I am surprisingly inspired by a new friend, a few years my junior, who has decided to be completely transparent. She's calling fat days just that ~ fat days. And for someone recovering from a lifetime battle with an eating disorder, I stand in abject admiration. She's done pretending, done faking, done with the whole charade. I am so proud to call this woman a friend; spurred on by her willingness to just be.
Yet here I am, three decades in, having spent a lifetime practicing image management: learning what to say to whom, how to say it, and when to swallow my thoughts. Why? To be considered pleasing; to be thought of as a pleasant and worthwhile person. Think debutante, junior league, 1950's country club; crinolines, white gloves, and ruby, red punch in cut-glass cups. And the suffocating feeling of donning your "every thing's peachy-keen" face so the world won't think you're too messy, too emotional, too much effort.
Today, in an attempt to honor my friend's valiant strides, I am setting down my punch glass (and yes, I do so with a little extra force so that the ruby, red punch sloshes over the sides onto the pristine white table cloth beneath. See, I am a mess). I'm tossing my delicate white gloves on top of the heap of tulle in the corner that is my abandoned crinoline. Today, I'm going to be see-through.
Today, I want to say that I'm tired; not weary, more the sick-and-tired sense. I'm tired of hashing and rehashing my past. For the holiday season, I'd like to just let it be that ~ my past. I'm not saying I want to put it away forever. I know that I have been called to share my testimony with others; I know that I have been redeemed and I am so blessed to be able to give the glory to God for this. But I also know that HE does not define me by my past sin. HE sees me restored, a new creation. HE doesn't look at me and see my sin; HE looks at me and sees HIS Son. Yet in the earthly realm, I feel the scarlet A is emblazoned on my chest for everyone to gawk and judge. Today, I want to walk into a room and just be God's Jenni: His forgiven, redeemed daughter; His fair one.
Today, I want to say my trust has been broken. I made myself vulnerable, on more than one occasion; and that vulnerability was capitalized upon, manhandled. So that now, I'm curling tightly into my safety ~ my God. And I'm going to be more discerning about allowing myself to be that vulnerable. Today, I'm working on trusting my God with everything, starting with my heart and dreams.
Today I want to say that I am a work in progress. I am rarely bold (hence the blog), frequently inappropriately sarcastic, and always messy (literally and figuratively). I get angry far too often, I interrupt all the time, and I snort when I really laugh. I want people to like me; it makes me feel valued, worthy. I'm trying to get over that ~ trying. Today, I'm praying that I can smell more like Christ than I did yesterday.
So I'll pick up my glass of punch again, don my white gloves, and struggle back into my crinoline, admitting that I am a broken mess without the forgiveness of Christ. But I know that His forgiveness is complete and in His eyes, I am not that person any longer. I know that my heart, however hurt it may have been is safe with Him. And I know that everyday I try, I come closer to being a "Christian;" which is literally a "little Christ." And I am so thankful that I don't need crinolines to be acceptable to the King of Kings ~ He loves me for who I am; and I am His!