Watching the stunning display of fall foliage reminds me the season of Autumn speaks about becoming. The art of slowly changing, and within the change emerges a kind of truth unseen previously. We experience a similar authenticity in becoming Christ’s beloved within our spiritual journey.
Though at times our own blossoming of authenticity feels painful, the colors of Autumn remind us death to old life reveals the hidden beauty within.
Receiving abundantly more than we both deserve or dare to imagine, becoming Christ’s beloved also beckons us let go of false selves. Inviting us instead to an authenticity of unbecoming.
The Work of Unbecoming
The greatest work of being known involves a willingness to step into authenticity. But admittedly, such a step often kindles fear of rejection.
As much as we long for the intimacy of being known and accepted, we cling to created personas for protection against the rejection of others.
Yet, until we do the work of unbecoming, we remain lost, lonely, and isolated.
“The path of awakening is not about becoming who you are. Rather it is about unbecoming who you are not.”
So much of life seems little more than a performance for people who have no real interest in authentic relationship. But the real awakening occurs in becoming Christ’s beloved.
For as Autumn so marvelously illustrates, in the becoming, we also “unbecome” who we never really were. Invited into the safety of Christ’s unfailing love, we become our truest selves, with no fear of rejection.
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
Becoming Really Real
While coming to Christ for salvation happens in a moment, becoming really real, happens over the course of a time-tested relationship with Him. The more we experience His love, the more our authentic selves emerge, becoming Christ’s beloved.
“Real isn’t how you are made, said the Skin Horse. It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real…It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time.”
Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit
Now a Christian for more than forty years, I am still becoming really real. Less fear surrounds stepping into authenticity, but at times the posturing to impress pushes me back into a false self.
But while the false self may find a few fans and a moment or two of acceptance, ultimately, I settle for a mere shadow of the fullness of authenticity meant for me in Christ.
Authenticity in Becoming Christ’s Beloved
Just like the Velveteen Rabbit, when we are loved, really loved, for a long, long time by the God of unfailing love, we become the truest version of ourselves. A beauty which cannot be bought, favor which cannot be earned, and unconditional acceptance emerge while becoming Christ’s beloved.
Though our becoming unfolds over a lifetime, we learn to lean into the safe place of Christ’s embrace, and from the surety of His love, learn to take our own confident steps as our truest selves shining His Light and Love to others.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
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