I live in an invisible cage. For years, I’ve desperately wanted to come out but it goes with me wherever I go.
I didn’t always live in it. Sometimes, I think if I didn’t live overseas in Czechia I may have never ended up inside it. I slowly became aware of it, after my babies were born and even more so as they grew up and began interacting with others. I loved to watch their carefree attitude in greeting strangers and doing things I was afraid to do.
I wish I had a label to explain my cage … maybe there is one but I haven’t found it yet. The best I can come up with is that my fear of rejection paralyzes me from reaching out and making meaningful connections.
In the early years of our arrival in Czechia, I would blame my struggles to language and cultural barriers. I couldn’t fully connect with the locals because I couldn’t understand them and they me. But with each passing year (currently at 14), I realized that there was something more, something deeper.
The quest to find answers eventually led me to where it all began for me. As I watched my girls twirl around freely in their princess costumes, memories flooded back. I remembered being like that – free to believe I was a princess, free to dance and just be.
Those were the days we lived on the hillside of the Peruvian Andes.
Then suddenly, my carefree days abruptly ended. At 8, I entered my parents’ adult world and became a translator for them in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
I could sense my parents’ fear … fear of being accepted and surviving in a society that was so entirely unlike the one they knew. Yes, they tried to put up a brave front as I have.
I’ve found it’s easier to live with a mask — mine was that of a busy missionary mom with three young kids.
Just as I could sense my parents struggling, my own brood acutely began pointing out my insecurities as they grew older. The hardest of all, has been watching my oldest take on some of them as her own. That has felt like a knife cutting through my heart.
She’s on the brink of the vulnerable teenage years, and I wish I could turn back time to when she would dress up as a princess and freely dance. Yes, it was make-believe play, but there was more truth in that play than she or I knew.
Because as I walk on this journey to the heart of the Father, I’m finally beginning to believe what was true all along. I really am a princess … a precious daughter in the Kingdom of God. So is my daughter.
It’s harder for her to hear me now. For what does Mom know? But if I could go back, I would have told her more often that she truly is a princess and I would have lived out my days more like one. It’s not too late. I know.
But for years, I’ve lived in an invisible cage imprisoned by my fears and shame. Maybe you can relate. Maybe like me, you’ve longed to be free — free to be fully alive as God created you to be.
Our Heavenly Father is the King of kings, and He never meant for any of us to live as prisoners but as children – children of God. The journey to freedom for me began in becoming a child again — a child of my Heavenly Father.
It’s a journey I still travel … there are days when I lose my way and I find myself in that invisible cage again. But knowing and experiencing the Father heart of God has changed my life like no other.
For the next 30 days, I’d like to share my story — of how I became a true princess, a daughter in the Kingdom of God and you can too.
Pearl Allard says
Wow. Your story is powerful, Hulda. I identify with that struggle. Very much looking forward to hearing more. May God’s favor surround you as with a shield.