Playing Hide & Seek

“A bride at her second wedding does not wear a veil. She wants to see what she’s getting.” – Helen Rowland

The Lil’ Miss playing dress-up.

I’ve always liked June weddings even though I married in July. My 20-year-old daughter disagrees and thinks a fall or spring wedding would be so much more romantic with its vibrant colors and blue skies. She also loves the show “Say Yes to the Dress” and to her delight recently after signing up for a free 30-day trial of Hulu, the movie streaming app, she found it on the menu. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a program that features a bride or two every week in search of the perfect dress. The bride is typically accompanied by the family naysayer, an overbearing mother (or mother in-law) and/or an outspoken friend or aunt, all of whom believe they should have some input into what the poor girl wears. It’s really kind of painful to watch.

After binge watching one day, my daughter asked to see my wedding dress. I gushed thinking how sweet she was to even consider wearing her mom’s wedding apparel. Nah, she just wanted to play dress up. She proceeded to parade around the house, take selfies and find her favorite future wedding songs on Pandora. We then sat on the couch laughing about how industrious she is at planning her wedding (just check out her Pinterest board sometime), but has yet to find a husband. I must say though, she looked lovely and it made me sad thinking that one day she’ll marry and leave.

In the process of her dress up time she asked why brides wore a veil? I explained that in some cultures it was to hide the bride from her future spouse (think about poor Jacob who unknowingly married Leah instead of his beloved Rachel) and in other cultures it is a sign of purity. Today many brides still where a veil or some semblance of one.

Then I got to thinking about a different kind of veil used today called social media. You know, social media, the filtered self we want the world to see? Have you seen posts of romantic dinners, but know the relationship is struggling? Perhaps it’s to showcase a work-out at the gym, but not the Oreos eaten on the way there. How about kids’ school award programs, but not the door slamming screaming match with a teen? I’m not saying all posts are not genuine, but sadly, many are.

These have been dubbed ‘filtered’ posts. The posts we want the world to see not the real us. Filtered posts give the world the illusion that we’ve got it together, we’re happy, we’re a success – not broken or hurting. I heard a good analogy of this recently. Dating myself a bit, but if you remember the 45 vinyl records that we bought of our favorite song, there was a side A and a side B. Side A was the hook song or single that got you to buy the record in the first place. Side B was the less popular, requested song. Side B is the filtered side of our lives on social media.

Filtered living is harmful. Why? A filtered life is not genuine. It’s an act or a role we’re playing. It leads to a false sense of who we are. By that I mean, we start to look for approval and validation through how many likes, shares or positive comments we receive on our page or post. The wrong kind of validation come from individuals or situations we shouldn’t be connected to. Validation only comes from Christ who loves us despite our mess and imperfection.

Two, a filtered life leads to comparing ourselves with others’ perceived happiness. We begin to have a sense of envy and/or begin to compare what we think someone else has, to what we don’t. I hear this far too often from women who feel like social media is the gauge to which they compare themselves, their lives, their spouse and even their children. This causes resentment, frustration, discontentment and thanklessness. We don’t look around at the blessings and thank God for what He’s provided. We become dissatisfied…maybe even angry at Him.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that you need to share all your “bad” on social media. There’s a time and place for being honest, but social media may not always be the best forum for doing that. Personally, I don’t care for social media and use it as little as I can other than for my business. However, if you’re going to use it, us it to express your joy for all God is doing in your life. Use it as an opportunity to be authentic so that others can come to know Christ like we do. People relate to people who are like them…the good, the bad and ugly. It gets the dialogue going and opens the heart up to see that they’re not alone.

So where do you go from here? Well, there’s immense freedom in letting go of other people’s opinions, perceptions, and sometimes your own, and focus only on what God has for us in Christ. He longs to make us whole and loved when the world leaves us veiled, empty, longing for love. Only Christ can remove the veil.

What veil are you wearing?

Until next time, stay chic

Vicki

2 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV) But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Luke 12:2 (NIV) “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

Isaiah 29:15 (NIV) Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD, And whose deeds are done in a dark place, And they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”

2 Corinthians 4:3 (NIV) And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing

 

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