Monday, 26 September 2011

Removing the Veneer

It takes great courage to remove the veneer and let others see that things are not okay. When I first started reading blogs prior to starting Posture of Learning, I was drawn to authors, like Tricia, who blogged from their life experiences, including the good and the bad. I could not read enough posts from authors who were courageous enough to admit mistakes or be honest about the pain they have walked through, because I could relate to them.

I came to realize that removing the veneer can only happen
when you’ve made peace with your story in its entirety.

In my own life, there are times/seasons/experiences that are not okay, like abuse. The abusive behavior I’ve experienced is not okay, but the fact that it has shaped me and that God can use that part of my story, in its full brokeness, for His glory, is what I need{ed} to embrace. Knowing that God is redeeming and healing everything helped me accept and become okay with this being my story.

Only then, did I realize, that I could remove the veneer in my own life. I had to become okay with my own story in its fullness (which doesn’t mean saying the circumstances themselves are okay), before it became okay with me for others to see it.

I will never say I’m glad that my story includes abuse or separation. These taboo words are part of my story, but they don’t define me. And the Lord uses these situations for good. My relationship with Him, my view on life and my ability to minister to others in pain would not be what they are if God didn’t redeem these circumstances. He is working it out and molding me into the woman He wants me to be. You know, God doesn’t entrust journeys like these to just anyone. I doubt I’ll ever be glad, but I am/will continue to be okay with it.

No one's life is perfect, but some people try really hard to pretend their life is that way for fear of what others will think. I would add that there is a fear of what they themselves think. I've been there. I hid behind a veener because I wasn't okay with my own brokeness. But it didn't help me or anyone; veneers are poor coping mechanisms.

Veneers may seem to be protective, but they aren't. They come in all shades and sizes and promise fool proofing and perfection, but they are fake. The overlays don’t help heal what’s underneath. Veneers curtain us from the world, for better and for worse.

I have actual veneers on my teeth. And I get compliments on my smile all the time. But they aren't complimenting anything natural, they compliment the fake, and I know it every time they say it. It doesn't matter that the veneers match the work the braces did that my parents paid for. It doesn't matter that my teeth were naturally this white... the veneers are there, portraying a false sense of perfection.

Our emotional veneers work the same way. They portray a false reality, and some buy into it. But we know deep down that they’re not seeing the whole story. Colossians 39 says, “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices”. There is a sense in which we lie to others when we put up these veneers. At the same time, there needs to be an appropriate transparency. We shouldn’t divulge every detail to each passing stranger, acquaintance and friend. We shouldn’t give our pearls to pigs (Matthew 7:6). And your story is precious, don’t think otherwise.

But maybe, just maybe, our story needs to be shared, for our own sake as much as others’, and our veneers need to be removed… even if it’s just for a day or an hour at a time. Let’s replace false with faith, trusting in God to give us wisdom and discernment on how to navigate appropriate transparency and live with integrity.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

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