Exposed — A Self Reflection {Let Him Look}

The cover crinkles as I try to use every square inch to my advantage. Instinctively, I grab hold as I see the doorknob turn; my cheeks flush just thinking about the breeze giving it flight. She greets me with a smile and holds out her hand for mine. And I wonder if she knows it takes all I have in me to return the generosity.

Right away she rises concern over my blood pressure. My eyes focus on the curling wallpaper seam as I make my own diagnosis — it really is hot in here… I confess to her it’s only because I’m nervous. I’ve never seen this woman before and now I’m going to show her all of me and trust my precious cargo to her care.

Her smile would be contagious, if one would allow themselves to look at it head on. She touches my knee gently as she whispers “It’s okay, dear. I’ve seen it all before. You won’t have anything that will surprise me.”

I meet her gaze as I barely whisper “You may have seen it before, but you’ve never seen me…”

~~~~~~~~~~

Fast forward to last year and you’d find me in a similar position. Face down. Focused on the curling the heat was bringing. Confessing my nerves as I stood before Him…fully exposed.

“Trust me when I say you’ve not got anything He hasn’t seen before. Stand in this fire, let Him purify you–this is how He loves us. This is the process of sanctification.”
~ Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

Friends, God saw things in me I didn’t believe were there until He showed me a mirror. I looked at my reflection and didn’t even recognize myself. For I saw pride. greed. resentment. distrust. No. This wasn’t the Nikki I presented to the world. Surely, this wasn’t really happening. For how could He even look at me? Why would He bother trying to save me?

What was I worth to Him when I looked like…sin?

“His desire is for us to be complete. He longs to restore us, to strengthen us for the call He places on our lives…Though He accepts us as we are, He has even better for us. He loves us too much to leave us in our mess.”
~ Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

I fell down and beat myself up over allowing myself to get that low. To be that bad. To look that ugly in light of His redemption. Let me tell you, I can throw a mean pity party.

Friends, I realize now most of the pain I felt was self-inflicted. And my, did it ever hurt.

“Yet, here, in this painful, holey place — this is where the healing begins. The renewal comes through the wringing out of the soul, through the pulling and dragging out of the ugly — through the sacrifice.”
~ Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

But I had to. I needed to see my unworthiness. I had to look at my sin-soaked self and truly grasp how far love came down to save me. Because only then could I live out these verses:

God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
I Corinthians 1:28-31

And let me tell you: All I have. All that is good within me and all I hope to be comes from Him. It’s all because of God. And the only reason I can claim it for my own is because Christ paid for it and then gave it to me as a gift.

All I am is dust. But that medium is one of my Master Creator’s specialties.

There’s no telling what He can make out of me.

This year, I’m going to stand the heat again–only longer. I’m going to let Him look…really see me as I lift my hands and say

“Do Your best, Father. And please, let me see the work You do in me so I can share how amazing You truly are…”

“‘Suddenly They Saw Him the Way He Was’
The way He really was all the time,
although they had never seen it before,
the glory which blinds the everyday eye
and so becomes invisible.
This is how He was, radiant, brilliant,
carrying joy like a flaming sun in His hands.
This is the way He was–is–from the beginning,
and we cannot bear it.
So He manned Himself, came manifest to us;
and there on the mountain they saw Him,
really saw Him, saw His light.
We all know if we really see Him we die.
But isn’t that what is required of us?
Then perhaps we will see each other, too.”
Madeleine L’Engle, The Ordering of Love

How about you, friend? Have you let God look at you lately? Has He shown you the work He plans on doing with you? I’d love to hear.

NOTE: This is a part of my Lenten series based on my experience through Lent last year and my reading Holey, Wholly, Holy by Kris Camealy this year. You may check out the entire series HERE. I’ll be back next Wednesday. If you’d like to prepare, please read through “The Crushing Place” of THIS BOOK as we will talk about confessions. ::GULP:: If you have not gotten this book yet, please do! Kris is giving away FREE PDF COPIES HERE for a limited time! Or you may purchase a kindle or hard copy (highly recommend) HERE.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

NOTE: If you have time, I’m sharing some thoughts over at Soul Stops today about a familiar passage that has become personal to me in a post titled: We All Have Nets. Would love to share my heart with you there, too! CLICK HERE to read.

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29 thoughts on “Exposed — A Self Reflection {Let Him Look}

  1. Dearest Nikki
    It is a good place where you are at the moment. He brings beauty out of ashes, dear one; the ashes of our sinfulness. Only those who are poor in spirit, are blessed to receive all His blessings in Christ. That is what makes His Good News so incredibly GOOD! Our feeble attempts are at best, only filthy rags, not because we don’t try hard enough, but because of our sinful nature. We don’t have an idea of the enormity and majesty of His goodness!
