This journey of laying down idols and relinquishing control to the Almighty Savior of my Soul is a journey I am walking through now, in real time. If you are just joining me check out my post from monday on control and tuesday about idols. I think they are important to understanding today’s post 🙂
This is not easy for me. But God is bigger than my discomfort. Today I am going to dive into my dance with the idol of image. In fact that is the reason for my discomfort and sweaty palms as I type these words. I really work hard to maintain an image. Something like I have it “all together”. Whatever that means. And I am already concerned about what you think of me. Silly really, but the truth. I think most of us strive to appear that way especially if we are meeting others. I mean really, who wants someone to see their flaws (or percieved flaws) and struggles upon first meeting someone? We all have them but we sure work hard to hide them.
I find that when I am in the presence of new people I am constantly trying to figure out what they are looking for. Although, I will admit the older I get the more comfortable I am with myself, and the less I compromise on who I am on the behalf of another. However, situations of meeting new people really expose the subtle ways I still work to please others.
This area of idolatry really became apparent for me in the last couple weeks because of different situations I was in that caused me to feel slightly insecure. Nothing major, just uncomfortable in my own skin. This bothered me because I have really been working on finding my identity solely in Christ and not letting other things dictate who I am. A flag popped up, waved wildly, and I remember petitioning “God, will I ever feel comfortable meeting new people?” A few other things happened that really exposed this area:
-I looked in my well stocked closet to find I had nothing to wear for several different occasions where I really wanted to make an impression. I then proceeded to search the mall for several weeks for the “perfect” thing to wear. It truly became an area of stress in my life. Lame.
-I became overly self conscious about my weight because I was seeing people I hadn’t seen in some time so I decided that I needed to crash exercise. (In my world that is exercise hard for a couple of days, experience extreme burnout and not go for a week after). Doubt there is any tangible change or results but in my head it was something productive to control my appearance. Ha, right.
-Become that girl who tries on almost every article of clothing in her closet before going to a weekly meeting just because I never know who (meaning future mr. erin taylor) could be there. Even though I am soo not looking.
-Freak out over wearing work out clothes in public. By freak out I mean apologize repeatedly, to a friend who does not care one iota what I look like, about the embarrassing state of no make up and work out clothing I was in. What? For real? Who does that?
Those are just some examples. Whew. I am laughing at myself as I type them. But the truth is they are there. Last night I was journaling through something things and it hit me out of the blue where this is all stemming from. The little lie was exposed and suddenly it all made sense.
I believe that a portion of myself (my personality) is flawed.
When I was a child I was painfully shy and really struggled to build friendships. There was a time in my life where just meeting another human being freaked me out to the core. I would cling to my parents leg and will myself invisible. To adults it was adorable, to me it was mortifying. In middle school I could not make friends and my parents were at a complete loss at what to do. This life transition was hard enough without the added stress of me coming home in tears every day because I had not met a single person, let alone talked to anyone.
In my heart I began to ask “What is wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone want to be my friend?”
The answer came alone out of the unsuspecting mouths of my parents. Hear me when I say I know they did not mean for me to take it to heart or interpret this way. I honestly believe they were just trying to help me come out of my shell and meet people. I know that my distress and friendlessness caused them great pain. But something like this was said:
“You need to be more outgoing and then you will have friends.”
When I could not figure out how to be more outgoing, the lie, “Because you are not outgoing, there is something terribly wrong with you. No one will ever like you. If you were just different or better you would have friends” formed in my heart. Satan took the words and my pain and formed a lie that took root. The worst part was I agreed with him. And I have been living the fruit of that lie for years now.
As I had this realization, sadness washed over me. I know in my mind those lies are far from true. But because it is a lie that lives in my heart, I operate from that place. Our actions are a reflection of what we really believe. Thankfully I know God is not going to leave me here. He already has begun building the foundation to deal with this lie. Scripture began to flood my mind and I wrote:
I am fearfully and wonderfully made in my Father’s image. He did not make a mistake with me yet created me with a perfect purpose and plans to prosper me. I am the daughter of the King, adopted into His family. Loved and cherished by Him. He delights in me. I am the apple of His eye.
The actual verses are as follows:
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well.” Psalm 139: 14
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1: 27
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-” Ephesians 1:5
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4: 10
“For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” Psalm 149: 4
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 17: 8
For the next few weeks I am going to focus on taking this lie captive, replacing it with truth and pulling it right out of my heart. I will begin by renewing my mind in the Word so that Truth can replace it as I pull it out. I also am going to pray about what types of action God wants me to take to combat this lie and purge my heart from it once and for all. Personally I am done dancing with this idol of image. Christ is the only one for me. He doesn’t step on my feet 😉
I know Christ wants me to walk in the confidence that He gives me. He does not want for a minute me to doubt the way His hands created me. If you can relate or have been where I am at feel free to comment below. We are all in this journey together you know? And maybe we can learn a thing or two from each other. Happy Wednesday 🙂