I can’t believe I am going to share this with you, but I have a beard. If you don’t believe me, just ask my children (they are always so eager to point it out). Beginning at the bottom of my chin and continuing down to mid-neck, I have multiple long and curly hairs. And despite being a natural blonde, these fellas are black. For years, I tried to keep them hidden from Jason by wearing turtlenecks, looking down, or resting my chin in my hands.
We all have symbolic chin hairs.
An embarrassment we want to remain hidden from everyone.
We wear turtlenecks in the dead of summer to keep past abuse, destructive sins, or a hurt that is too painful to process hidden. But, just like my chin hairs, covering them does not remove them.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. ~Genesis 3:7
We have been trying to cover up that in which we are ashamed of since the beginning of time. Whether a physical blemish or an I’ve-blown-it-again moment, our instinct is to hide. We keep things concealed from our friends, our spouse, and even God. Wanting to appear picture perfect, we curb our nerdy tendencies, the doubts we wrestle with, the hatred we harbor, our fears, or the mistake we would rather forget than confess. We learn at an early age how to act around people, hoping that if anyone does see through us, they like what they see.
I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but Jason eventually found out about my chin hairs. That happens whenever we hide, doesn’t it? We hope no one can trace it back to us, but eventually, we either can no longer carry the pain and seek help, or we get caught red-handed. Either way, we are found out. Are exposed. But, after the embarrassment subsides, we experience a strange feeling of relief. We no longer have to hide.
I Am Found.
A typical scene at our house involves me sitting on our bathroom counter looking up at the ceiling while Jason takes tweezers and one-by-one plucks out the hairs. I often ask him, “When you thought about marriage, did you ever daydream about plucking your wife’s beard?” Without missing a beat, he leans down, gently kisses my neck and says, “I love my wife… and her beard.” And as awkward as a bearded lady is, intimacy and security follow being known and accepted by my husband. I’m now able to ask “How are my chin hairs?” without fear of judgment. He understands why I linger in the car, staring in the mirror, before going into church.
And if my imperfect husband can love me through my flaws, how much more does the God, who created me, delight in all of who I am. The mistakes I’ve made, the wrongs done to me, and every silly little feature about myself are not things I need to hide from God. Instead, I need to see those as endearing opportunities for God to lean down, pluck out my yuck, gently kiss me, and say,”I love my child.”
The freedom that comes with being found is one of the sweetest gifts we will ever receive. Being found is how God created us to exist! But, it goes against our nature. Which is why I’m so excited that Moody Publishers recently released a six-week Bible study on this very topic. Written by a real-life friend (who baptized me years ago) and one of my heroes in the faith, Laura Dingman, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about this study.
I am working through this material, and it is opening my eyes to how I still try to keep things from God and others. But, this study is not about us or our shame. It’s about God, and learning that being found by Him is an ever-happening process that is messy yet beautiful, painful yet sweet. It can be done in a small group setting, individually, or even online (ignitewomen.com is starting one on Monday, July 18th). Currently available on Amazon or through Moody Publishers, I would highly recommend this study to all. It will not only challenge you in your faith but move you closer to your husband because, as C.S. Lewis wrote in The Four Loves,
To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Are there any chin hairs in your life? What would it take to have someone help you pluck them out?
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