18 Tishrei 5782 / Friday, September 24, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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In Hiding    

In Hiding

I am ever so grateful to Hashem for seeking me out from my hiding place and reminding me of my purpose. So, to answer His call, let me share this emuna story…


I’ve been hiding. From you. From myself. From life. From Hashem.


I didn’t actively decide to hide, but slowly over a matter of a couple years I withdrew without even noticing. Some may say I had, or have, good reason and I suppose there is truth in that. However, what Hashem has recently opened my heart to learn is that just because I may have a good reason that does not mean it was the right thing to do.


To start at the beginning of the story is not necessary. We all have our beginnings and Hashem brings us from where we were to where we are. So let’s jump in with where I am. Today I am aware that Hashem answered my prayer – the heartfelt plea that He use me, to show me my mission, to guide me on my path. I am also now aware that as soon as He answered that prayer with a huge opportunity to cling to, rely upon and share my life of emuna openly with the world as I traversed unknown territory, I opted instead to hide.


Today, I am still in the thick of the opportunity. But I am ever so grateful to Hashem for seeking me out from my hiding place and reminding me of my purpose. So, to answer His call, let me share this emuna story.


What did I see when this emuna enhancing opportunity showed up? Well, you may be able to relate here - opportunity isn’t exactly the word I used to describe the challenging events that unfolded. Instead, I felt fear, pain, and sorrow. I saw life as I knew it, with self-confidence gained through my career, evaporate seemingly overnight. I witnessed my physical and mental capabilities drain out of my body like snow melting into a swollen spring river. And, as my “brain power” floated quickly away, I silently backed into the shadows of life. I painfully discovered that, despite all of the self-development and spiritual work I had done, I directly related my self-worth to my mental and physical abilities. As those were stripped away, I felt naked, exposed and useless. My ego pulled me into the depths of despair. Yet, gratefully through Hashem’s loving mercy, I remembered emuna.


I remembered the value of life and I remembered that Hashem loves me with a greater love than I can fathom. I remembered my Rav and the lessons he has taught me. Slowly, I remembered that my mission in life is not to hide the shadows but to be out here in the world…. living. For it is only in this living, engaged space of challenge and opportunities that growth can occur.


Today, I want to remind you that you’re not alone with the challenges of life. Everyone has them and they are gifts custom designed by our loving Creator to guide us on our path, draw us closer to Him, answer our prayers and develop our emuna.


Whatever you’re going through, emuna is the answer. It is the light in the darkness and our path back to Truth. We’re all rooting for you – especially Hashem. He wants to you to take those challenges and see them for the opportunities they truly are.


May we all receive the answers to our prayers for the very best.



* * *

Jennifer invites you to participate in a regularly held on-line study group that reviews the garden series books of Rabbi Arush. You can contact her at jenniferjwoodward@gmail.com to be added to the weekly newsletter for dates and times.

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