Have you ever played a game of hide and seek? Have you played in the dark? How about outside, in the dark, with flashlights? Do you remember what it felt like to be the one hiding? That queasy feeling you’d get in your stomach because you didn’t want to be found. In fact, it was counterintuitive, right? We didn’t want to be found, but we wanted that horrible shaky feeling to go away! Most likely, you identify with this sort of memory. Now it’s gonna get a little more personal. Have you ever tried to hide from yourself or from God? Maybe you were in a tough spot and made some poor choices. Maybe someone else made poor choices and you suffered the consequences. Hiding as an adult looks different. We may pull away from our usual activities, struggle to maintain health, have unrealistic expectations, succumb to comparison, feel a sense of doom or avoid vulnerable relationships. I know this form of hide and seek—hiding from God. How can we stop this game and break the cycle? I’ll share a little about what’s worked for me and how I see things now that I’m not playing the game.
In 1994, I placed my son in an open adoption. I did not seek to start playing a game where I’d be hiding from myself or God, but that’s what happened. You see, grief, loss, heartache and feelings of failure are like that—they overwhelm, consume and control you like a marionette. But my son’s adoptive mother pursued me with reckless abandon. She didn’t know it at the time—and maybe she just found out by reading this—but she was the consistency and tranquility in my ever-changing, tumultuous time. Her letters, pictures, VHS videos and drawings from my son kept me going on my journey. When grief whispered lies, telling me I’d be better off not knowing how he was doing, a package would arrive. And I was found! When I felt lonely, alone, ashamed and discouraged, a video and card would show up. And I was found! Slowly, over the course of two years, I came out from the shroud of sadness. Her prayers, perseverance, loving words, gifts and meaningful touches meant I could move on. I could trust. She mentored me with these heavenly deposits. She wanted me to know I was loved. She wanted to show her son that she loved me. How could I hide when the light of truth was shining so bright?
How are you hiding in your life? How can you make yourself visible? How can you be found in this unusual time in our history? Maybe it’s that you don’t see adoption as a ministry. Maybe you are scared of birth parents. Maybe you’re still wrestling with the grief and loss of fertility or failed adoption. Let me encourage you to start making the kind of heavenly deposits that received.
Grab a journal and write, lament and pray.
Write notes to a birth parent.
Gather lyrics from songs you love. Write them down.
Collect meaningful items you’d love to give.
Print important pictures and tell funny stories.
Place all these items in a photo box where you’ll remember to add to it consistently. Remember that you are entering a ministry where your light needs to shine. You cannot hide forever. Be found and lead others to the light that YOU hold: His light of truth, His love that covers and His renewing grace. And when you are found, GO FIND OTHERS!
This Little Light of Mine:
“This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine.
Don’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine.
Shine all over the whole wide world, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine til Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine.”
Practicing now will grow the value and worth of your current/future adoption. Try your best not to hide your light or hide yourself, instead be honest, real, respectful and consistent. Give yourself grace. After all, you are a Child of God.
Psalms 78:1-4 NIV: “My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”