Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Virtual Obscurity

For many years, the theme of my life was "obscurity." While some of you are in the limelight way beyond your public comfort zone, I spent over twenty years in virtual obscurity*. (Obscure means "little-known." Synonyms I like: hidden, inglorious, invisible, lonesome, nameless, odd :-) , and secluded.)

Each trip to the States, I would long to share my adventures and misadventures, but alas, no one asked to hear them. My husband was the designated speaker, and only very seldom was I invited to say a few words to a small women's group. Some of you might be murmuring, "Must be nice!" - but for a storyteller like me, it was frustrating to the core.

Instead of telling my stories, I began to write them. My journal is full of life lessons learned on the mission field. Someday I hope to craft those stories into an unforgettable novel more true-to-life than any missionary biography, including those deleted scenes that are too real even for this blog.

Obscurity forced me to develop a quiet heart before the Lord, and also forced me to develop a voice in my writing. The result is that now I am in a new season of life, stepping into the public eye to tell my stories. To tell you the truth, it's a bit scary to suddenly shift gears from invisibility to notoriety. At least now I know that it is God who has brought me here, and not just my own natural tendency to blab my heart's stories.

How about you? Can you find a word or phrase to sum up your life outside your home country? (For fun and added clarity, you might consult a good thesaurus like I did.) What has God taught you or enabled you to learn through this experience?

IRL*obscure to some...but not to Him.

*please refer to sidebar dictionary [Jamie Jo-speak] for the definitions of starred words!


  1. Hmmm...I'll be contemplating my word or phrase. :)

    I, for one, am glad, blessed, and encouraged by HIM bringing you to the 'spotlight'.


  2. "Hesitant" comes to mind... when I think of a word that might describe "many years of my life". One of the things, in fact, that my dear husband has been praying for me these past 15 years is that I would grow in confidence. I think God is answering his prayers. I believe that God's truth is slowly sinking in... I am am much loved daughter, infused with the power of the Holy Spirit and a co-worker/friend of my Brother, Jesus! So this little "much afraid" or "hesitant-girl" is gaining God-confidence! Thank you, Lord.

  3. Good for you, Stephanie! You have great cause for confidence. I hope you'll write up the story of your journey while it's still fresh on your mind. It will help you to use it for encouraging other hesitant believers out there.

    Hayes Zoo, I appreciate the hugs and words of affirmation, but we're still waiting for that word or phrase. Maybe this assignment was harder for most of you than it was for me. A word popped right into my mind instantaneously.

  4. One word? covered. Perhaps faceless, covered, unseen, invisible, considered nothing. Perhaps that is the women around me, but I find even in trying to reach them I encounter this same attitude in people around me. "It's not really that important. They won't listen anyway. They don't think much."

    It is funny at times and I laugh. It's heartbreaking at times and I cry. I've actually been at places where our team spoke and carefully listed out everyone on the team, but not me. Or prayed for everyone by name, but not me. Invisible. A woman.

    I'm not invisible to God. Neither are the women my heart longs to reach.

  5. (((Ellie))) Those are cyber hugs, in case you are wondering. Isn't it great to have the confidence that Jesus knows your name and knows your heart? He alone can empathize with us and encourage us to embrace our ministry to others in light of our invisibility. I love your insight.


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