To be Naked, to Bare it All
Naked – simply baring it all.
This isn’t that shaming kind of naked. No, this is the naked of preparation, sanctification, wholeness, beauty, and restoration.
In the nakedness comes a grace we need in the uncommon hours. It is a grace that steels and steadies, but it truly happens when we come to the end of our scheming and play-acting. It comes when we lay down every hope, dream, and battered broken piece of ourselves. It becomes our offering.
I know these are strong words, but this has been my right-now life and season. It has been one of letting go and moving on of letting things die and seeing new things birthed. It has meant living life with open hands instead of tightly clenched fists. It has meant allowing myself to be fully seen – every imperfect part.
I had an idea of how things in my life should be. I painted a picture of pretend and tried to live there. I was wrong. I didn’t know until my work-world came crashing to an unexpected halt. I lost it all in a moment – money, shelter, a means to earn money, and a sense of being. At first, I believed my world was irreparably shattered. Then came the grace of learning to just be.
I hadn’t really been living. I hadn’t really been doing the things I enjoyed. I hadn’t been creative and pushing myself to grow. I had clothed myself and my life with the stuff of this world – stuff I thought mattered. I had made it matter by slighting all those lovely, divine dreams I kept in hiding. I shirked them for years. Scattered shards of a banged up life were all I had left. I was clothed in vain attempts of being perfect, of falsified identity, and of unspoken wishes. I was good at hiding and playing it safe.
In the last nine months, things have changed. I have changed. I don’t wear who I used to be. That woman is dead and gone – though I am sometimes haunted by her faint cries. I remember. I am becoming who I was really made to be. That girl is stronger and better than the one who no longer resides in my soul. What led me to her? Writing and letting go.
I joined a ferocious group of brave writing women. They are open, genuine, and brutally honest about life and its struggles. The more I listened to their hearts, the more I realized my desire to write, to be in community, to share the hope, and to be the woman God meant me to be. It meant stepping into the light. I went from hiding in the shadows to dangling my toes in the light. Now it’s not just my toes. It’s all of me – out there and being seen. But there is no shame here, there is only the lovely nakedness.
I am grateful for the change. The heart and soul have room to shine. I have been given beauty for the ashes and confidence to do what has always been in me to do.
When you’ve been stripped bare, there’s no other skin. There’s no other comfort. There’s no more hiding behind the trail of lies or pretending to be who or what you’re not. The real you seeps from your skin. Your pores ooze with the divine goodness birthed in you. You find that the naked isn’t really naked. You simply have to put on the nature of the divine meant for your soul to carry as you walk the earth.
What may seem a naked vulnerability is, in reality, you – boldly and courageously living out your God-given purpose and design. Unfettered and unhindered, you are as you should be – clothed with a holy authenticity that needs no outer adornment.
Perhaps where you began isn’t where you end. Are you dangling your toes in the light? Have you been lurking in the shadows afraid we wouldn’t love the real you? Do you fear all we’ll see are your broken bits of beauty and shrink back in horror? Have you been living a fake-it-make-it life? Well, it’s time to live. Drop the false pretenses. Be you.
Friend, sister, mother, brother … you can come out now. We want you – the whole you. We see all your exposed humanity peeking through the gaps, and it is wonderful to behold.
We see you – the real you. We welcome the beauty of your soul dancing unashamedly in the light.
To be naked is to bare it all. Your “all” is worth it.