Recently, I read Genesis 3. This is the passage in the Bible on the first sin of Adam & Eve. I’ve read this, probably at least 100 times after growing up in the church, and attending a Christian school my whole life.But this time, I saw it with fresh eyes.

So, Eve is tempted by satan to eat from the only tree she was forbidden to eat from. She eats from this tree and shares it with her husband, Adam. Immediately, the Bible says that their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked and were ashamed.

Next part we read, God is walking in the Garden of Eden “in the cool of the day.” (What I wouldn’t give to see God walking through the corn fields next to my apartment!)

Adam and Eve hide because they have recognized that they are naked and feel ashamed of their sin.

“But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?'” / Genesis 3:9

So this is a part I have never understood, in the hundreds of times I’ve read it and heard it read. Like, isn’t God all-knowing? Didn’t he know why they were hiding? Didn’t he probably see the whole sinful transaction to begin with?

Then, for the first time I understood a new layer to this familiar passage. God knew why they were hiding, but it was important for them to know why they were hiding. If they carried on like nothing had happened, they could never fully move to the next phase of life.

You cannot change what you don’t (or won’t) acknowledge.

I have been undergoing a lot of personal development over the last year and a half. I’ve been learning the nasty character traits in me that I don’t like, and instead of changing them and moving on, I act like they aren’t issues and will just work themselves out. I feel so strongly, though, that God is bringing these issues to the forefront and almost blinding me with them, in order for me to finally deal with them.

I hide.

I hide behind charisma, goofiness, sarcasm, “almost but not quite” vulnerability, and not letting people truly know me (I’m a pro at this — ask anyone who has ever tried to be good friends with me). It’s hard to admit that I’m failing, that I’m afraid of what’s next, that I always feel so strongly that I’m stuck and my hands are tied, that being alone is so comforting to me it’s almost terrifying, that I have carefully curated a collection of words & a pristine reputation; I suck at vulnerability and allowing emotions be emotions, and I’m not always the best friend I can be.

It’s hard to see these things in myself after 21 years of believing I was good. But, I am so tired of trying. It’s exhausting.

So here’s to the freedom that lies in change, in being real, in letting God mold me instead of ignoring everything.

Here’s to acknowledging every gross, dark, bad thing about myself so I can move onto the next mountain in life and being fully seen by God Almighty, instead of setting up a camp, hiding behind the shrubs in the valley.

Here is your dose of encouragement that you aren’t the only one dealing with the gunk of who you are. We are constantly evolving people, and we will never fully “arrive.” When you decide that you’ve learned enough, know enough, love God enough, love people enough; you will have begun to go the opposite direction.

Don’t allow the bad stuff in your life to overtake you and teach you to hide. Trust that God is shaping you to be exactly who you’re supposed to be, and that by acknowledging the crap, you can now move on.

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