Tuesday, May 27, 2014

On Barbie and Breaking Free

So, it's been awhile.

It's been a while since the fingers have gotten their exercise dancing across the lettered keys here on this keyboard, but boy do they dance with renewed fire, because they just couldn't handle their dormant state any longer.

Not when they've been carrying the burden of this message since, oh, you know, March. 
It was after a talk with a counselor...

That wise counselor-friend asked me to put a face to the big idol in my life, 
the one that fuels my disorder in sneaky ways, using food and exercise as a mask, 
the one that makes me feel like I always have to be perfect, 
the one that promises nothing but condemnation, nothing but death,
the one that I can boldly say, after talking to so many of my sweet sisters in Christ, many, many of us bow down to daily, sometimes without even knowing it.

And her name is Barbie.
photo cred http://herlifeinspiredblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/barbie.jpg

That's right.
 Like that blond, plastic, flawlessly dressed all-encompassing image of what a woman should be-- perfect body, flawless hair, most fashionable wardrobe, picture perfect marriage, changing the world with successful teaching, medicine, and astronaut careers, and even as President and Ambassador of World Peace, oh and not to mention, she has defended her country in every service (United States Air Force pilot Barbie, and Paratrooper Barbie are just a few examples), she was an Olympic gymnast and has a heart for the children of the world (UNICEF Summit Diplomat Barbie). 
And always with a pearly white smile.

Um. Yikes?
You  may laugh, thinking, no one really holds themselves to these expectations

But, I'm here writing today because I am done shifting in my seat wondering if anyone else feels the same way I do, has also bowed down to this idol of the perfect woman (and boy does it get scary twisted when it becomes the idol of the perfect Christian woman)--

that I must have the most stunning body, wear the most fashionable clothes, run marathons and read interesting books, be charming and funny, admirable goals and top of 10% of my class, serving selflessly in about a dozen ministries, writing an earth-shattering blog daily, holding a great internship and having countless great job offers, one day having the most Christ-centered marriage and one day raising the most adorable little family that looks hand-tailored for all of social media to gawk and gape at...
How often do we exhaust ourselves to appease this Barbie mentality?

Yet, the Lord reminds me it is by my imperfections that He receives glory, the real glory that just makes this exhausted attempt at my own perfect and prideful glory look silly,

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." -2 Corinthians 12:9

and that grace, it doesn't come to the already perfect, it doesn't require, well, really anything at all.
it's a gift
and my Savior, the one who bestows that very grace, He unearths the plastic little lie embodied in this Barbie perfection.

By it's very design it's destined for failure:
according to a 2013 Huffington Post article, if Barbie were a real woman,
that skinny little neck couldn't even support her head,
that cute little waist only has room for half a liver and a few inches of small intestine,
her forever-long legs are 50% longer than her arms, with the average woman's legs being 20% longer than her arms,
and those slender, delicate wrists could not lift anything.

Let's not be deceived,
let's not be condemned,
when there is no condemnation, 
and there is no power in those lies,
only power behind the Truth who offers grace sufficient and an existence of freedom from the oppression of perfection.

The perfect design is knowing the Perfect Designer, because we're no Barbie dolls--
we're purposed, known, and radically loved!

Psst.That's where that whole picture-perfect thing really lies-- in the only Perfect One.
Because really, who wants to try in vain to make perfect from broken,
when we could bask in Perfect Himself and know the Truth.