If We're Honest....The Real You
I am realizing that with every post in this series, the Lord reminds me of times and situations in my own life to share. In my last post about self image, I was very honest about my own insecurities at times. I hope that it helped you to know that you are not alone because so many women (and men) deal with insecurities. I think this also goes along with being authentic, the real you.
Think about this for a moment. Are there certain times that you are not authentic? In these moments, who is the real you if someone asked, "Will the real you please stand?" Have there been times in your life when you wanted to be someone you are not or do you dream of wealth that you don't possess? I think if we're honest, we've all had those feelings. I think that we often wear our false skin in the areas of wealth and popularity. In our culture it is ingrained in us to try to keep up with the neighbor who has it all or the friends in our social circle that appear as having it all whatever "It" is.
Society adds mounds of pressure to do more and have more and if you don't... to act as though you do. When our boys were growing up we made frequent trips to the consignment stores for clothing. We were a homeschooling family living on one income. Our three boys would wait on their dad to get home and they would pull out their "gently used" clothing from the consignment clothing store to show him. They were as excited as if their new wardrobe had been purchased at a famous department store.
The first time the Lord called me to speak publicly, I wore a pretty dress with a suit jacket to match that cost a whopping $12 from our favorite consignment store. The Holy Spirit showed up that day just as He would had I been in a high priced suit with diamonds sewed in the seams. Since that day the Lord has blessed me and He dresses me in professional suits for business but the value of that $12 suit will never escape me because it was the real me in it. I wasn't worried about the cost of a co-worker's outfit or if mine measured up because my focus was on sharing His grace to others and not how I looked in front of them. I think we can lose our focus and authenticity if we are not careful. Society tries to make us feel that we are not good enough if we don't do enough or have enough. This is a very old trick used by Satan first with Eve. He appeals to our longings and desires and makes us feel that we've been held out on if we don't have what others have. We can also live in excess because of those societal pressures or even fear.
If we' re fearful of fitting in or worry more of a person's view of us, we lose sight of the real us inside the suit.
It brings exhaustion upon ourselves. The business woman and mom tries to act as though she has it all together arriving at the office but before entering the door she broke a heel, ripped her hose, and stepped in puppy poop (been there). The stay at home mom tries to prove she can cook a zillion cupcakes for the kids' party, prepare a meal for church for a family in need, get one child to football practice, help another with homework, prepare supper for her own family and act as though it is easy (been there).
I am reminded of a the following short story I wrote for children about a man and his earth suit. Every day when this man (or woman) awoke, he put one suit of clothes on top of another striving to have the best suit because he thought it would make him good and perfect. As he would go to work, he would feel like he was weighted down and the suits grew heavier and heavier each day. People that knew him were puzzled at how he looked heavier in his clothes each day. When he would lie down, try as he might, he could not get any rest. One day when he awoke, he had so many clothes on that they began to rip and tear. He was bursting at the seams to get out of all of those suits. When the last suit fell off and he looked in the mirror, he couldn’t believe how handsome he was. It was like he was a “new man.” Now he had only one suit on and what was underneath was so beautiful and light that he didn’t have to try so hard to rest at night or walk perfectly during the day. His spirit now shined through His earth suit because he wasn’t trying so hard to wear all the "right suits" each day. Sound familiar?
The Bible says in 2nd Corinthians 5 that our body is an earth tent and that we grow weary in our present bodies and long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. It goes on to say in verse 9 that in these earthly bodies we live to please Him. We don't have to worry about wearing the right suit or rather fitting in and appearing to have it all, or the earthly version of having it all. We have the Holy Spirit and we shouldn't allow others to measure us nor do we measure them based on what we have or what we do. Don't let the value of yourself be determined by someone else. If we are led by the Spirit we can allow the "real me" in all of us to shine through........if we're honest.