When we put on our best clothes, fix our makeup and add the shoes for a business meeting, date, or dinner with the girls - are we really putting on our disguise? When a woman is put together just so, hair, makeup, nails, shoes, and purse all given the same consideration as her clothes, who do we see? Do we see the woman at all, or does our eye travel over the exterior and assume we know her. Confidant, competent, smart, stylish, content.
Is that woman carrying wounds? Feeling like she's insignificant? We assume not. Yet what could better disguise a vulnerable heart than a Prada bag?
I have to tell you, in my 48 years, I've never appeared to be that package. I have never had the patience to put all the pieces together at once, and I'd be more likely to wear Jaclyn Smith than to ever even sniff a Prada bag. I've often believed the costume though. I've seen her at the mall when I'm in jeans and tennis shoes, wishing I'd worn different shoes and taken time to put on earrings.
My disguise says something very different - 'I am wearing this shirt because it hides back-fat', or perhaps it says - 'Last summer this shirt looked OK on me. I'm pretending everyone can only see me approaching and no one notices my back-fat.' You will never see me and wish you'd worn something different. You're welcome! I'm all about promoting self acceptance. Glad I could help.
I belong to a phenomenal small group of honest women. We vary in ages from 20's to 70's. We're married, widowed, divorced & remarried. We're thin, we're not. We tan, we don't. We travel, we're homebodies. We come from families of all shapes and sizes. We've been cheerleaders, we've been invisible. We're graceful, we're klutzy. We have jobs, careers, make homes, raise kids, and are retired.
A couple months ago we began to share the book Captivating
by John and Stasi Eldredge. It's changed us all. Initially I was a
little uncomfortable with the book. It respected and honored emotions
that I'd spent years trying to disown and detach from.
I was shocked to learn every woman at that table is vulnerable. We have fears that we will never be "enough, or we are "too much" or both. Our relational nature feels too messy and we put our heart Spanx on to contain and hide the mess, even from those closest to us.
Ironically, we say, "Just be yourself" to our friends and our kids.
One especially disturbing passage from the book is, "Much of what we call our "personalities" is actually the mosaic of our choices for self-protection plus our plan to get something of the love we were created for."
There is something significant in the fact that no matter how amazing the love affair, there is a longing for more. Nothing quite fills the need. This is the fruit of Eve's fall - not to punish her/us, but to save us - to send us back to the lover of our souls for the completion we need.
Eve's sin was believing God wasn't really there for her, so she had to
take matters into her own hands. It was mistrust. She had to know
everything God knew so she could feel secure. We all handle that
Some of us become driven and controlling because the message we believe is "No one will catch you when you fall. No one will be there for you". Some of us wear it as neediness - desperately yearning for someone else to fill us and unable to hide it.
But this empty space is in the shape of God. Only He can fill it. He made it for Himself.
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by Stasi & John Eldredge