I’ve spent countless, exhausting hours in my fleeting life working to portray myself as a person I know I’m not. Whether in relationships with friends, family, my spouse, or God, I find myself consistently creating a facade for myself I hope others will like better than who I actually am. I feared that if I truly opened myself up to others and got rejected, I would have nothing left. If I am fully myself, will I be enough?
Hebrews 4:13 says, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Scriptures like this used to seriously frighten me. The idea that an all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly holy God knew everything I had ever done was too invasive for me. If I couldn’t even muster up the courage to truly be myself to man, how could I handle being “naked and exposed” to my heavenly Father?
It wasn’t until I began experiencing the powerful, overwhelming love of my heavenly Father that these frail, false constructions began to fall apart brick-by-brick, lie after lie. The process God takes us through in unveiling our hearts represents his perfect kindness, patience, and pursuit of us. He waits for us to come before him, openly and honestly, patiently beckoning us with his love. He is perfectly accepting of us as long as we don’t fake it with him. As soon as the prodigal son came home in a posture of humility and honesty, he was immediately embraced, accepted, and offered intimate relationship with his Father once again.
It’s absolutely vital that we pursue honesty before God because he will not address what is not true. He will not try and help this false projection. He will not meet with that which doesn’t truly exist. Brennan Manning writes in his book Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging, “The false self is frustrated because he never hears God’s voice. He cannot, since God sees no one there.” Thomas Merton says of the false self, “This is the man I want myself to be but who cannot exist, because God does not know anything about him” (Merton’s Place of Nowhere, James Finley).
To be honest before God is to invite a perfectly loving, powerful, and grace-filled Father into the places of our lives that need him the most. He longs to be asked into the very wounds we work so tirelessly to cover up. He longs to heal and transform the darkest, hardest places of our hearts we’ve hidden into fertile soil that can bear the fruit of his Spirit. He longs for us to be fully known by him in every way that we might experience the full depths of his powerful, transformational love.
Take time in guided prayer to truly open your heart to God and be honest. Tell him your doubts, fears, and failures. Open up the parts of your past that you have worked so hard to cover up. And let his love in that you might experience healing in his powerful presence.