topics:
Courage

“God calls us, as He did Adam, to come out of hiding. No amount of spiritual makeup can render us more presentable to Him.” -Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child

Naked.

Totally exposed; completely bare; free.

For awhile now the clothes have been coming off, piece by piece, as I discover how bare I actually already am, and what it means to really be covered.

The first covering was given to Adam and Eve when they realized just how bare they were; it was uncomfortable and embarrassing; there was shame brought on by the fact that their sin was exposed. They were naked, and they knew it, and so they hid from the One who knew their nakedness before they did. For their sake, and out of His kindness, God covered them in a coat made of skin (Genesis 3:21). You don’t get skin without the kill. And so there it was, the first sacrifice, the spill of blood so that the people would be covered and their shame hidden.

And still we hide. Even though God knows every woven piece of our being, we hide. Our eyes are wide open to our failures, and so we cover because we don’t want to be found out. We give pretense and we try to be and do in order to be accepted and loved, but what we forget is that God sees past all of it; He’s sees our bare selves and He loves us anyway. We can’t be more or better and think that we will some how get closer or be more loved by God; He loves us in spite of ourselves. And yet, He offers a covering still. He offers a covering of blood so that will be free to walk with Him in the garden without shame or pretense or posturing.

He offers the opportunity for freedom.

Our new covering is on the inside, over our spirits, and it transforms us from being shackled to sin and frees us to stretch into our new selves without fear.

We don’t have to hide from God (this is actually impossible anyway), and we don’t have to hide from people (oh, this one is possibe, and quite frequent).

We are cracked and swollen and desperate. And He already knows our mess.

I’m saying, let’s be messy and honest. Let’s not try to super glue the cracks, but instead let the Holy Spirit work through them to bring light to a messy world. You can’t let your light shine if you try to patch up the cracks.

So here  I am, losing my clothes, getting closer to naked. I wonder if this is really what sanctification is about? Not becoming more, but becoming less, until we are fully bare.

Covered yet naked. A gracious mystery that I am falling into. And it’s gloriously freeing.

“If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” -Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child

By Sarah Mae

comments:
share:

comments (closed):

  1. 1

    sarah mae, god called me recently to bare my mess. and for the past few months, i have to say that your wide open door to your own life has been one of my greatest encouragements. thank you for keeping the door open. xo

  2. 4

    Sarah Mae,
    Thanks for a reality check. What you say is absolutely true. And I find the more bare I become, the more real I am, and the more others feel safe around me. The real me. The person God created me to be. Not necessarily the one I like. But He’s working on that when I allow all the ugly and imperfect to be exposed so He can make it beautiful and perfect. And when I allow that, others want to know how to do it, too. Then I get to share the very best way to do it….Jesus!

  3. 6
    Veronica says:

    Thank you , Sarah Mae, for your words; I am finding great comfort in them.

  4. 8

    I had been hiding most of my life. So glad Christ revealed my sin. Took away my shame. Feels so good to be living in God’s love. Warmth. Light. ☀

  5. 9

    Amen, walking the walk means exposure. When we allow the Lord to take all that we are keeping hidden, then He can do a new wonderful work in us and reveal the true person he created us to be. Thank you for a great piece! Linda

  6. 10

    I love the upside-down nature of God’s kingdom. Naked, but covered. Last, but first. Least, but greatest. From one person aiming to live a simple, honest, free life to another: thank you for the great post here!

  7. 11

    Sarah Mae I really admire you for stepping out and showing women we don’t have to be perfect. I really needed to hear this today. Bless you!

  8. 12

    Love this post, Sarah Mae…inside-out transformation…may the Spirit of Christ Who dwells in the innermost part of me TAKE AUTHORITY over my soul (the seat of my emotions) and my body (my fleshly desires and appetites). [I Thessalonians 5:23-24--May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.] Peace is the fruit of Authority. God’s Authority. [Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule.] Christ brings His peace where He is Prince. That’s what the title “Prince of Peace” represents…

  9. 13

    Sarah Mae, I love this!!! As I get older, I am understanding the importance of being honest and messy. That’s the only way to build authentic community. That’s the community that God desires for us. When we are transparent, it makes us relatable. So often, we think that we are the only ones struggling. This gives us an opportunity to encourage each other in The Lord. He is pleased and we are blessed with genuine relationships.

  10. 14

    Thanks for sharing. I agree that showing our messy side can be scary but it also gives God the glory when we can testify of the transformation he is doing in our lives. The freedom you speak of is my hearts desire. Thank you for being the vessel.

  11. 15

    Thank you so so much for this! Love the Brennan Manning quotes… What a great, challenging, uncomfortable, NEEDED reminder.

  12. 16

    Sarah, great post…the longer I walk with the Lord the more I know of Him, the more I can trust Him to give me courage to be real in a world that will pass away someday. Our dress of flesh that surrounds our soul will be gone and we will be given a new dress. For now it’s takes courageous women such as you to keep reminding us to be real.

