Home > News > You can run but you can’t hide!

Navigate Life - Sarah's Blog

14 Mar 2024

You can run but you can’t hide!

Listen to audio:

Are you a runner, a hider or both?

I have never been into running as a hobby or sport and do not understand the appeal of Lycra and sweat. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t break into a jog in an emergency or if I was about to be run over by a bus, but running certainly hasn’t been my sport of choice. The only running that I have done has been out of a necessity to escape from pain and truth.

When it comes to hiding, I have had lots of practice.

According to a dictionary definition hiding is the following:

  1. Concealing for shelter and protection
  2. To turn (the eyes or face) away in shame and anger
  3. Evade responsibility

Wow that’s just explained me!

If procrastination and hiding is the action of delaying, evading, or turning away from something, then I’m THE expert!

Recently I’ve been pondering (and pondering) about why it is that I put off some of the things that I find overwhelming and even some things that I know God is asking me to do?

Why do I sometimes find myself hiding who I am? Why do I want to be seen yet want to hide at the same time? Why is it that I want to open my mouth and speak Jesus yet sometimes find myself slipping back into the comfortable mask of insecurity and fear that keeps me hidden and alone.

My brother used to call me the “prolonger” when we were kids so it must have been something I was known for. I can remember when my son was around 5 years old he used to put a tea towel on his head when he had done something wrong because he didn’t want to be seen and certainly didn’t want to be looked at (if he reads this, he will kill me) In fact, I wonder if he thought he was invisible.

Hide and seek is a game that most of us have played in our lives. As a child I craved to be the seeker, the one in control of everything but often found more comfort in concealing myself. The hiding and separation from others was exciting and lonely at the same time. The joy of seeing the seekers face at the end of the game when the temporary separation had ended was disappointing and exhilarating.

What happens if no one finds us and we stay hidden? What if we have been hiding for so long that we have become used to the darkness? What if we can no longer hear the seekers voice?

I know that I am not alone in hiding because it is a human condition and many people have told me that they hide too. So why do we hide and when did we start hiding?

I hide sometimes because of insecurity, fear of judgement, esteem issues, guilt, shame, and worthlessness caused by many different experiences. It appears that most of us hide for similar reasons.

What is wrong with hiding?

The problem with hiding is that it traps and isolates us from our relationships, keeps us stuck in toxic thinking patterns and behaviours that are often based on lies. We can become so familiar with feeling lonely and isolated that anything else feels wrong. We pretend to be something other than our real authentic broken selves and then wonder why we feel confused and resentful. God knows who we are, why and what we hide even if we don’t.

One friend told me recently that she hides from others when shopping because she feels ugly. I wonder where this idea came from because when I see her all I see is a beautiful woman with a big heart.

In Chapter 23 of the book of Jeremiah it says:

“Who can hide in the secret places so that I cannot see them? Do not I fill the heaven and earth” declares the lord.

I was driving one day last week talking to God asking Him to show me when and where my hiding came from. God reminded me of two incidents that happened to me at school. Both incidents I thought were insignificant until I realised that on top of existing childhood trauma these two incidents confirmed my desperation and need to hide and conceal who I was.

Interestingly both incidents occurred around the time that my sister died.

  1. A teacher that I loved and respected humiliated me when she asked me how to spell February (My birthday Month). I missed out the R and she laughed, called me stupid and said the words “you should give up.”
  2. A few days later my sister died, and the same teacher told me that I was rubbish at violin and should give it up too.

When God showed me these two incidents, I could see with clarity when I started to hide (age 8) and when I started to put things off. There have been many more incidents that have led me to seek refuge and hide but these were some of the first ones. You see, I believed the teacher spoke truth because I didn’t know any different. I didn’t share these words spoken with others and certainly didn’t challenge them. They became my identity. I met fear and shame and started to hide hoping that I wouldn’t be seen, heard, or spoken to. Words spoken over children are so powerful! I used to imagine that I was invisible and still do sometimes. Is that just me?

My favourite hiding places have been “I’m ok thanks” and “I will fix you so that you can’t see me.”

I wonder when did you start hiding and what are you hiding from anyway? Do you know who God says you are? Do you believe lies spoken over you?

In the very first book of the bible Genesis Chapter 3 Adam and Eve sinned and started to hide from God because they felt fear and shame.

In Verse 9 God called to the Adam, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden and was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid.”

God didn’t ask the question where you are? because he wanted to find them. He knew exactly where Adam and Eve were, just as he knows where we are too.

God calls to me too when I get stuck in my own sin and live in lies spoken over me. He says “Where are you, Sarah?” just as he did in the garden of Eden. God knows when I have become stuck, and he calls me back. He has not gone anywhere it’s me that’s moved away from living in the truth. He says stop hiding and let me help you.

When I feel stuck and start to hide its usually because I’ve picked up a few mind snakes (lies) from the past and lived in them for a while. Sometimes the rebellious self-centred Sarah gets in the way of God but soon I feel the holy conviction that I’m off track and living in lies. I am reminded that Jesus is my true hiding place and the safest place to be (Psalm 32 Verse 7).

So how can we stop hiding from ourselves, others and God and start living free? How can we have trouble yet have joy at the same time?

For me, its simple (not easy).

I ask the Holy Spirit (He isn’t weird) to reveal any areas in my life and heart that I have been hiding from him. I ask what I am still holding onto that is not mine to carry (usually control).

Then I thank God for showing me any areas of my maggoty heart e.g. my selfishness, my control and wrong thinking so that I can be forgiven and receive God healing touch.

I then believe that I am forgiven and can rejoice in the fact that I’m known personally by God because of what Jesus did on the cross and what the holy spirit reveals in me.

The last few days as a church family we have had some shocking news about a sudden illness of a friend that we love who may very soon see the face of Jesus. What a joy for her but such shock and sadness for the family. As I am writing this blog about hiding, I’m faced with fact that life really is short, and we are meant to shine our light, not hide it. I often fall into thinking I have an infinite amount of time (how arrogant) Then I’m reminded that our earthly life can all be over in the blink of an eye or using my husband’s favourite phrase we only have “a 2 second slice of life.”


Lord, I pray that anyone reading this including me knows that time is short, and we have an eternity of life or death before us. Lord, we choose life. Forgive us lord when we have wronged you or others and become self-centred hiders. Help us all to let go of the obstacles that are in the way as you call us back repeatedly. Renew our minds Lord as we seek to do all that you ask us to do. Give us the strength and courage to shine your light and come out of the dark hiding places to walk in the freedom that is given to all who believe in You Lord.

God Bless