I received an invitation to attend the dopest ball of them all. The kind of ball that requires something new. A new gown. New hair. New make-up. New shoes. New nails. Like nothing I have in my stash is suitable. Nothing any of my friends and/or family members have that I could potentially borrow is appropriate. None of what I have seen prior to this moment fits the occasion. I got an invitation deep down inside of me to live my life in freedom through the blood, sweat and tears of The Christ.
The invitation came way before my birth but I am just now seeing it. How does one live a lifetime (39 years) and not notice an invitation to be free? It was sitting right here the entire time. But all my stuff kept covering it. All my hangups, (wo)man-made traditions, insecurities, the mountains, myself, the trauma I experienced, the failures, the doubt, the depression and the pride. Just a bunch of clutter that I never did see the invite to the party til May 2017.
By the time I did see the invite - I struggled to open it because I figured that the sender had the wrong address or wrong person. I had a great childhood, loved high school and college, am happily married and am blessed to share in the parenting of 3 children. But there is something about struggles that can color our lenses and prevent us from celebrating the good, remembering the good or allowing the good to outweigh the bad. My parents provided safety, unconditional love and took extra great care of us. We had everything my parents knew that we needed and we went on vacations, traveled, fed trout, left the country for leisure, played team sports etc. I have had and continue to maintain beautiful friendships. I get to serve in ministry where we gather for weekly corporate worship and in our community. But trauma knows no address, familial type, socio-economic status, gender, or ethnic background.
Trauma can make you think your birthday suit is worthless. The first time I experienced trauma it changed my lenses and it has taken my entire life to this point to get me back. The me that I didn't know could exist. The me that the Lord intended when He dreamed me up. The naked me. The me that isn't trying to conceal, hide, or disguise. The me that is free of doubt because she knows more about God's character. The me that is not afraid of losing because she knows she still wins. The me that can pray before she responds. The me that can be corrected. The me that can be taught. The me that is humble in God's presence. The me that can do hard things. The me that can move mountains.
Being naked is difficult because i'm used to covering up. It's different from birthday suit naked. This naked is unashamed of The Christ being her life. This naked is free from the impact of past trauma. This naked is whole and complete. The last 18 days I have been looking for 'the other shoe to drop'. I had come to a place where normal was a challenge, a crisis, a fear, and a side order of doubt. Don't get me wrong normal life is filled with challenges but last year I learned that I don't ever have to confront challenges with doubt!
I woke up on Sunday, Jan. 14th as a 40 year old woman whoohooo!. A woman who pressed her way through the crowds in my heart and mind just to touch the hem of His garment. God did His thing in 2017.
The healing, miracles, the release, restoration, cleansing, lifting, purging, and pruning was miraculous. I'm not used to the new me. I'm not used to smiling this much. I'm not used to feeling light. I'm not used to living & loving in the overflow.
Yesterday one of my dearest friends helped me climb a mountain. She helped me see that part of the weirdness I was feeling over the last 18 days was because I am not used to being whole and free. I'm not used to seeing my nakedness as a blessing. My mind although it knows that something is different, hasn't really known what to do with the newness. And now it's time for a new wardrobe. But I can't shop at any old store. I can't wear everything even though I can wear whatever I want. I have to change how I shop and where I shop. Establishing new patterns and routines is the difference between staying free and being in bondage again. It's time to maintain the freedom that Christ gave me. It's time to be a good steward over this wholeness and this freedom. It's time to "...put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." Ever again.
It's time to get dressed.