. Hiding yourself in Him. Yes, that is the key. Keeping the focus, staying close to Him. All else, slowly, oh, so slowly sometimes, falls into place. Our perspective clears, brightens. I see that happening in a beautiful way here. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    June recently posted..Inspired by . . . the planting

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      Thank you for continually blessing me!

  • Reply
    Rosann
    May 17, 2014 at 4:48 am

    Oh my beautiful friend, I love how God is speaking to you during your quiet time. I love that He’s not willing to let you stop writing. 🙂 love you! Praying He will continue to breathe new life and joy into you! 🙂
    Rosann recently posted..When Faced With Something Difficult, What’s Your Perspective?

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Thank you my dear friend. Have a beautiful and blessed weekend.

  • Reply
    Larri
    May 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    You share your heart beautifully, Barbie.
    I don’t necessarily hide behind words. I just hide.
    Seems so much easier than going out into the world to be hurt by others; however, I know that’s not what He intended for me, so I’m doing my best to follow His lead and reach outside my little space and shine His light for others to see. Some days it’s not easy because it’s simply not my nature…and those are the days I’ve found I’ve been blessed beyond measure when I allow myself to stay on the path He’s set for me.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      AMEN Larri!

  • Reply
    Heather @40YearWanderer
    May 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Barbie,
    The time to heal is now. You are on that healing journey and I am so appreciative that you are willing to share as you are on the journey. I too am doing this as I feel God calling me to do this. It is hard a bit, because most people know I have been healed… miraculously… before and so why not now? I do not have the answer to that, but I also do not have that question. I just trust. But I still believe… the time to heal is now.
    Much love to you.
    Heather
    Heather @40YearWanderer recently posted..Pain is Heavy, But Light is Heavier {plus NEWS!! ~ Online Bible Study}

  • Reply
    Joan
    May 22, 2014 at 6:29 am

    It is so important to allow God to fill our cups… When we go through life giving so much of ourselves, we can sometimes become dry. When that happens, God seems distant and our own lives empty. You were wise to take that time to reevaluate, rest and rejuvenate! My prayer is that God will continue to fill you with His healing love and that you become more and more in touch with your true feelings. No more hiding, right? 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this word today!

    Blessings, Joan
    Joan recently posted..I Am Chosen

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