A woman at a beach looking through a cove

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

A friend gave me a book at the start of 2021 that outlined the life of one of the world’s most influential teachers. The secret to his influence? Hiddenness.

The entirety of the book focused on hidden seasons: ones where he was unknown, unseen and seemingly, unimportant. These were seasons when no gold stars or pats on the back were offered.

Transition often ushers in periods of hiddenness in our own lives: the move to a new city, the weeks after having a baby or the first months of post-grad life. These seasons can feel lonely and discouraging, so the formula seemed backward to me.

How do you create impact if you don’t have an audience? Hidden seasons aren’t meant to be where our influence is put on display; they are the intimate, still seasons where character is built.

Hidden seasons… are the intimate still seasons where character is built.

In hidden seasons, an open schedule, or perhaps the same mundane one, awaits us. It can be easy to wish away quiet seasons—to view them as lulls in a typically busy life. However, when stewarded well, these hidden seasons can become preparation seasons. Hiddenness has the gift of being largely void of distractions and ego. It is a rare place of margin in which you have both the time and space to refine your skills, get to know yourself, foster humility and practice discipline.

When you emerge from a hidden season into one of influence, you are a more effective leader. Hiddenness is the refining season where character is built. It begs the question: Who are you when no one is watching?

Hiddenness is the refining season where character is built.

With courage,
Tatum Hanson, the Darling family

In what areas of your life are you in a hidden season right now? What joys can be found in seasons of margin and reflection?

Image via Chris and Sarah Rhoads of We Are the Rhoads, Darling Issue No. 19

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