    Much love
    Mia

  2. It’s been a rough week friend… And I am so grateful for your words this morning. You need to know my go-to posture when the going gets tough is to turn tail and run. But I am through with running and I sit this morning weeping and hoping upon hope to feel God in this furnance with me, and yet can’t help but feel somewhat alone. I know that God is turning me, changing me, stretching me… and I am trying, trying to remove my hands from my shame filled face and let Him gaze to the very bottom of my cob-webbed heart… it scares me a bit, this “stuff” that is stacked in the basement of my soul… “Stand in this fire, let Him purify you — this is how He love us. This is the process of sanctification.” Begging prayers here friend as I feel the sweet burn of His purification rain on me today, but I am willing to shoulder this cross all for the glory of Him.

    • Oh how I know this road, Tonya. I’m a squirmer, too… Praying for you as you take that deep breath and painfully submit. For His glory, girl. It’s all for Him. It helps me to remember: He’ll never ask more of me than He has given for me. He’s worth it. {HUGS} Will keep praying and checking in on you, friend. Thank you for sharing this road with me!

  3. This is exquisite, dear friend. Thank you for sharing so much, so openly. You are a treasure, Nikki–God’s treasure–and I’m grateful to know you.

    Much love,
    Peg

    • Peg, how you bless. thank you so much, friend. I must admit, it’s still hard to push that publish button, but who would I be to Him if I couldn’t tell the story He’s given me…that’s all He’s asked me to do. It’s how He’s asked me to fish…{HUGS}

  4. Oh my friend, how He sees nothing but Jesus in you when He looks at you. He sees you as righteous through Christ. He sees your spirit and your spirit is sparkling with the beauty of Him. We see the sin, God sees the salvation.

  5. A few days ago, I received a text and responded with a long, ugly cry. At first, I chalked it up to my emotions and THEN, I realized what it really was. I have been reading and praying and here I was being confronted with my sin- my self-pity, my PRIDE, my selfishness in all its ugliness. I confessed to my husband and then later that night, I read Kris’ words that you shared- “Yet, here, in this painful, holey place — this is where the healing begins. The renewal comes through the wringing out of the soul, through the pulling and dragging out of the ugly — through the sacrifice.” And I almost laughed! Funny how we can pray that God would drag out the ugly, that He would refine us and then we start to walk through it and nearly miss that it is Him at work! So as painful as this is, I am thankful for the work that He is doing and I am blessed to walk this journey with you. Love the line that He loves us too much to leave us in our mess. Thank you, Jesus!!!

    • Oh my goodness, I can’t get over this, Becky! We are so kindred. I learned of my pride in a similar situation and was so flabbergasted by the discovery that I denied it for weeks! You heart is more receptive and I LOVE it! To God be the glory…and Oh how He loves us! {HUGS}

  6. Praise God that He doesn’t look at us in our dirty, sin covered rags! He only sees us in a beautiful pure white robe that allows the heart of Jesus to shine through us. When we allow God’s perfect love to complete His work in us we have reason to boast because we are abiding in Him. Love and hugs to you,
    Joy

    • I’ll never get over it, Joy…how He can see beyond the me ‘now’…so thankful He’s not confined to time like we are…how He can see wider and deeper and higher and richer. what grace! He’s worth boasting over!
      Love and hugs to you, friend.

  7. As difficult as they are, I am thankful for the hard looks in the mirror. God has revealed so much to me even in our current situation. It is hard not to live with the regret, though. I think that’s the hardest part of looking in the mirror, knowing it’s my mess. Thankful for the blessed assurance that we are covered in Christ as he cleanses within.

    • they are worth giving thanks over–the hard glances–aren’t they. and oh the regret. I am such a slow learner in how to get over it…what He has done for me. How could I not invite Him into the caverns of my soul…
      So glad you are learning as you journey this hard road, friend. Praying for you [HUGS]

  8. Love! To be transparent and real in His presence and let Him do the work of transformation, that’s what I want. It always amazes me that when Jesus first met Simon, he called him Peter. Jesus looked at him as he was and saw who God would make him to be. And he does that with us too! Amazing grace!

  9. Yes! “Christ paid for it and gave it to me as a gift.” And thank you Jesus – otherwise, I’d stand with head hanging low, shame-faced and repentant moment by moment and day by day. I am so heartily blessed and encouraged with every gorgeous honest word you write, Nikki. So blessed.

  10. I am so glad to be on this journey with you. The book is wonderful. It is astounding, that as sinful as we are (and pride has been a big one for me), God loves us so much and wants us to turn to Him, be strengthened by Him and love Him. Your beautiful, honest words touch my heart, Nikki. I am privileged and blessed to call you friend.

  11. Pingback: Confessions {A Challenge of Submission} | simplystriving

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