“Come out. Come out wherever you are!” When I was a kid, the way we played Hide and Go Seek was to get to base before the one who was “it” could find our hiding place.

box girlHiding

However, my take on it was to find the best hiding place, the place no one would ever think to look and stay there until they gave up. I loved hiding. I didn’t love trying to beat a little kid who could run faster than me to the base. So I hid well.

Since hiding involved being still and quiet, I’d find a good place and curl up there. Many times, I’d go hide in the attic where I had a mattress and blanket. No one ever thought to come into the house. And no one ever found my hiding place.

Even when they gave up and called for me to come out, I’d stay put. It was comfortable there. I didn’t want anyone to find me. I liked hiding.

Hiding from God

When I got older, I began playing an adult version of the childhood game. I hid behind a wall of fat.

Although I thought I was hiding the real me from others, not venturing out, only doing what was necessary, it didn’t work. People saw me. They saw I was tired of playing the games we adults play of trying to be the best at something … anything.

Still, I was the best at one thing—the best at gaining weight. The weight put distance between me and others thereby not letting them see inside me lest they not like what they saw. I hid behind a well-constructed mask of “I’m Okay. You’re Okay. We’re all just Okay. Now go away!”

I hid myself from the world. I hid myself from me. I hid from God. I thought, if I stay here long enough, stay quiet enough and don’t ask Him for anything maybe He’ll forget I’m not doing what He wants me to do.

I thought what He wanted me to do was to stop eating everything in sight. Little did I know, that was only the tip of the iceberg of His plan for me.

What God Wanted

I knew from the time I was in my teens that God wanted me to be healthy. On some level I knew eating everything I wanted, when I wanted, was not what God wanted. I also knew, though, that God loved me and essentially, all He wanted was all of me, all of the essence of me.

One of the first chapters in the Bible I memorized was James 4 in the good old King James Version. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence from your own members that war within you?”1

There was a battle going on inside me. I didn’t know it then, but it was my soul fighting for control of me.

My soul, which is my mind, will and emotions, wanted to be in charge. My soul, the natural, or carnal, woman wanted top billing.

My body, which is the container of my soul, also wanted to have control. It wanted to be babied and catered to.

My spirit was quiet. Every once in awhile I would give a nod to spirit, but most of the time I ignored spirit because it didn’t shout too loudly.

All of Me

Interestingly enough, it’s spirit that is the essence of who I am. My spirit contains my purpose, meaning and destiny. My spirit is the one who can connect to God’s Spirit. Without my spirit, I am just another struggling piece of humanity.

My soul definitely needed an Overseer and that had to be my spirit connected with God’s Spirit.2

I am a spirit. I have a soul. I live in a body.3

It’s spirit that needs to be in charge, but spirit was hiding. My spirit had glimpsed all of eternity just in one connection with the Creator. That glimpse was both awe-inspiring and terrifying. It was grace poured out and was still flowing. Every once in awhile, I would put a container under the spout to catch a bucketful, but most of the time I ignored the bounty that existed there.

My spirit knew that body and soul had to step down for me to be led completely. Spirit also knew it had to be my choice. I had to overcome the fear of coming out.

At one point, my spirit felt damaged, stomped on and ground into a pulp. Life, circumstances, decisions gone awry had led it to allow body and soul to take over.

Spirit hid behind their false strength. My spirit took the advice of my immense body and over-thinking soul and hid from God’s Spirit. All God wanted was all of me—every part committed and led by Him. To do that and hide was not possible.

However, to come out from my hiding place of comfort would mean I would be exposed. I had become too good at hiding. What would it be like to answer the call that seemed to resound in my heart?

 Awaken the Spirit

My spirit had been sleeping for sometime. What would it take to awaken it? If I did, could spirit rise to the occasion? Could it clean up this external and internal mess that was me? Could it become stronger than body and soul? Could it lead this tribe?

Then, I heard the call again. This time it wasn’t the call of a taunting neighborhood playmate. I knew the Voice. I knew who it was.

“Come out. Come out wherever you are. Come out, just as you are.”

He spoke to my heart, the part that felt I could only allow Him to lead if I were whole—body, soul and spirit.

Perfectly Me

The truth hit me in the gut. I will never be perfect, but I can be connected to the Perfect One. I can be lead by Perfection and in that leading I will be presented to the Eternal One as blameless because of Him.He accepts me as I am. I am perfectly me when I am connected to Him.

In Him is my purpose, meaning and destiny. Without His leading I can accomplish some things. With His leading I can do everything because it is Christ who gives me strength.4

Here I am, Lord.5 I’ve come out and I’m in free to be me! There is no bondage of being “it”. I’m not trying to win any games. I’m done with playing Hide and Go Seek.

You have called. I have answered.

Here am I.5

1 James 4:1 KJV

2 1 Peter 2:25 NIV

3 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV

4 Philippians 4:13 NLT

5 Isaiah 6:8 NLT

sweet-change-sidebar-ad_finalIf you’re ready to come out of hiding, Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching Group, led by Teresa Shields Parker, is ready to help you with support, encouragement, accountability, weekly videos and a monthly call. The group is open 24-7 for you to post your concerns. Don’t wait to begin your journey. Get started on your journey the right way, not with diets or eating plans but with activation for lifestyle change. Go HERE for more information. Now accepting a limited number of new members.

Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds is still the #1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. If you’ve not read it, you need to. If you’ve read it and given away your copy, get another one or two to give away. Sometimes I book can speak louder than a friend.


Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.