The Hidden One

The Hidden One

January 22, 2021

This pandemic has thrown a lot of us into quarantine.  Some of us have had to be still and not leave our houses for weeks or months at a time.  Even still the rest of us have had to let go of some freedoms to be still in our homes for almost a year now.  I know it has been an adjustment, lonely and for some downright depressing.  I know this not only because I also experienced this pandemic but because I was sick and mostly homebound for 12 years and unable to drive for eight of those 12 years.  I spent a good many days without the freedom of leaving my house when I wanted to.    

Last year was a chance for us all to experience what it feels like to be homebound for one reason or another.  If you really want to get a feel for what it’s like to be homebound, try not driving for a week.  Even more so imagine waking up sick and going to bed sick every day for years at a time.  What changes in your life would you have to make?  What would you have to depend on others for?  Imagine living in an area where groceries and supplies can’t be delivered.  Imagine the loneliness of being forgotten.  Imagine the sense of loss from a life of chronic illness.  It’s hard.  That is why I am writing this post. 

Quarantine is what I felt for 12 years while sick.  I was able to leave my house on and off if someone was available to take me. I didn’t want to be a burden so I just waited until the weekends and begged Phil, my husband, to take me somewhere other than home.  The grocery store was a treat!

Sure, the first couple of weeks may feel like a relief and rest in a busy life, but I bet after the first couple of months you were itching just to take a walk outside.  Now add 11 years and 50 more weeks to that.  And for some add the rest of your life. 

You learn to adapt and figure out a whole new way to live life and with God, there can be peace and joy in any situation, but let’s not forget to love the hidden ones. 

Friends, check on your homebound neighbors.  If you don’t know any it’s because they are in hiding.  Ask God to reveal a hidden one to you so that you can be a continual light and source of encouragement to that person.  You never know…that person may be the friend you have been looking for and the very encouragement you may need. 

The hidden ones need love, too!     

They don’t need your pity or advice, just your loving company.  Someone to laugh and cry with.  Someone to run errands joyfully and willingly for and/or with them.  If you can’t do this without making them feel like a burden or like it’s a chore then this is not a message for you. That would do way more harm than good.  One bad attitude about helping them can tear down the last bit of hope and encouragement they may be clinging on to.  Living with the need to depend on others to take care of you can make you feel like a burden to others.  That is why many hidden don’t reach out sometimes—partly to feel independent and partly so they aren’t a burden to others. 

What helped me in my time hidden was a surprise visit with ice cream and a movie lying in bed or on the couch together with my dear friend.  (Thank you Brittany for this sweet memory!) 

In July it will be my official 2 years fully healed of my disabling condition leaving me hidden for over a decade.  I’m committed and called to FIGHT for those who are where I was. You are never hidden to me.  You are prayed over daily.  You are what I’ve been called to.  There is hope in Jesus!

If you are reading this and you are my dear hidden one.  Reach out to me.  Be brave and do not give up on finding community.  Isolation is not your friend.  But I will be!  Jesus is always with you!  I know in long-term illness friends come and go and fade through the years.  You are not a burden!  You have purpose and you are still alive because God is not finished with you, yet.  Dig into the Bible and soak up all Jesus has for you in this season.  I see you!  I can feel you.  God told me about you.  You are loved!  I’m praying for you now.  There is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of.  You can come out of the shadows.  There is love to be found here!  Reach out to me and say Hi!  God has something special for you. 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.  The second is, love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no other command greater than these.”  Mark 12:30-31

“You are the light of the world.  A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.”  Matthew 5:1

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