By Royce King
A year ago, I spoke at a women’s retreat with dozens of women and shared a story. Imagine a young girl at age 3 being told, “You can’t do that,” “That’s not yours.”
At age 13, she is told she isn’t fast enough, smart enough, good enough, skinny enough, pretty enough — the list goes on.
Finally, in her mid-20s or thereabouts, she chooses a spouse. But, she chooses him through the lens of “not good enough.” He, too, chooses her through that same lens. Now we have two imperfect, broken people who aren’t enough for each other trying to make it work.
Before marriage, she dated that person with a mask on. She had to pretend she was worthy enough and pretty enough to be liked and then loved. Once she proved that, then she could get married because they were “perfect” for each other.
The challenge is that when the mask finally comes off and your spouse sees the real you, the imperfections come out, and suddenly you are unlovable and not good enough. This may not be your story, but, it was mine, and I’ve met many women who share a similar story. Does this sound familiar to you, too?
Thus, the cycle continues. What’s even more devastating is that we have children and unintentionally teach them to adopt a false identity, participating in a lifelong masquerade party.
This cycle will continue until we are able to discover and claim our true identity.
One sweet friend of my children in her mid-20s shared: “My heart is always seeking family and true love. I am a broken person. I appreciate you caring enough to reach out. You don’t understand … or maybe you do. I have been hurt my entire life — since conception. I seek love and guidance because life weighs so heavy in my heart. I can’t release it. I have always hidden my terrible life. Being homeless passed around. Remembering every last second is so painful. I haven’t seen my mother in 10 years. I don’t even know what she looks like. I keep giving and giving and getting hurt. No matter the sacrifice. It creates mysterious darkness. You become unsure of your reality when you are so broken. I always find broken people to fall in love with. I don’t know my mom; she’s never hugged me.”
One lady, approaching 60 years old, has lived with torment and rejection her entire life. She shared: “I’m tired of putting on a brave face and pretending that I’m OK. My biological father abandoned me when I was 3 weeks old. My stepfather began raping me when I was 4. No one ever protected me. I was forced to live in fear until I was 16 years old. I’ve been through more hurt than anyone can imagine. Men have cheated, manipulated and lied to me. Parents betrayed me. Friends have abandoned me. Children have turned from me. This is the darkness of my soul.”
These stories are probably familiar to you, too. Unfortunately, they are all too common. This masquerade will continue until we discover our worth in Christ. Take time with God to understand the valuable gem He’s created you to be and boldly live life with your right identity in place.
This column includes both fiction and nonfiction, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN. Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.