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15 September 2020
Restoring the original beauty of who we are
Words Danielle Strickland
When my sister moved into a new house recently, I had the capacity and time to help her with a project. My soft, fragile hands were introduced to the world of home renovations, and we got to pulling up the old, ugly carpet, uncovering the beautiful hardwood hidden underneath.
It turned into a spiritual project for me as I thought of all the necessary work involved in the uncovering of our own beautiful selves. And about the ways we so quickly staple things over us, hiding our true selves with something more practical.
There was a season in home renovations where carpeting everything seemed like a good idea. I had that same idea in my life. It's called a cover-up. And it makes perfect sense. Get something that looks better, or at least more practical, and just stick it on top. Leave the original beauty (that requires a bit of work) covered.
But God, like my sister in her new house, was hungry to uncover my original beauty, hidden under the ‘carpet’ of success, conformity, my work as a religious leader, and a heap of other things I had stapled to my life – trying to be more practical and durable and useful.
I never knew how much the true beauty of original wood could transform a house. Wood. Sounds so common. Go figure.
So, we got to pulling and prying and hammering, scraping and grunting and longing and hoping that this job was going to be easy. And it was, sometimes, but then there were other times!
I've experienced that same process in my own life. Some things that I nail to myself just pop off with a prayer. An intention to receive love from God can often just pull out a nail of rejection or fear. But other times that nail is not coming out! It’s rooted and deeply embedded in the actual floorboards of my life. I have to pry, pull, grunt, hammer and chip, and then I literally have to leave it for a while because the whole ‘not budging while I’m doing my best to get it to move’ is so frustrating that I’m tempted to just put the carpet back down and call it a day.
Resentments, failures, curses, memories – sometimes those things are so rusted and stuck into my original self that I need to spend some time, and do some real work, to get them out.
My sister and I would take turns so we didn’t get too stuck in our own frustrating corners of ‘operation uncover’, commenting on how irritating a little nail could be, and changing our postures, laughing when we pulled so hard we fell over, and sharing our cuts and bruises. But we did it. Together. Which is also a key to uncovering.
Anyway, it wasn't the whole job done – that's for sure. But it was the ‘dirty work’ of the project. The un-covering. And it was what
God wanted to remind me. And I thought it might be helpful for you too.
You are precious. You are valuable. You are beautiful. You. Your original self. The way God made you. And whatever you’ve allowed to be stapled down to your life to cover your own beautiful self is never as valuable as you. If you would allow God the ownership of your life, he’ll never rest until he uncovers your original worth and restores you to your glorious true self.