- Focus Scripture: John 5:14-15 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
How much of this world has left a stain on us? Do we know where the demarcation is? What is it about satisfying the people around us that makes living worthwhile but, only for a moment? We cannot please everyone. We become depressed, anxious, worried, and doubtful when we feel we don’t measure up in the eyes of our peers. That was my problem I never felt good enough, intelligent enough, and if I did anything I had to do it all. I had to be super at everything! Spreading myself way too thin and suffering the burn out from it.
I normally try to stay neutral with topics but, this will likely resonate more with women. However, gentlemen, I believe you will be able to relate to this because of the women in your lives. Before I move forward I am not saying that pampering yourself is wrong or that you should stop. What I am sharing is how I covered up my brokenness.
I am a boy mom, I get my hands dirty, I love to paint, create and I’m a musician; long fingernails just don’t go with stringed instruments. So when I started getting my nails done professionally it was a huge deal for me. I was trying to fit in, to the life I had outside of the home which meant dressing up, accessorizing, and wearing makeup. Being girly. It felt good to wear things that were complimented on. The problem? I was concealing who I was and hiding my brokenness with a mask. My identity in Christ was not something I was seeking and I felt lost not knowing that God was the missing piece. I was broken without Him. The more I conformed the less I was looked at as being different or set apart. That placed my psyche between the real me and the illusion I had created.
I know nail salons have advanced since I frequented them years ago but, I’m positive the process is about the same. The thing with acrylic nails was eventually my own nails would grow out making the perfectly sculpted oval shape look, raggedy. This begged my return to the salon to have the imitation nails removed. I was always happy with how much my own nails had grown under the protection of the hardened exterior provided by the acrylic. However, this growth would almost always have to be cut off due to the brittle, fragile, nature of my own nail bed. The evidence of the imitation nails was given away by a line of demarcation. It became a repetitive process all for the sake of fitting into this world. As odd as it sounds me doing this was a way of concealing my brokenness. If I looked put together on the outside no one would question what was going on internally. I could even hide from myself not dealing with the root of the problems I had. But we all know what happens when you try to push something down and not deal with it. It eventually surfaces in a way that we don’t have control over. We deny the feelings exist but there they are there waiting to leap out at the most inappropriate time and likely in a place that will embarrass us greatly.
I concealed my brokenness by being extra girly, I was not being authentically myself. I am a tomboy. I’m not afraid of sweat or hard work. I had to conform to be accepted. I covered up my brokenness by going overboard with my hair, nails, and at one point the height of my heels. I kept covering, I kept concealing, I kept sweeping who I really was under the proverbial rug in order to be the person I thought everyone thought I should be. It came to a point when my glass facade shattered and those broken pieces split and went in all directions. All the control I thought I had was now gone. I was moving in stillness. It didn’t help me grow or develop a spiritual maturity. I needed real change and that is when I sought God. He opened my eyes and made me aware of the layers I was hiding under. He showed me the beautiful woman He had created and what I had done to devalue myself. God showed me I was worthy and I repented. I continue to repent because I know I’m not perfect and I’m not above anyone else. He showed me His light and I walked into it with my eyes wide with wonder and awe. I could seek forgiveness because I needed to be I made permanent changes and operated in the forgiveness, God swept away the arrogance, bitterness, vanity, and pride and let me see His creation of myself. He shows me where to go and I follow.
- Do I know who I am?
- Is my identity found in this world or with God?
- How will I be remembered?