You know that friend that can read 6 thousand books in 24 hours, is the most intellectual being you know and always has quote or author to recommend? Well that’s definitely not me. I would like to say I was on track for literary genius and veered off around high school. As a kid I loved books and would often read multiple books in a day (i.e. the Princess Diaries series). But you know, as you get older and books start to lose their romantic charm, any reading that isn’t required takes a back seat to real life high school drama.
However, in the spirit of wanting to reclaim my childhood glee for reading, I’ve started reading (i.e. mostly listening on audiobook) more books! This month, I read two books that not only left an impression but shifted my perception about God, myself, the people around me, and the whole kit and caboodle. The first book I read was The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller (which we’ll get back to another time because honestly, there was so much goodness in this book, I still haven’t been able to wrap my thoughts around it all and will end up reading it again). The second book I read this month was vastly different, a fairly simple and humorous read: Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I hadn’t heard of her or this book up until about a month ago yet, after hearing a friend rave about the book, I decided to pick it up and see what the hype was about.
Now there are many debates about this book and its messages but I’m not here to talk about any of that and if you’re curious, pick the book up or read a review! I did however come away from the book with something more profound. Rachel formats the book into different lies she’s internalized and the truth she realized. As I was reading, I began to spot lies I believed about my own life and I was able to verbalize some of the things I couldn’t put my finger on before. Here are 5 lies I believed about myself:
- Marriage and babies are the end of my life as a career driven woman. I cant say how or when I developed this view. Maybe it developed as I saw family, cousins, and friends find their purpose n those two things. Truthfully, there has always been a part of me that desires to be married and to raise kids, but there has always been a part of me that shied away from meaningful relationships because of the goals I have for my life. I felt moving into any of those seasons would be an interruption to the things I wanted to pursue or even worse, the death of it. I never wanted to sacrifice what I felt lead to do or who I was destined to be because of my personal life. Yes, it’s true that there are major adjustments to life when marriage and kids are thrown into the picture, however I’m convinced, the day after your wedding or in the weeks after giving birth, you are still the same person with the same mission. Do you have more people to consider and account for? Yes. Do you have a shift in priorities? Yes. Is it difficult to work and be present at home? Yes. But being a wife and having a career aren’t mutually exclusive.
- I can’t be completely desired and attractive the way I am or at the weight I am. Or if someone does find me attractive, I’d have to change or lose weight to keep them. You know what’s the saddest part of this lie? You can be the fittest you’ve ever been in life yet this lie will never be satisfied; you will never measure up. I’ve come to believe that as long as your measure for beauty or worthiness comes from an external unreliable source, it will always be rocky. However if your value is tied to something more sure and sturdy (i.e. Jesus), you’ll begin to see that you are more worthy, valuable, and beautiful than you’ve ever hoped to be.
- Being exactly you are is threatening and costs your relationships. Rachel talks about the day she learned to be small. She started to make herself smaller in order to make the people around her more comfortable. When I read that chapter in her book, there was a part of me that deeply resonated with her words. I, probably since my middle school days, have adjusted and fine tuned myself and my personality into palatable portions that I thought might make those around me feel more comfortable. Unfortunately, that means you are never known and can never truly connect with someone who accepts you as you are. A part of me will always be more reserved and protected just because of my natural disposition, but to make myself small for those that are closest to me (or even just the people that I interact with), is such a disservice to myself but also to the God who created me.
- I need an audience to create/write. This was especially hard one to identify and let go of because anytime you write or create something a part of that experience is sharing it. Your natural inclination is to share with the people around you in hopes that someone finds a connection to what you’ve created. However, I’ve realized my audience can never be the source of drive for my craft. Ultimately, writing has to have deeper roots than just a sense of affirmation. It has to be rooted in passion and genuine care for the stories woven together.
- My singleness is tied to my actions. If the last lie was the hardest to spot, this one is the hardest to get rid of. There is still a part of me that is convinced the blessings of God can be earned. I constantly fight that lie with grace. But this lie has wrecked my heart but also the hearts of men and women around the world. Singleness is neither a punishment nor a self-righteous badge of honor. It is merely the season (or seasons….🙄) we are in. “Accepting singleness, whether temporary or permanent, does not hinge on speculation about answers God has not given to our list of whys, but rather on celebration of the life he has given. I am not single because I am too spiritually unstable to possibly deserve a husband, nor because I am too spiritually mature to possibly need one. I am single because God is so abundantly good to me, because this is his best for me.” -Paige Benton Brown
I know I will be learning and relearning the truth to shatter these lies. For this moment, I am grateful to have the eyes to see and the ability to share. Above anything else, I really hope this encourages you to face the lies you’ve believed. It been far too long.