Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries
There are very few people who have ever seen me naked, and I will do everything in my power to keep it that way!
But when it comes to how much of myself I choose to reveal on an emotional level, I long for the freedom that comes from daring to bare it all!
It is so difficult to share our flaws and shortcomings with others, but one small act of vulnerability has the power to open up a floodgate of blessing in our lives.
True vulnerability is a rare thing in our culture where perception is everything.
Today I am going to strip away the fancy clothes and cute accessories and show you the person I have been trying to cover up for all these years.
This is not a decision I came by lightly, but it is something I felt the Lord tugging on my heart to do.
After several drafts, long conversations with my best friend and husband, and lots of prayer, this article is what I ended up with.
We are all woefully and habitually imperfect.
I am positively obsessed with trying to hide my imperfections from others. I work hard to keep my house clean, teach my children to be well behaved, and care for the needs of my husband.
But no matter how good I am at creating the appearance of perfection, my life and my heart is still a jumbled mess.
I often struggle to keep my mind focused on others rather than consumed with thoughts of self.
I have to constantly remind myself to listen before I speak, and I care far too much about what others think of me.
I wish I were more patient with my children, and feel terrible about how often I raise my voice in anger.
I am so grateful that no one can hear what goes on inside of my head.
I am often too quick to judge, overly hard on myself and others, constantly striving for my own version of perfection, and frequently consumed with self-doubt and negativity.
I don’t always like the person that is hiding under all of those coverings.
She isn’t at all who I want to be.
She is the worst version of me, and I fight every day to make sure she is never allowed out into the open where others might see her.
She is often selfish, jealous, judgmental, impatient, and unkind. She can be very ugly, and she is often lurking just below the surface.
She is sinful, she is fallen, she is broken….
…she needs GRACE.
” So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:21-25
We all have a list of personal flaws we see in ourselves, whether we choose to share it with the world or not.
I have revealed my insecurities to you, my private thoughts, the things I try to hide.
Jesus Christ loves me in spite of everything I stated above, He has a beautiful plan for my life, and He is slowly but surely teaching me to bare it all before Him.
In those fleeting moments when I am able to share my whole self with Him, flaws and all, I am transformed!
The fears and insecurities we struggle to keep hidden are holding us captive.
The harder we try to cover them up, the stronger and more powerful they become.
Sometimes we need to bare it all before a trustworthy friend before we can find the inner strength to be emotionally naked before God
Let others in, and you will realize that you are not alone and your battle is not unique.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you are REDEEMED!
That ugly person living inside of you has been SAVED BY GRACE, and sin has NO POWER.
It’s time for both you and I to start defining ourselves, not by who we used to be, but rather by who GOD SAYS WE ARE!
We have been crucified with Christ and weI no longer live, but Christ lives in us. (Galatians 2:20)
The Son has set us free. We are free indeed! (John 8:36)
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13)
He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39)
In all things, God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)
God is faithful. He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20)
God is for us! Who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
We all need grace. Each. And. Every. Day.
We need forgiveness for our shortcomings and strength to overcome them. I would be lost if not for the hope I have in my Savior.
The process of writing this post showed me that I am not that girl who is hiding just beneath the surface of my life.
I haven’t been her for a long time.
It’s time for me to stop listening to her, and to start replacing her lies with God’s truth.