Authenticity, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Identity

Hidden: When It’s Time To Stop Hiding

Autumn sunrise 2 copyFive Minute Friday prompt this week is—HIDDEN. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

HIDDEN

I never really understood it until this year.

This crazy desire to keep the essence of who I am hidden behind the image I thought others wanted to see. Anyone who’s read my blog for long knows that I have struggled with finding my identity in Jesus.

The rejection that happens to a child stays with her for a lifetime.

It takes that long for some of us to erase those horrible words and messages and allow God’s truth to be written over the walls of our mind.

This year, as God teaches me about my word AUTHENTIC, He’s showing me I don’t have to stay hidden.

I don’t have to present the “got-it-all-together” face to the women in my life.

I don’t have to show only a fraction of the real me . . . the part I think others will find acceptable.

Do I show all of myself to everyone? No.

There are times when too much information is simply that: Too Much Information.

But, there are times when God is calling me—each of us, really—to reflect the whole of who we are. Authenticity begins copy

Authenticity begins when we trust Jesus with our inner stories. It begins when we choose to talk with Him about those wounds we all carry.

He’s showing me I need to choose to trust Him when He puts me with others. I need to trust Him enough to share His light—as only I can shine it—with others.

I need to trust Him enough to live as the person He created me to be. We’re each unique. There’s no one else like us in the whole world or its history. God created each of us for a purpose.

When we hide the essence of who we are behind a facade, we aren’t trusting Him, and we’re dimming His light within us.

We need to trust enough to share our stories with others. Because when we share, who knows? Maybe others will be encouraged. Light behind clouds

Maybe they will find glimmers of hope for their own lives.

Maybe they will even want to know Jesus . . . all because we opened ourselves up to trust Him to shine through us. As we are.

What about you? When you’re nervous about being your authentic self, what do you do? What helps you to live authentic? 

Click to tweet: Authenticity begins when we trust Jesus with our inner stories

Linking up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday—Hidden

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26 thoughts on “Hidden: When It’s Time To Stop Hiding”

  1. “Authenticity begins when we trust Jesus with our inner stories. It begins when we choose to talk with Him about those wounds we all carry.” THIS!! I’m learning this myself right now. I’ve always struggled with being honest with God and other people about my life, how I’m *really* doing, etc. Talking to people has gotten easier. Talking to God has not. It’s one of the times I wish I could see him in the flesh and actually talk, you know? It’d make being honest so much easier. I’m working on it, though. Thanks for the reminder, friend! I love your writing. I’m your neighbor this week! 🙂

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    1. God’s really been talking to me about this, Jordan. It’s so easy to only show my outer shell, rather than the rich (and often insecure) inner part of who I am . . . to God and to others. God has been challenging me to be gut-level honest with Him about my emotions—even the ugly stuff— this year. This is helping me to become more authentic with Him, and hopefully, with others.

      It seems like it would be easier to see Him in the flesh to really share with Him. Writing things down and talking out loud to Him are helping me to be honest with Him. I often preface it with, “You told me to be honest with you about how I’m feeling . . . ” 🙂

      I’m so glad you shared a piece of your heart. Thanks, Jordan!

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  2. Jeanne,
    wow. I love your take on this. And, I’ve felt your transparency so much that it surprises me to hear that you’re anything different. 🙂 I suppose when we write, it is hard to avoid disclosure, though. Thank you for always sharing from your heart. You have touched my heart many times!
    Love,
    Tammy
    (#7 this week)

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    1. You’re so sweet, Tammy. 🙂 I’m learning to be transparent with the people I interact with daily. It’s sometimes intimidating to share the “ugly” things I may be feeling or dealing with. I’m learning who the safe people are in my life to do this with. Somehow, it’s easier for me to put written words to the things going on in my heart than it is to speak them out loud. Thanks for being such an encourager, friend!

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  3. Lovely, grace-filled words here, Jeanne, and beautiful pictures.

    I spent a lot of years being inauthentic, because I got really, really tired of explaining to family, friends, and co-workers that I was a Zen Buddhist who also happened to accept Christ. It’s not incompatible, but I was so fed up with the arguments that I tried to hide the best part of me – the Buddhist who had found peace and stillness – under a veneer i thought would be acceptable.

    It didn’t work. I was being torn, and when I got sick I realized that I had cut away much of the grounding I needed to find calm in the fight of my life. It’s been a hard and fiercely intentional road back to the place where the Bo tree and the Cross stand side by side.

    So, for what it’s worth, never undercut who God made you to be, even if you think He really screwed up.

    If no one else likes you, and I mean REALLY no one else likes you, He still loves you, and always will.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/07/your-dying-spouse-187-hidden-song-of.html

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    1. It’s interesting how, when we seek to look acceptable to others, it affects every part of who we are. I’m glad you’re rediscovering more of the essence of who you are, Andrew. And I completely agree with your closing thoughts. We shouldn’t devalue who God created us to be. And we need to cling to the reality that God loves us passionately and completely.

      Thanks for sharing some of your story, Andrew!

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  4. This is really beautiful, Jeanne!
    Being authentic and sharing more of myself is a lesson I’ve been learning for the last couple of years and it’s so rewarding! But it does take courage and the decision to share every day. Keep on going and sharing – it’s worth it!

