I’m so thrilled to share my friend Christina Hubbard’s words this Third Thursday on allowing God to love us, just as we are!
I’ve always wanted to be a spy. A black-suited world-traveling hero adept at accents and disguises, thwarting evil with a swift karate chop and remaining cool under any lie detector test. I used to be a pretty good one: telling bold-faced lies as a kid, changing my Southern accent in college, and later, hiding emotions. As any good CIA show will dramatize, a spy is usually a spy because of a broken backstory. I have one too.
Recently my husband and I were jogging and discussing our new food tracking regime. He questioned me when I insisted this had everything to do with health and absolutely nothing to do with feeling better about myself. An agent will go to any length to keep her identity and secrets safe in the name of national security, which happens to be self-protection for me.
He busted me in prime stealth mode. I have been struggling deeply with poor body image. I had been hiding my deep need: to be loved despite my history.
I’m a good spy, remember? I don’t let the world know about my chronic pain or my running to food for comfort. Why would I tell you I haven’t gotten my heart rate over 100 bpm in eons? I walk and do yoga. I’m fit. My tall body won’t show you I was a few pounds from overweight two weeks ago or reveal the soul scars under my confident shell. This spy suit has kept deep personal secrets hidden for years. It has done well, I might add.
Edwina Gateley writes,
Before your God.
Let your God look upon you.
That is all.
God loves you
With an enormous love,
And only wants
To look upon you
With that love.
Let your God—
Sometimes a spy tells a secret on purpose. Here’s mine: I’m still learning to be O.K. with my broken self, the one who can’t save the day and who lives with her heart wide open to give love and receive it. Once I told my husband my big secret, I was free to let God see all of me with all the striving and image-saving. The guilt about who I wasn’t and my perpetual need to be perfect dissipated.
We’re all spies and liars, holding back a secret about something in our lives: depression, self-loathing, addiction, pain, abuse, resentment, our weight, or perhaps, not letting God see all of us so we can finally experience his love in its fullness. The case closer is this: God can transform us into the whole, healed, strong person we want to be when we will let him see all of us.
That might mean putting down our weapons of self-protection. It could be confessing our struggles to a spouse. It might be asking for forgiveness from a friend or tracking food in a daily journal. Perhaps it means finally scheduling an appointment with a counselor.
God’s not asking us to save ourselves or the world. Let’s take off the wigs, pocket the cool camera glasses, and drop the phony accents. Our true identities are who God says we are when we are empty and alone, completely unprotected. I look in the mirror as I lace on my running shoes and remember: I am the spy who was loved.
Will you let God see all of you?
Christina Hubbard is a poet who writes memoir. Although still in spy recovery, she is a wife and a mom who is learning to let God love her as her quirky, passionate, adventure-loving self. Her work has appeared at places like (in)courage and she is the 2016 host of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. She writes about courage, creativity, and identity at CreativeandFree.com.