Ever think you’re buying an authentic product only to get fooled after the purchase? Yeah, me too. It’s so infuriating to find that from handbags to perfumes, or DVD’s to foodstuff, we are surrounded and tempted by fakes. Some of the experiences in which I should have known better include the following:
1. Purchasing a designer handbag in a back alley in Chinatown. The zipper broke as well as the strap within two months. Duh.
2. Finding my favorite perfume at a deep discount, only to discover it had been watered down beyond recognition. The scent faded on my skin in a New York minute.
3. Gleefully acquiring the Shrek movie for my daughters on the streets of NYC—the VERY week it came out in theatres. I was positive I’d be voted mother of the year as I popped that sucker into the CD player. Imagine my surprise when I discovered some shyster had filmed it while in their seat eating popcorn. Oh yes, this Shrek gem was so personal it showed the backs of everyone’s heads in the theatre. Ahem. It still provides a good laugh at Thanksgiving.
4. Purchasing the generic version of the famous “A-Brand” steak sauce, as it claimed to taste identical to the real thing. Not.Try to imagine lighter fluid and worcestershire sauce combined with old ketchup. Far from the real thing, I’m afraid. Sheesh.
5. Buying what I thought was the “most adorable shoes ever” at an astonishingly good price. What joy they brought to my right ankle as the heel broke completely off while at a fancy wedding. Classy.
I once heard the phrase, “Too poor to buy cheap,” and I do believe it has has merit. Choosing to spend money wisely usually means saving a little longer and focusing on quality versus quantity. Some of us have had to learn that life lesson the hard way. My ankle still hurts due to those ridiculous stilettos…
Of course those learning experiences with material objects hold little weight in the grand scheme of things. But on a more serious note, our lives are bruised and battered when we discover we’ve been betrayed by friends, lied to by family members, or fooled by those who claimed, “we were their everything.” Where do we turn when place our deepest trust in someone, only to find they’ve told untruths about us to others? What if our boss says we’re doing a wonderful job and yet we receive a pink slip the next week? These are heart-wrenching gut punches that can remain with us for years.
No wonder songwriters have penned such tunes as Once Bitten Twice Shy, You Give Love A Bad Name, and Torn. (I’ll confess, these some of my favorites) What’s our next step once the imposter has been exposed and we’re still wincing after being duped? Sure, we can decide to bury ourselves in misery, grow increasingly bitter and choose loneliness over risk. We can do as Kelly Clarkson and, “never stray too far from the sidewalk, so we don’t get hurt.” Yeah, there’s that, but it certainly doesn’t sound very fun, not to mention healthy. Living a life of skepticism and distrust is a joyless way to live.
The alternative requires us to take a little time to lick our wounds, grow smarter from our own naivete’ and have faith knowing there’s wonderful people in the world waiting to enrich our lives—-IF we allow it and IF we decide to trust. We must always take a chance on the goodness of people. It can be as scary and as painful as a root canal, but once we see the beauty in healthy relationships, we’ll definitely feel like smiling.
I was inspired to write this post after sitting in my garden and observing a little deceptive creature: the hummingbird moth. We’ve seen them more than ever this summer and I’m not sure why. While we have plentiful flowers from which real hummingbirds can dine, it’s been the fuzzy little moths that visit our garden the most. These busy insects flap their wings, fly backwards and are even as colorful as their avian counterparts. But if you look closer you’ll spot the differences between the two winged creatures. Hummingbird moths are quite smaller in length than hummingbirds, the bright colors are on their wings instead of the chest, and they’re also nocturnal so you can even see them flitting about at night. Still, regardless of their sound and beauty, hummingbird moths are viewed, quite simply, as imposters.
As Christians, we often encounter something similar. We sing hymns with other Christian sisters, attend Bible study and tell one another that “everything’s fine.” It’s only later that we discover some are not even close to what they’ve professed. Sure, we all struggle and fall short of the glory of our Savior, but there’s a difference in constantly painting an image to others that couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s some serious soul-searching to be done if we’ve become one of those women who closes her Bible after church, heads toward home, and suddenly turns into the Bride of Frankenstein. Oh sweet friend, I can’t help but feel we all have been there once or one-hundred.
Not only is this way of life exhausting, but it’s emotionally draining to try and do 24/7. If we compare ourselves to the winged beauties in which this blog highlights, I do believe we should strive to be more like hummingbirds. Unlike the fuzzy fakes, hummingbirds slow down at night and rest. They fold their wings in when perched, and slowly gather their energy. Unlike moths, they don’t have two antennae which are constantly moving in search of sweet satisfaction. Sound familiar?
It’s time to be real, sweet friends. We need to cut ourselves some slack and realize that not only are our wings gonna give out on us, but we need to sit still and grow strong in God’s Word. It’s time to leave the cage that’s had an open swinging door the entire time. Find a great counselor and search for friends who are not only willing to share their true self, but who also understand the struggle is real!
Then and only then, can YOU be YOU. I’m praying that all of us can soar towards that kind of freedom and find comfort in knowing God loves us just as we are.
Have a great day and again, seek shelter in Him!