I have suffered from the onion disease my whole life (or at least for as long as I can remember). It’s the disease that causes us to add layers to ourselves so that we seem more interesting, or more beautiful, or more Godly, or more anything really than what we know we are. There are the layers that offer us protection…layers that say I don’t need anybody in my life or I will never allow anyone to know the real me or if I never love then I will never hurt. We add layers to please others, to fit into others’ ideals of who we should be. We add layers that say we are okay with something when we know full well we aren’t, but we call it the cost of fitting in…the “I need you to like me” layer. Let’s be honest. We all suffer from a varying degrees of onionliness.
Because for me, (and I’m guessing for many of you) it’s really hard to just be me. And you know why? Because if I show you me, the real me…the me without layers of padding and protection and fluff…and you don’t like that me – the one that’s without all the bells and whistles…the one that is just the plain old me – then that means it’s really me that you don’t like. It’s not that you don’t like who you think I am. It’s me. And at that point I could try and add layers to please you but underneath it all, the pain of knowing that you’d rather have the fake would still remain. And that pain would probably be excruciating.
Why am I like that?
Is it because I don’t think I’m likeable just like I am?
That would be a resounding YES.
Is anybody else out there like this? Always feeling the need to un-say stuff because you didn’t get the reaction you thought you’d get and you know your cool points total just took a dive? Always starting your sentences with “I could be completely off-base here, but…”? Always feeling like you have to be a part of eh-vah-ry-thing because you might miss a key moment and lose your spot with the “in” crowd. It seems like a constant struggle sometimes to make sure the layers are properly placed and that there are enough of them. And it’s a struggle that I find myself getting quite tired of.
I must admit that I have let some of my layers go. The upkeep on them was just too much. And of course some of them required other layers in order for them to be effective. Exhausting.
The prayer is prayed…
Search me, O God and know my heart
Test me and know my anxious thoughts
See if there is any offensive way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23, 24
Enter Jesus. And His healing Balm of Gilead. And His Handy Dandy Holy Moley Layer Remover 3000.
Some of the layers come off slowly causing an ebb and flow of pain as bit by bit is torn away and it seems the tearing away will never cease. Some of the layers come off quickly…are snatched away all at once…and the pain comes all at once and the exposed wound left behind throbs with every heartbeat. And when the pain reaches the heights of all I can bear and threatens to drags me into the depths, He smears that balm on my wounds. It is cool and calming. Its fragrance is salvation to my soul. And the healing begins.
And the old worldly layers I have covered myself with for so long slowly go…and He becomes my covering.
Are you wearing layers that are wearing you out?
Are you ready to let them go?