Genesis 1:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid from the Lord God’s presence among the garden trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”10 So, he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid.”
“I hid Myself.”
I couldn’t understand why God asked Adam and Eve where they were; He is God and knows all. However, I believe He asked them where they were spiritually and mentally and what caused them to hide from Him. Sometimes we hide because we can’t answer the many questions that plague our minds.
Adam and Eve saw their nudity and hid because they were ashamed; Adam said, “I was naked, and I hid.” His wife also tried to cover their nakedness behind fig leaves; we hid our family secrets behind something because we were ashamed. I hid from God behind a religious mask I acquired from tradition and culture. I was hiding my shame and nudity and unknowingly worshipping false gods. I also tried to appease God as the ancient Greeks did when they worshiped their gods, and they had many gods, as people still do today. Zeus and Venus were the gods the Romans set up in the Temple of the Lord; they sacrificed to these gods to appease them for sustainability and power. I hid the natural Person behind a false Person, a person I didn’t even know. I was a stranger to Yahweh, the only One true God, and myself! I remember the anxiety when people had minor disagreements, hid behind fear, and isolated myself.
When I returned to school in 2014 to study Behavioral Health, I concluded that I was an emotional train wreck. Moreover, I almost lost it after realizing what I had allowed in my life was not God’s intention for me; this reality hit me hard. I went through shock, anger, mourning, forgiveness, and healing. I now understand that I needed to go through the process to receive healing (Wright, H. Norman; (2011); The Complete Guide to Crisis and Trauma). However, the good news is that we can change our future. The Lord says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I am okay and will be fine, as the Lord has promised (John 16). I don’t have to hide behind fear and shame because the Lord is my refuge, and He has been walking with me on this journey; I still have a way to go, and if I have answers, I can find solutions with God’s grace and help.
Moreover, I don’t have to continue soothing my wounds, to control symptoms. Finding the root cause helps me treat the wound/wounds and receive healing from my brokenness through counseling, and a group, among others, who struggle with the same issues. Shame is a beast that keeps us from healing. CBT by Dr. Satterfield and Dr. Perry gave me tools that have helped me overcome this beast by changing how I think. The Bible talks about renewing your mind; internal change creates external change (Romans 5, 8, 12). Leslie Vernick’s “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage confirmed what I knew in my heart was wrong. Dr. Henry Cloud gave me the courage to walk away from toxic people and situations through their books and lectures. Learning the truth about myself and my patterns and facing them was challenging. I will not try to ice the pain; it is excruciating, but so is walking around with shoes that don’t fit! Change is never easy; you will remain stuck.
Finally, I am hopeful as I look forward to a New Beginning. Also, I left behind the things that held me captive for too long. I grew up believing false beliefs, false hopes that I could change others, and the lies my ego told me. Ego was governing my mind; that little voice said hide or judge you and others. When I hear the critic in my mind, I thank her for trying to protect me and kindly ask her to remove herself from the throne. I tell her that Jesus is the Lord of my life and mind. It takes time and effort to untangle yourself from the webs of deception (Is. 59), but change happens with the help of wise counsel and practice. When I stop and look back at the mountain behind me, I smile because I know what I left behind was never suitable for my loved ones or me. After all, they, too, have suffered collateral damage from my choices.
Cloud, Henry (2014); Never Go Back; Necessary Endings (2011); Changes that Heal (2008); The Power of the Other (2016); Safe People (2011).
H. Norman Wright (2011); The Complete Guide To Crisis & Trauma Counseling
Doyle, Christopher (2018); The Meaning of Sex A New Christian Ethos
Satterfield, M. Jason, (2015) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Thomas, L. Gary (2019); When to Walk Away from Toxic People
Vernick, Leslie (2013); Emotionally Destructive Marriage
Dr. Perry; https://makeitultrapsychology.wordpress.com