From the moment the work truck pulled into the driveway when the kids were small, a beautiful anticipation bubbled up and filled the air. Happy squeals and scurrying feet abounding as we all took cover to hide from dad, including the big black lab who always gave us away. Kevin would enter with such joy and surprise, calling our names one by one in disbelief and then begin to bellow “FEE – FI – FO – FUM!” There is something comforting about crouching down low, taking cover and joyfully awaiting being found.His kind hand reaching down and a strong steady voice, “Gotcha!” Kids jumping into the arms of love and the celebration of being home together. It is better together every time.
This week I found myself hiding, but it wasn’t the joy filled anticipation that marked our early days of family hide and seek, but more of a terror filled shrinking away and cowering. I didn’t even fully realize what was happening, I just felt unsafe and was running away from Kevin instead of turning toward. In my distress, I phoned a friend. Her voice of love steadied me in the midst of major anxiety that was paralyzing me making it impossible to move or see clearly. She asked me to describe the anxiety I was feeling and I burst into tears finally releasing some of what I was working desperately to contain. “It feels like a tight fist squeezing in my chest making it impossible to breathe; like the weight of death crushing in on me.” She gently probed a little deeper. “What are you afraid of?” My fear has to do with finances in the midst of my husband’s career change and my own inability to make enough money to support his leap of faith. There is complexity around wanting on one hand to encourage him to go for it and the other hand to pull him back and scream “It’s too scary!” I was conflicted and chose to remain silent. Not wanting to share my fear with him because then it might thwart his progress on the path I believe God is clearly calling him to. It was my silence that was causing anxiety and making me feel alone in the dark. Hidden and unfound!
We can hold both faith and fear, both courage and trepidation. It doesn’t have to be either or, but it is best to hold them both in the light of day and not hide them in the dark where the enemy is lurking and waiting to kill, steal, and destroy. Shame flourishes in the dark and lies crush the tiny shoot that is bursting to life.
In relationships it is so easy to revert back to childhood games like hide and seek, but what we need even more is connection and communication.
I would love to say we have made it to the other side of the scary tunnel and are living into the fullness of our calling, but this is simply not the case. Change takes time and it is happening bit by bit. What I have learned is that it is best to find language for the feelings of impending doom and terror instead of holding them inside and allowing them to paralyze me. My friend told me grief, when shared is cut in half. No one wants to share their grief, we want to share a sandwich and laughter, but sometimes all we have is grief and it is better to turn toward one another with love and compassion instead of cowering in the dark.
She challenged me to tell Kevin. I hesitated and resisted. I smiled and pretended, focusing on the task at hand, because there are so many tasks at hand.
Then, when he made it home at the end of the week beaten down by the work that is ill fitting, we sat together and named the collective fear and the weight that felt too heavy. We chose to remember Gods promise “When ever two or more are gathered, he is with us. He is a very present help in time of trouble.” The fear remains, the work load and confusion still press in, but we are standing together instead of cowering and hiding in the dark. We have been found by Love and love will see us through.
Faith is the choice we make every day to hold hands and stick together, to listen to one another without judgment and to be brave together. Courage is just fear with feet, so we will walk it out. Ready or not, our time has come and Gods perfect plan is unfolding!
Jean Masukevich is a trauma sensitive yoga teacher and integrative coach with over 20 years of teaching experience. Her mission is to guide others to greater mind, body, Spirit integration and connection to their authentic self. She cultivates communities of care where individuals and groups heal and share their hearts and stories through movement, writing, meditation, integrative prayer, creativity, and the sacred art of listening. Jean holds an advanced certificate in grief and trauma from the Allender Center of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, and is currently pursuing her Spiritual Direction certificate through Sustainable Faith. Jean serves both children and adults and is available for in person and remote coaching. Contact her at http://www.sowthatjean.com
I read your words “Hidden and unfound” as “Hidden and bound.” because playing hide and seek as a child was anxiety producing for me. I feared I would be unfound, abandoned–and that fear and anxiety bound me. Risk is difficult; faith helps.
May you be found and set free because of your faith 💗
So much yes to this! I am standing with you in the scary, holding my own flickering torch to light the path ahead as my husband just made a major mid-life career change in June. There was so much fear in me leading up the the final decision. So many unknowns. And I don’t have an income producing means. I am the home front manager and supervisor of our 4 youngest kids. It was a daunting, risky move that clearly need to be made for my husband’s sake but that left me with all of the feels and fears that you describe. Two months on the other side and God continues to faithfully provide in ways that are both surprising and playful. (I found the perfect Mother of the Groom dress for my adult son’s fall wedding for $30!)
Keep turning towards each other and looking to Jesus. That has been our biggest lesson in all of this. We are on the same team and not adversaries. My role is just as valuable even though it’s not the money making one. God will provide in ways that you can’t anticipate. When “fear of the unknown” and “financial risk” were the 2 cons on our list, we knew it was time. Blessings to you as you hold hands and leap into the changes ahead! Exciting times!
Thank you for sharing your story which gives me hope and points me back to the truth of who God is…
“God continues to faithfully provide in ways that are both surprising and playful”
“courage is just fear with feet” and “sometimes all we have is grief and it is better to turn toward one another with love and compassion instead of cowering in the dark.” particularly resonated with me today. I am working through some neglected griefs from my own story with a counselor and have found it to be scary standing at the precipice of the unraveling. but it has been so good to share the grief and to cry the weight off. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for your courage to “stand at the precipice of the unraveling”
May you feel the strength of God steadying you there and may the lightless you feel on the other side lead you to a higher and more expansive vantage point!
Dear Jean, I so respect you vulnerability with sharing this new road in marriage.
I loved this: “Courage is just fear with feet, so we will walk it out. Ready or not, our time has come and Gods perfect plan is unfolding!” Yes. I am hopeful that this new way of walking with become bountiful. In the meantime, I admire your desire to allow Kevin to take a new path. You are amazing!
Thank you Becky!
For seeing me in this place of uncertainty with such kindness and wisdom.
Your courage and tenderness to what you’re feeling inspire me! I tried to click on the link to find out more about your work with kids but it said there was a problem with the IP address. Is it the right address listed or is the problem on my end?