  13. 17

    I can really indentify with this, Sarah ~

    Thank you for this article…

    Coming out of hiding has been/is one of the most difficult, yet the most freeing places I have journeyed with Jesus…

    I let Him expose the naked me and…va la, He still loves me and transforms by His deep, amazing love for this child of His ~

  14. 18
    Beth Williams says:

    Wonderful post and great God given words. I used to hide and play pretend-especially at church. Wanted the world to believe that all was ok & nothing wrong.

    Lately, though, I’ve decided to become “real” with people and just let them know who I am. I have been stressing lately both about work and my aging dad. God has shown me that when I’m real and open with people and explain some of my frustrations that people understand and many have been or are where I am now. It is sooo much more refreshing to be real and open and let it all hang out.

  15. 19
    Jessica says:

    Very good

  16. 20

    I love Brennan Manning’s writing! Great quote. Thank you for the honest post. It’s this kind of de-robing we need as women if we are to live in the dignity of His grace and not the false pride of ourselves. So much to learn in the simple complexity of His ways. I’m so thankful for His patience with me.

  17. 21

    Thank you Sarah Mae for this insightful post! It’s just where I’ve found myself lately. I especially like the part about being “messy and honest” — not trying to cover the cracks. Just praying the God will continue to work through mine:) Thanks again!

  18. 22
    Anonymous says:

    Wow, tears are flowing. I can relate so much to this post and so many others on your blog. I’ve also been through a season of wanting to hide. I’ve been telling myself it’s a retreat and I just need a break. A break from trying to live up to other’s expectations. Trying not to be messy and honest afraid of what they’ll see. Trying to people please. I just want to be messy with those that love me and understand me. There are times I have a tough time finding those that can allow me to be messy. Maybe God is giving me this opportunity of solitude to be messy with Him. To reveal my mess. To reveal my sin. You’re most certainly right… I can’t hide from Him so I must bare all to the only One that understands and gets me the most. Thank you for this post. Thank you for your blog. It brings so much comfort to my soul. :)

  19. 24

    Wow, tears are flowing. I can relate so much to this post and so many others on your blog. I’ve also been through a season of wanting to hide. I’ve been telling myself it’s a retreat and I just need a break. A break from trying to live up to other’s expectations. Trying not to be messy and honest afraid of what they’ll see. Trying to people please. I just want to be messy with those that love me and understand me. There are times I have a tough time finding those that can allow me to be messy. Maybe God is giving me this opportunity of solitude to be messy with Him. To reveal my mess. To reveal my sin. You’re most certainly right… I can’t hide from Him so I must bare all to the only One that understands and gets me the most. Thank you for this post. Thank you for your blog. It brings so much comfort to my soul. :)

  20. 25

    So true! And what a great reminder that he knows every thing about us and loves us still.

  21. 26

    what a wonderful post that is at once insightful and strikingly thoughtful. Like a wonderful sermon on paper! I always enjoy your posts and only wish they were more common. God Bless!

    Rodney

  22. 27

    all kinds o’ truth wrapped up in these words. thank you for your obedience and encouragement …

  23. 28

    “You can’t let your light shine if you try to patch up the cracks.” Amen, sister!!!
    I’m learning this every day…that the places where I am broken most can be the greatest places for Him to work, and that have special needs in our family is a HUGE blessing for our souls! :) . Thank you for this! Blessings!!!

  24. 29

    This is a beautiful post! I’m all about being spiritually naked. I have been making myself stand before the full length mirror stripped of everything (including my clothes) and recite Psalm 139. The first few times I did it I cried and couldn’t finish. Now it’s like recharging my battery. It’s all been paid for. All of it. The addiction, indescretion, abortion…all of it. God wants me to bask in the warmth of the forgiveness that only he can provide and stop hiding in the shadows of shame.

  25. 30

    This is just beautiful. Beautiful!

  26. 31
    Michelle Findley says:

    I like this, Sarah. God has been doing a deeper work in me the past few days concerning this. Showing me how pride and unbelief were rooted deeply in my heart and I was believing lies! I confessed my sins to my husband and realized that I needed to repent and turn from my sins and ask God to show me how He sees them. He told me that He has MORE for me! I can understand what the “beauty of God’s holiness” is much better now. I want to see sin the way God sees sin and feel about it the way He feels about it. Something about His work in my heart makes me feel clean and pure, like a little baby. I think that is what God has always intended for us- not to fill our mind and senses with the things in this world that degrade, devalue and use us. But, to get our fill of His wonderful LOVE and LIVE as we are meant to live- FREE, as you said. :) Thanks again for this! :D Bless you!! You are lovely, by the way!

  27. 32

    Thank you for this. I am struggling, learning to be naked. Head knowledge is easy. It’s that stubborn ole heart that doesn’t get it. so much fear and pain hidden away, locked. I want to be an example for my 3 daughters (and my son, but esp. the girls). I want them to grow up without fear. To embrace community. To know the transparent me, being real. To be naked and radical in their faith. I want to open my arms and let them fly.