Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sacred Sofa

It matters that we invest the time to figure out who we really are and that we learn to be whatever that is consistently, in quiet moments and in loud ones, in good times and in bad. And the reason may surprise you.

I've been thinking a lot lately about who I am and who I project to be and who I pretend to be. I've been thinking about the dramatic contrast between what I believe is the most true about me in my best moments and the lesser things I let speak for me when I'm not on guard against myself (or perhaps I'm too on guard on behalf of "myself"). And the other night, I had this one horrible, heart-wrenching, gut-turning moment that sort of encapsulated all that I'm feeling about this. It was this:

One of these days, I'm going to walk into the presence of God. I'm going to sit on His couch, kick back with a nice glass of tea, and enjoy the kind of fellowship we were meant to have.

Or am I?

It occurs to me that if I'm very busy pretending to be something I'm not, if I'm always working at projecting this image of who I want to be or who I want others to think I am, if I'm laboring to hide some of the more vulnerable parts of myself rather than embracing the entirety of who I am, this is not going to be such a glorious moment. There will be no kicking back, no relaxing. Because I'll know. And He'll know. And I'll know He knows. 

I shudder to think that God might one day look right through me at the very moment I'm looking into His eyes. He looks right through me all the time. He knows my bigger things. He knows my better things. He knows my truer self, and He's always calling me to it. But to imagine being in His actual presence and knowing His eyes are looking right through me, wishing I would just, for once, be myself...that's tough. It's hard to think about sitting in the presence of Jesus and trying to come up with a rational explanation of why, even here, I can't simply be who I was created to be. It's hard to think about being perfected and still holding back. Maybe in heaven, I won't have any of the insecurities that hold me back right now, but what will that moment feel like? 

Adam and Eve never knew they were naked, but it's so hard for me to fathom that I would feel the same way. 

And I imagine how hard it might be for me to speak in the presence of Jesus. Not because I'd be overwhelmed by His glory and everything (although I might), but because I will know that I've spent this life speaking shallow words - about myself, about my God, about just about everything - and I think I'll be haunted by that. Again, maybe heaven takes care of that for me. Maybe being perfected washes my words clean and I finally speak freely the truth that burns so deeply inside of me. But I can't imagine that right now. 

I don't know what it feels like.

And maybe all of this is no reflection on heaven, but is more a reflection on here. Maybe it's because I know that if you set me on Christ's couch right now and gave me the opportunity to kick back with Him, I would feel like not much more than a poser. 

The truth of who I am, who God has created me to be, burns deeply inside of me, and I long for that to be my story, for that to be my life, but I'm bound by all these insecurities, all these wounds, all these worries. I'm tired of being fake, but real...real feels so heavy. Still, I can't shake the broken-heartedness I see in His eyes when He beholds my hesitant self.

I want...I want so badly to be comfortable with Jesus, but I don't think I can until I'm comfortable with myself. 

In the moments that I feel most in touch with my vulnerabilities, I also feel the most free. And the most real. This is who I am - broken, beautiful. I've been blessed recently with a few opportunities to just embrace that, to be real, to kick back with it and relax in who I am, in who God has made in me. And you know what? Those are great moments. I find myself laughing for no reason, talking naturally, comfortably. My pace slows. My breath regulates. I walk away not questioning myself, but wondering why I can't just do that more often. 

And I think about what it would be like to live this life freely before God and men, but particularly before God. I wonder what it would be like to sit on His sacred sofa and feel those very same things - comfortable, confident, free. Kickin' back with a cup of tea and enjoying the fellowship we were meant to have. It doesn't seem possible this side of heaven, but I've had a couple of those moments. I want more of them. 

I don't want to wait until heaven takes away my shame. I want to live naked before my God in this broken world and not be ashamed of it. So I'm working on that. 

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