She takes me aside and in broken English she whispers, “Thank you for making me know I am not alone.”
We were standing hand in hand and the sweat was still dripping down my back with the India heat pushing my billowy flowered dress into the back of my knees. Her dark hair was swept up into a beautiful braid and wisps were sticking to the side of her face as she leans in to bring me into her secret.
“I feel so alone.”
My heart breaks as I know the feeling that soaks into my soul all too often. She then goes on to say, “I like that you shared your yuck with us.”
I had just finished sharing with a group of women how God takes my mess and turns it into His masterpiece. I spoke of a King who allows us to join Him in His Kingdom work. No matter what we have been through, we are chosen, forgiven, and called Holy daughters of the King.
In spite of our mess, He still chooses us to do His work.
And truly, I had shared my yuck. I shared my insecurities, the constant seeking for approval, and the desire to be loved. I shared how I mess up in my marriage, lose my temper, and sometimes don’t always like my job as a mother.
In fact, during my talk, my translator, a Hindi woman, looked up at me (And I mean literally looked up at me because, apparently, standing at 5’10’’, I am something of a woman giant in the country of India.) and asked, “How do you translate “yuck?”
I thought about it and then very spiritually and theologically made a gagging noise with my throat and pretty soon we had over fifty women making gagging sounds to explain what the word “yuck” meant.
Yuck is a universal problem.
It started way back in the Garden when Adam and Eve desired yuck more than God’s best for them. They gave up the beauty of the Garden and a pure relationship with God for selfish pride. It was there, holding hands with an Indian soul sister that I had just met, when I heard a whisper deep within my heart, “Give Me your yuck and I will give you true beauty.”
When we let go of our yuck, God will replace it with a crown of beauty.
I often try to hide my yuck and my mess from others. As I shared, I felt the freedom of God’s constant love and the acceptance of another from being vulnerable.
Beauty is not found in looking perfect. Instead, beauty is found in the romance of being loved by a perfect God.
It is okay to have a past you would rather forget.
It is okay to have broken dreams.
It is okay to feel like you are waiting.
It is okay to have one of those moments or one of those days.
Pretending we don’t have yuck makes it larger in our minds, but when we share our messes with each other, we see that there is freedom and beauty in the sharing.
In our journey together, we know that we are not alone. Opening ourselves up to community is one step in experiencing God’s beauty in our lives. When we come together and give our yuck to God, He can give us His beauty.
When we look in the mirror, let’s replace that fear of the yuck of pain, doubt, and insecurity with God’s promise of hope and instead let our image reflect God’s goodness and holiness and absolute beauty that He pours into us every day.
Sister, let that one soak in deep: You are loved. And you are so very beautiful.