In this new relationship I have with the man God has brought into my life, I’ve begun to see things about myself I didn’t see before. They aren’t necessarily pretty. It’s as though God has unclothed me, so to speak, and I feel naked, ugly and vulnerable.
One of those things is insecurity. I honestly didn’t think I was insecure in the least. In fact, a few years ago when Beth Moore came out with her book on insecurity, I thought to myself, “Seriously? Why are women so insecure?” I didn’t think I was. And when she spoke on video about her fear as to whether her husband would always love her, especially as she aged, I thought, really? Beth? She’s so darling!
But now, here I am, dating someone 5 and a half years younger than me. And I’m racked with insecurity. It has nothing to do with him, because he thinks I’m beautiful. However, this I know: beauty is as beauty does. Beauty comes from within and as I said in a former blog, I must remember: I am beautiful, I am luminous, I am radiant, I sparkle.
Another thing God has unveiled: my weakness. Oh my gosh, what weakness! After being in a marriage where I was starved of affection, my new man is very affectionate, and I have found that it would be all too easy to get completely physically involved. It’s like I’ve been living in the Sahara for years, and now I’ve come upon a beautiful oasis with a sparkling pool of water. How easy is it to just dip a hand in and sip? Wouldn’t anyone rush headlong and jump in? Every day, I crawl to God and say, “Help me! My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. But I know You are strong.”
I’ve also begun to see my personality under a magnifying glass. He is very low-key, and easy-going. I’m high strung. And judgmental. I hate that about me. Within a week or so of getting to know each other, we talked a lot. He soon laid out his baggage and his weaknesses, on the table. It was as if he was saying, “Look, I want you to know what you’re getting here so if you want to leave, leave now. I don’t want to get hurt later on.” His candor stunned me at first. I did have a few moments of hesitation, but the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “There, Gwenn, now you know he’s not perfect, and he’s trusting you with himself. You are far from perfect as well. If he’s trusting you with himself, you can trust your true self with him.”
But it isn’t so easy to trust my true self with him. I keep telling him that a lot of me is “smoke and mirrors.” I don’t want him to see me without makeup, in my “raw” state. I’ve lost 21 pounds since knowing him, and the other day, I went to the store to buy some new fashionable jeans, and wore my old frumpy, baggy clothing. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought quickly, “Oh man, would he love me if he saw me now?” I also don’t want him to see me when I’m mad, or when the cuss words fall off my tongue like toads and snakes.
I’ve also become aware of my own arrogance. Yesterday he and I were talking on the phone, and he was telling me about the term he and his hunting buddies use for the guy who is responsible for cooking for the camp. It was an ugly term, one which is used between men in jest. But I jumped onto my holier-than-thou bandwagon and told him that I didn’t like the term (and like a dog with a bone, I wouldn’t let go of it for a few minutes). He responded sweetly and humbly to me, which was as good as dumping hot coals on my head. I felt like an arrogant jerk. Funny how we, as established believers, begin to think that we are better than non-believers or new believers without realizing it. But it’s so not true. The more I see of the sweetness of this man’s heart, the blacker my heart becomes.
This new relationship has unclothed me, and made it so apparent that I need to be clothed in Christ. It has shown me that I am utterly dependent on Him for my inner strength, my sense of self-worth, my need for humility, and the absolute need to trust in Him and the man He has given to me.
Perhaps sometimes we need to be unclothed. We need to take away the smoke and mirrors so that we can view our raw selves, the self that is desperately in need of a Savior.