Have you ever seen the homes on the market that look good on the outside, but need so much work done on the inside? Real estate agents know exactly what should be done to sale a house. They know exactly how much paint is needed to cover up the holes in a damaged wall. They know carpet can cover up cracks in a floor. I have become a mastermind at hiding EVERYTHING. When I step out the door, my hair is combed, make-up flawless, and I am dressed to impress. I have learned, as long as you have on concealer…. people won’t see the ugly dark spots. You know, the pain you carry that only you and God know about. When you are considered the “Strong One”… you feel a sense of responsibility to live up to what other people see in you. The fear of disappointing those you love the most makes you add more concealer. I have roles to play everyday. I am a mother, daughter, sister, friend, and educator. My perfectionism won’t allow me to reveal the helplessness that tries to take over my mind, heart, and soul.
Now, I was born a PK. Preacher’s Kids know the bible. I know Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Praying helps! I am not denying that. Scriptures help! I am not negating that either. I need God. Without Him, I am nothing. Without Him, I won’t make it. Just for a moment… just one moment… I need permission to be HUMAN. The truth is… my heart hurts. I mean really hurts. Some days it is hard to get out of bed. Then once I decide to get out of bed, I have to put one foot in front of the other. Geesh! I haven’t even thought about clothes yet. I am already exhausted and the day is just getting started. Wait a minute! I have to do this again tomorrow. Pretending is draining! The “cover up” life is grueling. I am good at concealing, but the PRODUCTION is strenuous.
Instead of concealing, I have decided to acknowledge my brokenness. I have decided to throw away the concealer. What you see is what you get. I am broke down, but ready for the build up. I have given myself permission to feel and be real. I cry, but I don’t have to cry as if there is no hope. One of my favorite sermons my dad would preach is “Building Your House On a Solid Foundation.” He talked about the story of the Three Little Pigs. The pigs were warned of the Big Bad Wolf. The momma pig let her children know the wolf “the devil” is real. You have to be sure you are building on a solid foundation. You know how the story goes. The first pig built his house of straw. When the big bad wolf, “the devil,” came he destroyed the first little pig. Although the second pig was wiser, he wasn’t wise enough. He built his house with sticks. Yes, it was stronger than the first little pig’s house, but it still wasn’t strong enough. The second little pig was destroyed as well. The third little pig decided to take into account everything he heard about the Big Bad Wolf. He decided it was important to build on a solid foundation. He built his house of bricks. When the Big Bad Wolf came huffing and puffing, he couldn’t blow his house down. The third little pig knew the importance of building on a strong foundation. I am hurting. I am crying. Most importantly, I am building. This time, my foundation will be strong! I am not sure what that looks like, but that’s alright. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I do not have to see it; I just have to believe it.
This is my art
No need to ask questions
The sketches are a mystery of my hand
The strokes from my paintbrush, you can't yet understand.
This is my work
It won't be clear
Until the very last gloss
Until you dismiss your fear.
When I'm done
And not until then,
With one blow from my mouth
Colors will appear.
Red, yellow, green, and blue
Your beautiful life as I intended from the beginning
My art! My hue!
This is my art
It's what I do best.
This is my art,
But for you, it's a TEST!
This morning, I give you permission!
I give you permission to hurt.
I give you permission to cry.
I give you permission to be angry.
I give you permission to not understand or have all the answers.
I give you permission to feel.
I give you permission to kick.
I give you permission to scream.
I give you permission to question.
I give you permission to sit in your truth.
I refuse to give you permission to REMAIN and just REMAIN.
Webster had several definitions of this powerful word. The second definition of the word remain is “to stay in the same place, or with the same person." Following this definition, Webster italicizes, “especially: to stay behind.” It may be easier to remain in this way, but you can’t always take the easy way out. If you remain stuck in a rut, it will cost you in the long run.
Webster’s third definition of the word remain is “to continue unchanged.” We have been given direct orders from God NOT to remain. Romans 12:2, “And, do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. God is commanding us to change everyday to be more and more like him. We are to mature in GOD! We must continue to change.
The first definition was my favorite, so I saved the best for last. Webster defines remain, “to be a part not destroyed, taken, or used up.” People in this world will take from you. When they feel you are no longer of any use to them, they will leave you for dead. BUT GOD!!!!! He will take the little bit of sanity, strength, peace, mercy, and get up and go you have left, and work with IT. When I was a little girl, we sung a song in church called, “Faith, Faith, Faith, Just a Little Bit of Faith.” My favorite lines were:
“It don’t take a whole lot;
Just use the little you got.
Faith, Faith, Faith,
Just a little bit of Faith.”
Matthew 17:20 says, “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Part b of the first definition was “to be something yet to be shown, done, or treated….it remains to be seen.” I Corinthians 2:9 says, “ However, as the scripture says, "What no one ever saw or heard, what no one ever thought could happen, is the very thing God prepared for those who love him."
So… today, I give myself permission to REMAIN steadfast and unshakable. No matter how much I have left, it is enough! Join me; let’s build!
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