Last week I read something I wish I hadn’t, didn’t know I needed and something that left me completely changed. It’s a little PG-13, a lot bizarre and came from my old friend, Oswald Chambers:“Am I willing to reduce myself simply to “me,” determined to strip myself of all my friends think of me, of all I think of myself, and to hand that simple naked self over to God?” Naked? I’m 45 years old and have birthed three children. No. I am not willing, but thank you for asking, Mr. Chambers. Oh, and also…eww.
Then, very unfortunately, that awful word kept coming into my head. When I was driving and had the urge to call someone an idiot for driving, well… like an idiot, I would hear that word. When I wanted to act as polished and professional as everyone around me seemed to be at a speaker training I went to in Michigan last week, naked again. In front of people I wanted to impress, my husband during an argument and getting my soy, half the syrup, light-ice Carmel Macchiato at Starbucks. Naked and more naked.
What is it like imagining you’re naked all the time (I’m glad you asked)? Horrible. I felt vulnerable, humble and unworthy. I hated every moment of it and wondered why that word would not fall out of my head. But just like every time God wants to teach me something, this exercise in the buff was just what I needed, when I needed it.
The beauty of being stripped of who I think I am, the titles and accolades I think make me good enough and the masks I hide behind, was the realization that God doesn’t love me, because… I am not worthy of God’s love or other people’s acceptance because of a degree, fun jewelry or cute wedges. I am not more justified to judge others, tolerate others or love or fail to love them because I am feeling good about myself, love my outfit or was a good mom for ten minutes two days ago. Being naked forced me to realize that even in my most humble and undeserving moments, I am still a daughter of the King; loved, accepted and worthy.
“Dear God, thank you I am not the sum of the parts that I think if added up, will make me good enough. Help me not to depend on the things I think make me a speaker worth listening to, a blogger worth reading or a friend worth having. It is an awful yet lovely thing to be naked at the foot of the cross. When I am vulnerable and completely humble You shine brightest. When I am stripped of myself, I realize I am worthy, loved and beautiful because and only because of You.”