I am shallow. Yes and quite frankly it sounded much less abrasive in my mind than it feels typing the actual word, but due to the fact that my fingers will not stop it would seem that my heart is intent on speaking.
Where to begin on such a topic as this? The sort of topic that requires you to pull the rather large wrench from the depths of your gut and refuse to clot the bleeding with a bandage. Open wounds need to breath in order to heal, so let the healing begin.
I have always, since a young child, been intrigued with politics. The secret service, Jackie O's wardrobe, The white House, all of it has been a source of great interest to me for as long as I can remember. I was glued to the television for the swearing in of every president as far back as George W. Bush Sr. so you can imagine my excitement upon receiving an invitation to the Inauguration. The thought of actually being there in person had me all kinds of giddy. I am a sucker for all things red, white, and blue and could not wait to feel the lawn of the capital underneath my feet.
But when Zach began to speak of "Balls," and "Gowns," and "Business Attire" and I could feel my face become red, my hands become sweaty, and a lump form in my throat where just moments before I was floating around my house singing God Bless America (Lionel Richie style.) In a matter of 10 seconds it would seem that every physical flaw that has ever been brought to my attention replayed in all caps across a large marquee sign in my mind. 101 reasons as to why I should never wear a ball gown. Well you see, first there is my skin condition, the vitiligo is not favorable to ball gowns. Then there is my hair situation, how does one manage to style overly damaged hair that is also thinning due to thyroid issues? Finally there isn't a heel tall enough to get this 5'2" chick off the hem of any ball gown without significant alterations and we were leaving in a couple of weeks. Did I just admit all of that? I am shallow.
It gets worse. I even attempted to convince my husband to go without me by playing the old "we can save money," "we wont have to find childcare," "yada, yada, yada..." secretly of course I wanted to go, but my insecurity had me trapped in fear. You see years ago I would have never in a million years admitted this insecurity to my husband. If I had managed to admit it to myself, and that is a big IF, I would have simply pepped talked myself into "owning it" and that as long as you appear confident it doesn't really matter what you are truly feeling inside. It was all about the way others perceived me. Praise God that he did not consider me a lost cause and loves me then and now as He leads me to a greater understanding of true security.
As the story goes, due to my willingness to admit the ugliness inside of me to my
husband, he was able to reassure me in a loving way. My inability to show weakness all of those years before would lead me to blowing up over silly unrelated issues that had nothing to do with the real source of my insecurity. My anger would make no sense to my husband, because my pride would never allow me to honestly discuss the real issue, thus leading to a very frustrating marriage.
The freedom you can experience when you refuse to fear seeing yourself for who you truly are is life changing. It also changes the way you are able to see other people. Many times our issues with others stem from insecurities in our own lives that we refuse to allow ourselves to see. Yours may not be a physical insecurity, it could be a coveting of someone's gifts or talents, discontentment with your own life, or ole fashion jealousy. I have been guilty of all three in my life. When my pride keeps me from admitting those things then sin has a way of mucking up my heart and pretty soon I have a whole lot of issues with a whole lot of people. All because I was not willing to deal with the true root of my problem, me.
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I was not sure that this was something that I wanted to share. Meaning, I wasn't sure that I wanted you to see a side of me that I am not particularly proud of. Often times we want to draw people to a version of ourselves that is not exactly the full picture in hopes that they will think highly of us. However, there is not a single version of me that would be worthy of being lifted up, followed, or admired and so for that reason it is not my goal to write in a way so that you will look at me. I write so that you will look at Him.
I write so that you can look at someone as shallow as I am and see that God's love is changing me. I write so that through my attempt at letting you into my flawed world that you might see beams of light as God is continually tweaking me through whispers from the Holy Spirit. I write because somehow I do not feel alone in this struggle of mine and the thought that God might speak to you as I type, allowing me to be but a mere instrument of His Glory truly is my hearts desire. I write because I know that my daughter and my son will one day have a moment or two of their own insecurity and I do not want them to settle for "faux" confidence. I want them to settle for nothing short of the truth.
Even if that truth is embarrassing and unpopular. Even if it causes them to have to see things within themselves that they do not like and would rather keep covered.
When you are willing to lay the truth before the Father there is no limit to the amount of healing He is waiting to pour out and there is no insecurity that He cannot fill with His love. When the insecurities come, do not allow yourself to runaway and seek temporary cover, but instead run at them head on with everything you've got. True healing, true security, and true confidence are only found in the bright light of TRUTH.
"But everything exposed by the light becomes visible--and everything that is illuminated becomes a light" Eph 5:13
P.S. I have to tell you this one little thing, because God never ceases to amaze me in the ways that he works. Wouldn't you know that the sweet little girl who did my hair for one of the balls in D.C. had lost a significant amount of her hair due to radiation treatments. She asked how I wanted my hair to look and I made a joke about its fragile state and she immediately began telling me her story and how this struggle effected her self image. I then talked about my skin disease and shared my own struggle with her. Two strangers sat talking about how God had completely changed the way that we see ourselves. God is good.