When my sister moved to a new house this month, I actually had the capacity and the time to help her a bit with a project. My soft, fragile hands were introduced to the world of home-renovation projects and we got to pulling up the old, ugly carpet through the house, 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 is 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, religious leader, and a heap of other things I had stapled to my life -- trying to be more practical and durable and useful. Who knew how much the true beauty of original wood could make a house beautiful? Wood. Sounds so common. Go figure.
YOU ARE PRECIOUS. YOU ARE VALUABLE. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU. YOUR ORIGINAL SELF. THE WAY GOD MADE YOU.
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. And then there were other times. It was so parabolic, it was uncanny. I've had that same process in my own life.
Some things I nailed 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 -- other times that nail is not coming out. It's rooted and deeply embedded in the actual floor boards of my life and I have to pry, and pull and grunt and 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 have 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 up 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. And 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.