I was raised in an atmosphere that put a lot of emphasis on appearance, but there was all manner of evil hiding beneath the dignified, saintly facade. I learned early on that the ugly stuff is supposed to be hidden, and I became a hard core people pleaser. The result? Someone who internalized a lot of pain and anger. It ate away at me like an insidious cancer, leaving me panicked. So then I ended up doing a lot of things that gave me the illusion of control...like keeping a perfect house. I fell into the clutches of an enslaving lie: If the outside looks good, that makes up for the fact that the core is appallingly rotten. Enter Facade Tracy--the Queen of Cover-Up. And no, I am not referring to make-up.
By the grace of God I met someone who helped bring the pain and anger from my past into His light. For the first time in my life I was real before Him. Not that He hadn't known me before, but I have come to learn that the acknowledgement of who we are is not for His benefit--it's for ours. The discovery of His love for me--just as I was--and of His trustworthy character, changed my life.
This area of authenticity is a place God is continually working on. You would think I would just learn my lesson and be done with it, but apparently I am hard-headed. Who knew? Being honest about my past before Him was wonderful and freeing, but the clutches of the facade are long-reaching, and to this very day, its tentacles are grasping at my heels.
It is hard to be real with myself. Honestly, there are some things about me that just ain't pretty. It would be easier to pretend they don't exist and go bleach something. It is hard to be real with people. Let's face it...people can be very judgmental. We all love a good fingerpointing session. It distracts us from our own faults.
I am sickened when I realize just how much time and energy I have put into efforts that make me feel in control of my life, and worrying about what others think of me. God has been killing Facade Tracy. She is dying a slow, painful death. He is rooting out the motives behind my every action. It has been downright painful.
But I have met an interesting gal: Authentic Tracy.
Facade Tracy wants everything to be perfect at all times because that makes her feel in control. Facade Tracy does not care if her family cannot be comfortable in their own home because they fear messing up her hard work.
Authentic Tracy also likes clean...but she knows that family is more important than things. Authentic Tracy knows that she can't be a good wife, raise cherished children, go to school full-time, and write books while living in a spotless house. Perfect simply isn't on my agenda--I don't have time for it. Something has to give.
That something has turned into a dust bunny behind my fridge that is so large I am thinking about buying it a collar and giving it a name. It can be our new family pet.
There is not an area of my life that has not come under His scrutiny. Why do I wear the things I wear? Why do I go the places I go? Why do I act and react the way that I do?
I don't want to make people happy with me. I want God to be happy with me.
I don't want to be in control. I want God to be in control.
I don't want a fake, plastic life that only looks good from the outside.
I want to be real.
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