Don’t judge me but in an effort to add a bit of color to my entryway and make peace with the fact that goats eat EVERYTHING-I’ve created pots of colorful silk arrangements. And if I do say so myself, they look pretty authentic as long as you don’t examine them too closely.
This morning I woke to find my carefully arranged fake flowers strewn across my front yard. Strong winds during the night had lifted them out of the pots and carried them everywhere-betraying their true nature.
No pretending now.
As I stooped down to gather the remnants and reposition them I thought about how much of my own life is spent trying to look better than I really am. How often am I arranging “fake flowers” in an effort to fool the eye of the beholder?
And who am I trying to impress anyway?
When the winds of life come blowing hard, all that “fake me” gets stripped away. I’m not strong enough to withstand the wind and keep pretending.
It hardly seemed like a gift at the time, but when Dominic left us, I realized that I had been utterly exposed-every false thing was stripped away and I was standing, defenseless and naked-emotions everywhere, my ability to “keep up appearances” absolutely GONE.
For a time I no longer tried to curate my life so it met with others’ approval.
But old habits die hard and I find myself slipping back into the rut of trying to be something I’m not. Pride clings to every pore and insists that if I don’t do the right thing, say the right thing and look the part, people will turn away.
Wouldn’t it just be better if I was real ALL the time?
Wouldn’t my relationships be stronger if they were built on honest sharing and authentic connections?
I have learned through the years that God does not want just our happy; He also really wants our sad. Everything is not fine, and God wants to hear about it. He is drawn to us when we’re mourning and blesses us in a special way. God is not up there minimizing our pain and comparing it to others who have it worse than we do. God wants all pain to be surrendered to Him, and He has the capacity to respond to it all with infinite compassion.
~Esther Fleece, No More Faking Fine, p. 35
So I’m taking back the gift of authenticity that was purchased at such high cost.
I’m re-embracing the honesty that being stripped of all pretense exposed.
I’m keeping my fake flowers but I’m ditching the fake me.