Hidden

by Editor on July 20, 2015

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In this age of social media it is so easy and tempting to be seen. I can post an Instagram of my daughter and I reading a book, or what I am chopping for dinner. I can share a funny quote from my kids. And I have total control over how I curate these moments. I can also rationalize that our family back in the states and our supporters want to be a part of our lives, albeit, virtually.

Up until this generation most of these moments were shared only by a mama and her kids — perhaps a friend who was over for a real-life play-date. And now these precious moments are broadcast all over the internet. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, or that I don’t do my share of over-sharing. But recently, Jesus started opening my eyes to the beauty and purpose of hiddenness.

I’ll be the first to admit that these tiny years, and life on the mission field, can be lonely {which makes the temptation to broadcast that much stronger}. My days revolve around nap-times and bed-times, and my energy for socializing is practically non-existent. My other missionary mom friends have the same problems. And I sometimes wonder “What’s the point?” What is God doing in these hidden years?

I think I found my answer in the story of David summarized in Psalm 78:70-72 (NKJV):

“He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to  the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.”

God took David from the sheepfolds — from a hidden place of faithfulness, years of doing small things — in preparation for leading His people. Because of his hidden years and all God worked into him in those days, David had the integrity, faithfulness, and skills required in his next assignment.

You don’t learn integrity in the spotlight. The spotlight only reveals integrity. Integrity is birthed in hidden faithfulness when no one is watching. Integrity is when your words and actions line up, when people can count on you to do what you say you will do, and when you keep at it even when no one notices. Skillfulness is gained by habitual practice, repetition, dailiness, hard work and discipline.

David knew that being a shepherd was lonely business; there was no one around but sheep and God. And that was enough.

And so God is teaching me that the beauty of hiddenness is the intimacy I can cultivate with Him and my flock in this season. And the purpose of hiddenness is to produce in my character the things that are lacking. I’m sure there will still be pictures on Instagram {don’t worry, mom!}, but behind the scenes I’ll be pursuing my Audience of One.

 

Originally published here on February 9, 2015

 

11722415_10153464572898698_5459283695112102341_oKelly Hallahan is a wife and a mom of four cool kids doing life on the mission field. She loves having a full house, and would be happy to feed you if you are ever in Kampala, Uganda. She writes about daily life, ministry, and her journey with Jesus at www.thehallahans.blogspot.com

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  • brooke

    thanks for such an awesome comparison in the Word of God. Shepherding is lonely. Sheep aren’t too smart! One pastor here in East Africa once told me that he’d rather shepherd sheep than people any day, because people have so many more issues than sheep! I long for that heart like David that found the Lord in every situation and praised and worshiped Him. He opened his heart to his Maker in the good and bad times. To pour out your heartaches to God and yet to close that time with Him in remembrance of His unfailing promises– what an awesome example.

    • Kelly Hallahan

      Thanks, Brooke! Yes, sheep over people any day! Ha! Glad we can all be encouraged by David today.

  • Powerful insight: “You don’t learn integrity in the spotlight. The spotlight only reveals integrity.”

    Well said. And much-needed word.

    • Kelly Hallahan

      Thanks, Bryan! I’m finding it’s so important, and so tough to just keep being faithful… Even when no one sees! Praying for you as you serve right where you are, even if it’s not glamorous!

  • Richelle Wright

    What fun to see you posting here today, Kelly! Love the truth of what you shared, especially this whole paragraph: “You don’t learn integrity in the spotlight. The spotlight only reveals integrity. Integrity is birthed in hidden faithfulness when no one is watching. Integrity is when your words and actions line up, when people can count on you to do what you say you will do, and when you keep at it even when no one notices. Skillfulness is gained by habitual practice, repetition, dailiness, hard work and discipline.”

    Wise, wise words! Timely words for this mama… as I’m transitioning from a spotlight season to a more hidden one, and sometimes chaffing a bit at that reality. 🙂

    • Kelly Hallahan

      I wrote the words, and I’m still chaffing a bit! If I thought I was hidden in February, baby #4 arriving July 5th sunk me deeper into hidden-ness and it’s tough! Love when your own writing comes back to teach you again!

  • Laura

    I love this article! Makes me think of the book Anonymous by Alica Britt Chole. As I grow I am finding hidden seasons to be more wonderful then I ever imagined!

    • Kelly Hallahan

      There really is treasure to be mined in these hidden seasons! May we all keep digging!

  • So hard to remember this! We are traveling the US right now, and when I get a chance to get online I get the “posting” bug. I am so afraid to be forgotten, even though I know He won’t forget me. Thank you for the encouragement!

    • Kelly Hallahan

      It’s such a real struggle! Glad we can hold each other up!

  • You don’t learn integrity in the spotlight. The spotlight only reveals integrity. Integrity is birthed in hidden faithfulness. Preach it sister, preach it. I love being able to communicate with family and friends through social media when we lived overseas and vice versa but there is real danger in putting too much out there.
    This is my favorite poem and it fits perfectly here. it has kept me grounded many times on this very issue. My caring what the Lord sees had increased through the years which has caused my desire to be “known” to decreased. Great post.
    I Wonder

    You know Lord how I serve you with
    great emotional fervor in the limelight

    You know how eagerly I speak for you
    at a Ladies fellowship

    You know how excited I am when I
    promote a fellowship group

    You know my genuine enthusiasm at a
    bible study

    But I wonder, how would I re-act

    If you pointed to a basin of water

    And ask me to wash the calloused feet

    If a bent and wrinkled old women,

    Day after day, month after month, in
    a room where nobody knew or saw me

    I wonder, Lord, Would I ???

    • Kelly Hallahan

      Wow. Yes. Thanks for sharing!

  • This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot, and I really appreciate you pulling in the story of David into it. His Word is so full of stories that help us through every kind of situation – David would never have known that his life would teach us something in regard to social media! 🙂 I think it is a huge temptation to broadcast our lives before we pray about them, to take a picture of a cute moment but not take the time alone with God to see the big picture, etc. etc. Appreciate your insight.

    • Kelly Hallahan

      Yes- his word is so timeless! Really thankful He speaks to our unique seasons and situations!

  • The loneliness and sense of hiddenness resonate deeply, and yet isn’t that where our Lord often does His deepest work? Oh the siren call to be noticed, to be seen and admired by people, that can overwhelm the call of God to trusting faithfulness in loving the little ones, be they children, sheep, weary adults, elderly parents, or wanderers of the way without Jesus. Thank you for this well-put reminder–blesses my heart.

    • Kelly Hallahan

      It is a siren call indeed- but He meets us there so sweetly! Glad you stopped by!

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