12.30.2010

Hiding

You know, I store up these posts in my google reader and every single damn time I read them right when I need to read them.
Here's one from in(courage):

This exhausting battle with becoming true faced – the intentional drop of the fa├žade, and the joyful embrace of the quirkiness – both amuses and saddens me, daily.

You see, I’m a recovering people pleaser.

That desire to fit in, to be liked, and yet…be “unique”, like…well, everyone else, has been as familiar to me as breathing.  Comparison became an involuntary function, “Insecure” my middle name.

Once you learn to live under the tremendous weight of this baggage, it becomes the way you function…

crippling the way you carry yourself,

coloring the way you engage with others,

warping the way you perceive God…and His plan for your life.

Isn’t it amazing how easily we get this all wrong?  We know what brews in our hearts, what we wrestle with in our minds, and what taunts us from our past…and on this, we base our self-perception, our value, our worth.  And yet we look at others – the well polished exterior – and make an assessment based on that single layer of their existence.

We judge, applaud, compare.

And most often, based on that broken scale, we come up short.

But you see, it is I that constructed this scale in the first place.  Of course it’s faulty.  It was never intended to be.

We have been wired – absolutely and intentionallydifferent.  Marvelously unique.  And rather than thrive in the delight of this reality, we try to fix, and survive amidst, what we view as wrong with us.

I am discovering, on this glorious road to freedom, that comparison kills contentment.  Go ahead; read that again, it’s profound…

As sure as the dawn, comparison will kill contentment.

So what do we do with our brokenness, if not resent and hide it?

I have experienced, first hand, the destructive, exhausting, pretentious lifestyle of hiding, and you could not pay me enough to live there again.

For I have tasted the light, sweetness of freedom, and I could never go back.

I will never forget that hot day in August, 2003, while sitting in the front row of a stadium in New York, listening to Pam Stenzel talk about purity.  It was just 2 months before I was set to marry the man of my dreams, a guy I was sure had fallen for the girl I was pretending to be, the girl I so badly wanted to be.

But God met me in the dark, dirty caverns of my heart.  Places I was determined to never revisit.  Concealment, I was certain, was my only hope.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

As it all came tumbling out; the ugly, the painful, and the downright shocking, a sense of intense fear began to grow, threatening to pull me back into hiding.

But even then, God was facilitating the exchange.  The fear was soon overpowered by a boldness that started to rise within me, and a weightless that sweetly settled on my heart, wooing me on to surrender more of what I had so ferociously protected.

I had carried this load for so long that I had no idea what it felt to live without it, to “travel light”.

God tenderly started to put me back together, like an artist painstakingly crafting a masterpiece from little shards of broken, irregularly shaped glass.  Pieces of something that used to be “put-together”, now repurposed in something new, something bigger…astonishingly beautiful and deliciously unorthodox.

It is true.  I used to want to look like a clear, crisp glass vase.

Pretty.

Striking.

Uncomplicated.

Untainted by the chips and dents of a messy life.

But I’m realizing that isn’t the image God is calling me to portray.

He gets no glory in my apparent perfection, in my finely-tuned charade.

It is in my brokenness, and reconstruction, in the wild, multi-faceted flicker of His light within me – glowing through those very shards I tried so desperately to cover up – that His beauty is displayed to a watching world.

Never before have I been so confident that He is more than able to bring about beauty from our brokenness.

The question now is simply this: will you surrender your past to the creative genius of a loving, redemptive God?

{who knows, you just might like being a human mosaic}

Ps.  In case you’re wondering…he did still marry me.  The real me!

by Joy McMillan, Simply Bloom

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