Becoming Real


Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

The world would like us to think that the “real people” in this word are thin, beautiful, sexy, and successful.  They have it all together.  (Just watch any tv show or commercial to see this truth that we are constantly bombarded with!)

My definition of real has evolved several times over the decades.  With my most recent bout with cancer, the definition of real is changing again.

For me, the real person is the one who comes to visit you when your hair in unkempt, the house is a mess, and you are far from you best, and they don’t care a whit. 

The real person is also the one who allows someone to see him/her in that state of disarray.

The real person has problems.  They don’t pretend to have it all together.  They know that life is fraught with difficulties and they accept it - and hand it to God each and every day.

The real person has aches and pains and trials, yet still reaches out to others to do whatever they can to help - and when they can do nothing else … they pray.

The real person isn’t ashamed of their problems.  They’ve been bumped and battered, but never give up.  They know that even in tears, a smile is somewhere in the offing.

I think chronic illness helps you become real.

I am reminded of the story of the Velveteen Rabbit.

There is a place in that story where the old skin rocking horse explains to the stuffed toy what it takes to become real.

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.

But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” 

Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

So, my lovely readers, don’t be afraid to be real.  We’ve earned it -  most likely the hard way.  Be who you are, whether over or underweight, whether your hair has fallen out and your face never sees a dollop of make up.  If you house is a mess and company wants to visit.  Let them.

Be real.

Be content with who you are - you needn’t try to hide it under a plastic smile.

And love the realness of those around you. 

God does.

Just as He loves the real you.

Father God, it’s hard to be content - and real - when you live with chronic challenges.  It takes courage to say, “This is who I am … this is how I am … and by the grace of God I’ll gain all the strength I need from Him who loves me.”  Thank you for the strength that comes when we most need it, and often, least deserve it.  Amen and amen.

 © deni weber 2010-2015