Thursday, April 19, 2012

Prom Time

I was dressed, ready, and waiting for my date to arrive to escort me to our High School Junior Prom. Carl’s invitation came at the last minute—no problem; it was the invitation I needed to preserve my fragile 16 year old identity. I remember his question—probably a funny one for a boy to ask—“Do you have a dress to wear?” Yes, I had a dress; I was hopeful. The style was very similar to this picture*.

His late invitation, however, robbed me of the excitement and anticipation of this special night with my girl friends. That was minor compared to my future dilemma—seeing my friends the next evening at the prom—would bring unwelcome questions. Why didn’t I tell my friends about my date, my dress? Why didn’t I join in all the pre-prom excitement?  But I had a solution—a white lie. I wanted to surprise you. Admitting the truth took courage and was humiliating. The lie seemed like the easy answer to my dilemma.

I understood that a white lie is an ok lie because the intent is self-protection not leading another astray—a real lie.

Lies—white or otherwise—sabotage; they don’t protect.

Now years later as I ponder that piece of my journey, I realize there was something far more significant and devastating going on than allowing myself to lie. This was a small example of a real lie that I believed about myself. I am not good enough! I am not good enough to receive a prom invitation within an acceptable timeframe. I can heap on many other illustrations of this I’m not good enough lie.

It was three and a half decades later before I realized how that lie was defining me. It wasn’t just a little white lie, it was a monster that consumed me and separated me from all I loved.

Realizing the TRUTH of how that lie had sculpted my life was a huge breakthrough and the first step to freedom. I asked God what His truth was; how He felt about me. Did He think I wasn’t good enough? My loving heavenly Father who is never late with invitations spoke His truth to my heart. I heard. That started a new journey of believing God’s truth. I review that truth almost daily. I have to; I forget quickly.

I’m learning that replacing my lies (there are others) with truth is like peeling the layers of an onion. God graciously and gently continues to reveal areas where lies define me and opens new doors to new places to apply His truth. I bet it will be a life-long process

“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32.

* My friend, Melody Mead, painted this picture that stirred up the above story. It is an acrylic on watercolor paper. In her own words Melo says, “My background was in education and art and I have begun to paint again. This is something I have greatly missed and have had a hard time finding time to do. It is a joy however, to recommit this gift and talent to the Lord for his glory and pleasure. I am learning that as I live out of my unique gifting and design for Him, I find deep satisfaction and fulfillment; joy and pleasure.”


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