We had recently moved to the “Big City” searching for therapy options for our recently Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosed son. Living in our idillic house, in our idillic rural town just wasn’t going to provide us with all he needed, with all we needed. To start our journey into this season well we had to make a change.
My world was thrown into the gap between my dreams and life’s realities.
Suddenly I was on the outside looking in.
New faces. New church. New house. New school routine. New work arrangement. All new.
I had gone from forefront to background and I was unsettled. I don’t mean in an extraverted over the top egotistical way, I mean I didn’t feel “seen”. No one “got me”. I had something to offer and I didn’t know how to show that. I felt like the real “me” was slowly disappearing.
I’m pretty sure if we’re honest we’ve all been there. Maybe we have become a Mum or we return to full time study and we transition to being a learner instead of a leader. Maybe we change jobs or we leave a ministry role we’ve held at church for years and we move from being celebrated to celebrating others. At some point things go very quiet and our potential seems to go into hiding and we wonder if it will ever be realised.
In her book “Anonymous Jesus’ hidden years…and yours”, Alicia Britt Chole uses Scripture and her own life experiences to show the reader how Jesus used his hidden years, to prepare for the calling on his life.
By introducing the “iceberg equation”, 10% visible + 90% unseen = an indestructible life, Chole establishes from the outset that Jesus was able to live with such strength and integrity in the public eye because of the fruit obtained in the hidden years. She cleverly uses the story of the Temptation of Jesus to unpack what is to be learned in these hidden years. Through this insightful teaching I was able to see the choices before me in this season. I could see how easy it would be to have the wrong heart, how resentment could so easily sneak in.
Using reflections from her personal story I was able to identify myself in the pages. I found her style to be gentle and encouraging. My honest response was drawn out and I found myself highlighting passages of text, journalling and having many, many conversations with God. The importance of my heart in submission to a loving, merciful, all-knowing Father was established. I could see that this season was right where I was meant to be. I could see God preparing my heart, shifting my perspective to have my eyes fixed on Him, releasing me into an unshakeable identity, a disciplined thought life and rest in His timing.