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    1. Sharing of ourselves can be scary, but it’s only as we do that we can go deeper with others. It is truly rewarding to live authentically, isn’t it? I agree, it’s a decision-by-decision thing to choose authenticity. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  5. This is such a hard lesson, isn’t it, Jeanne? I’m walking it with you. I’ve just finished Amy Carroll’s Breaking up with Perfect and shed quite some tears over a chapter on friendship and vulnerability, realizing that I had hidden my true self so many times from beautiful people God had placed around me. It made me both aware of the pain I’d caused them and the loneliness I’d pushed myself into.

    Praying for you as you step into that fear more and more, trusting in God’s faithfulness and ever-present love as you share your heart with those God places around you.

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    1. That book title is a great one. 🙂 It’s a good book if it can bring tears to your eyes as God reveals something to you on a heart level. May we both learn to walk consistently in a way that is not hiding our true selves! Thanks for your prayers, Anna. I’m praying for you too.

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  6. Inner Stories – I like that. I’m going to ponder those words. I really related to this post and valued what you shared. It’s hard to know sometimes when it’s safe and when it’s not. I have found safe with writing, but finding authenticity with others I am still struggling and working that through. I am reminded that authenticity is a process with highs and lows and that everyone is at a different level and that’s okay. It can make sharing hard( for myself) sometimes. Still taking the veil off. Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Tamara, I agree. Sometimes it is hard to know who’s safe to share with. Finding authenticity with people, as you know takes time and intentional effort. I like what you said about authenticity being a process with highs and lows in the learning. I have a couple of people in my life who I wish I could be authentically me with. But they’re not at a place of being able to accept me. And I’m learning to be okay with this. Everyone IS at a different place. I hope we can both learn to take the veil off, and shine Jesus’ light without fear. 🙂 Thanks for your transparency here.

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    1. I love this, Gabriele. Monitoring who we are trying to please is key. You’re right the only Person we really need to please is God. And He already accepts us as we are today. Thanks for stopping over here!

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  7. I love and appreciate your authenticity, Jeanne. It’s something that has often struck me about your writing since I’ve been reading your blog. Keep it up, my friend! 🙂

    I think what helps me “live authentic” is knowing that even though I feel like I am the only one, I never, ever am. If I feel a certain way or if I’m experiencing a certain hard thing, I have to believe that there are plenty of others in the same boat. And if sharing my thoughts about this hard thing could encourage one or two others, I almost feel compelled to do it.

    The other thing I sometimes ask myself when I’m feeling squishy about sharing something is, “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I tell this story?” It might hurt my pride a bit or make me feel exposed in some way, but if those are my only reasons for not sharing, I often realize I need to push forward with it.

    Great post, by the way!

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    1. Lois, I so appreciate your encouragement. 🙂 For what it’s worth, I feel the same about your writing. Your perspective is spot on. When we can look beyond what we’re going through and our feelings about that, and remember that others have and are going through similar situations, we can know that others KNOW. And I believe God doesn’t waste a thing He allows into our lives. Being honest about struggles helps others to have hope and to know they aren’t alone. I find blogging an easier place to share my stories and lessons learned.

      I love the question you ask yourself. I think I need to adopt that. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom here, friend! 🙂

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  8. One of the things that draws me in most is your authenticity. I am so impressed with your bravery to honestly share your struggles and questions and successes. And, I feel like you’ve struck a good balance between sharing and not sharing EVERYTHING. Thanks for being you. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Annie! I so appreciate your encouragements. You are good about sharing the things you’re learning too. You make me stop and think about things. And I like that. 🙂 I’m so glad God has connected us.

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  9. i can identify with so much of your struggle jeanne. the need to be open and authentic vs. the importance of not giving TMI. after a childhood of bullying and belittling inside the christian community, legalism that reinforced a standard of perfection, it took a long time to realize i needed to be open about my lack of perfection b/c i needed Christ and His forgiveness to do that!

    after years of working with women in our churches and needing to deal with my own heart that so NOT open and honest re my own sin, i have had to face it and the consequences of it as it plays itself out in everyday life. making myself vulnerable, often to those i had the least desire to be vulnerable with, has been very helpful in building relationships. to god be the glory! you are so right:)

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    1. Martha, thank you for sharing a bit of your story. As you know, bullying closes our hearts down because we don’t know if we’re really safe. I can relate to the desire for perfection. If I was perfect, people wouldn’t find fault with me, right? I guess we’re both learning how to live out the beauty of authenticity. 🙂 I love hearing that God has helped you grow in showing vulnerability and that He’s building relationships as you learn to trust Him (and others) with yourself.

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  10. I can never hear this enough. I have a smilier inner struggle, an identity crisis of who I am in Christ and who I believe I am. Your words touch my ears and heart that need to hear the affirmation. Thanks Jeanne.

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    1. Debby, I love your sweet spirit. It takes time to reconcile how we see ourselves with how God sees us, doesn’t it? I think, in the beginning, we just have to choose to believe what God says about us as truth. As we learn how to do this, our thoughts and heart begin to conform to His truth. That believing transforms from a deliberate act of the will into the living action and fluid belief in our hearts and thoughts. I don’t know if I’ve described that quite right, but that’s what I’m seeing as I embrace the truths in His word. Those things He says about me, and each of us. 🙂

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  11. Authenticity is so so important! We are all “fearfully and wonderfully made!” I’m in the 68 spot this week.

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