Finding Freedom in the Hidden Place

We’ve spent the last few posts in our Chronic-Thriving series discussing practical ways to live well with pain, but let’s talk about the emotional strain of it all.

In the foggy days of my journey, it felt as though chronic pain had frozen me in place. Everything I had been able to do I could no longer do. Everything I hoped to do had to be put on hold. And while I wasn’t paralyzed in body, I felt paralyzed in spirit. What was going on? How could I endure this? How much longer would I be forced to stay here?

I had been made invisible.

Chronic pain launched me into a life of being hidden, unseen. Not that people didn’t care about me, because they did and they do! But it seemed that the very core of me was suppressed. Pain had eaten up my physical stamina and energy, erased my desire to dream, and consumed my every waking hour.

I was pain masquerading as a girl. Or so it felt. I could no longer see who I used to be, and I had no excitement for who I may become.

It would take many years of chronic pain coupled with hardship, emotional & spiritual setbacks, tiring perseverance, and grief to bring the realization that I was meant to be hidden all along and that the richest life I would ever know would be found in my relationship with God—a relationship so intimate that the entirety of it remains unseen by others.

Pain first hid me from my own ideals and aspirations to teach me that being hidden in God is my greatest purpose. Pain first buried me deep to teach me that being hidden in God is where life begins and bursts out. Pain first made me blind to make me aware that my best joy in life is being hidden in God. Pain continues to sweep in and slow down my mad dash to idolize myself the image-bearer rather than God the image-Maker. Pain of all sorts has a way of hiding me first and then reminding me of the freedom I have in being hidden in God! Read more

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S K I N N Y

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She wraps her arms tight about herself. Her friends would tell her that since she could do that then she must be anorexic. She must have a food disorder ofย  some kind.

And don’t you know that men like curves?

She wraps her arms around herself and the voices she thought she was ignoring come crashing in faster, harder, sharper.

There are no excuses for a skinny girl.

If you are skinny, you are anorexic.

If you are skinny, you should gain weight.

If you are skinny, you immediately offend.

If you are skinny, you should know that men like curves and whatever you’ve got going on there is not enough.

She wraps her arms around herself, and her tears fall unbidden. She knows this shame isn’t real. How could it be? She knows that she was fashioned, made, designed by her Creator.

But sometimes,

sometimes….the words still hurt. She still gave them power.

She wraps her arms around herself and the voices drain. Swirling, spiraling, emptying from her….yet filling the void. She walks through the streets and her head is down. Read more

EDITION 7: The History of Sir White Beard

As the investigators follow behind the Gang and Sir White Beard, they sit in the conference room of the aircraft. Last night proved to be very long with research of Sir White Beard. And these are the conclusions that The Sierra Price Times investigators have reached.

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Many years ago, long before any members of the Gang were present, Lady Grey and Sir White Beard took their residence in the stuffy house on the mountain. They were played with and pulled and slobbered on. Like the Gang, Sir White Beard could not handle it any more.

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EDITION 6: Sir White Beard’s Plan

Several nights have passed since the Grant volunteered in Lynn’s place. What a gentleman he is and how curious that a gentleman can be tough as nails when called to be. That’s the mark of a gentlemen, the ability to discern when to be tough and when to be gentle.

As the Gang (except for Grant, of course) are conversing behind the rocks for an escape plan, Sir White Beard has struck up a conversation with Grant. “Hello, lad. What brings you to these parts?” Grant replies without hesitation, “Adventure.” The investigators observe an undeniable glint pass through Sir White Beard’s eyes before it disappears completely.

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Grant looks away, unsure of how to respond to Sir White Beard’s silence. “Look, lad,” begins Sir White Beard. “We can escape through that hole there, but I need your help. I’m old yet and need assistance.” Grant is a gentlemen, of course he will help! “We can return for the others as soon as we get the appropriate back-up”, the investigators overhear Sir White Beard say.

Meanwhile, Lynn, Deanna, Lilly, and Mr. Peacock notice the movement at the far end of the crated prison. Mr. Peacock exclaims, “Ladies, oh please, look in the distance! Movement, I cannot be mistaken!” No words are exchanged as the girls and Mr. Peacock waddle as fast as they are able to the edge of the crated prison without being seen by Pirate Girl.

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