How much time do you spend crafting an identity you want to hide behind? You know, working on being skinny, funny, pretty, crafty, wise, spiritual? (those are mine) How much effort is given to those things? How much effort given to hiding? I'm taking a cue from my new favorite blogger Courtney and including tons of pictures that I illegally snag off the internet (she has rights to hers).
How much time to hiding behind an identity that is fabricated to make you look like you're not as messed up as you are? Like Eve hiding behind the hand-sewn fig-leaves in the garden, wondering who would see.
John and I were talking last night, about how much I've been struggling lately since I've been sick, and I'm not able to get out of bed early, read my Bible and exercise. It came down to me saying this very bluntly (please don't email me about eating disorders or I will egg your car):
"I have to be skinny"
....and him poignantly asking:
"Why do you have to be skinny?"
This completely disarmed me. I was ill prepared to answer such a direct question and all the things I could think I wanted to say to defend myself ("Because it's healthier", "So I'll feel good about myself", "So I can be more confident") Really boiled down to nothing and sounded so fake...cause I knew the truth.
I laid in bed, thinking about the real answer, and this blog post and struggled to sleep.
The real answer is (it's hard to be this transparent)...I want people to worship me.
Let me follow that up with the fact that I sat here and stared at the computer screen wondering if I really had the audacity to type what I felt in my heart. Wondering if I could somehow soften the blow of that truth by saying something like "think I'm great" instead of using the word "worship"...but I just couldn't do it justice.
I am guilty of the same sin that caused Lucifer to fall like lightning from heaven. And it's dreadful.
Now before you all start telling me how much I beat myself up, or downplaying what I just said let me also say that I am completely aware of the fact that my Savior died for that, it is finished, and I am forgiven.
But let me explain what I'm learning about this.
We are all in desperate need of being real. Putting it on the line. I don't mean in a sort of "I'm going to expose what I want you to see enough so it looks like I'm really honest but I'm really just using even that to craft my own image" kind of real. I'm talking about, "this makes me uncomfortable" kind of real.
A woman I really look up to just did something that I know makes her feel utterly exposed, and then made the comment to me about how that is her place of faith, because if we're not there, learning how to be comfortable in the place we're least comfortable, we are hiding.
God has recently been sparing me from hiding by stripping away the things I want to hide behind.
Well-behaved kids? Good luck forcing that one.
Spiritual bible verse wisdom? Not until I can read my Bible again.
Great muscles? How about you sleep in until 8am.
Good mothering? Well we watched 3 hours of television yesterday.
It's all this glorious thing, that was originally making me so miserable, but I'm learning now to find great rest in.
"I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness." John 12:46
We can bring our entire selves, completely real and exposed to the light. We can stand unashamed once more, in all our awful glory, with every truth we are ashamed to admit, because we have been granted a new identity.
We can be comfortable when we are anything but comfortable because we don't find our rest in what we do, or how we look, but in our Savior.
"The LORD sets prisoners free" Psalm 146:7
We have no reason to hide, no cause to find something to cover us...we are covered!
Behind every awful moment of being exposed is a chance to find rest in the gospel.
On the other side of every colossal "failure" is a God waiting with open arms to hold the daughter he already knew was a screw up.
And on the outside of every comfort zone, is a liberty that would never have been realized had we not ventured out.