Face Off

I used to be a pretty good actress. Only, I worked for free…and few people knew I was acting.

Do you remember the movie Face Off?

In short, the good guy took on the bad guy’s face to enter his world to get information. But when the bad guy realized what happened, he decided to make a switch as well. The result? The bad guy now had access to the good guy’s world.

Sound familiar? It does to me. I played that part many times. When I felt threatened, sometimes I took on someone else’s “face.” I mimicked their behaviors and entered their world to get a response. Sometimes I aimed to validate. Other times, vindicate. Basically, I ‘traded’ my world to prove a point. So, maybe I was more like the movie Trading Places? Either way, like the characters – there was no guarantee of getting back to my world. Even more, my trade opened up my world to someone who had no business in it. However, once I left my spot open, it was fair game.

Raise your hand if you ever gave up your spot – put down your demeanor and took on different behavior to get a point across. Go ahead, no one’s looking. Wave at me if you’ve done it. See? I’m waving back!

How did I know I wasn’t alone? Because we all have a line that few people know exists until they cross it. Frankly, if you’re as unfamiliar with your emotional needs as I once was, you may not know where the line is, until it’s too late!

My suggestion: when you’re not okay, find a way to express it. And, allow people that love you and know you well to come to you when something seems off. Give them permission when the sun is shining and the skies are blue. When the weather changes suddenly, you may not have time to let them know you’re open. Why bother? Because the right interactions can help protect your spot. God gave you a space to occupy, and like the fig tree He is expecting you to be in place and producing fruit when He passes by.

For me, this meant enduring a painful silence, allowing attacks on my character without retaliating or offering explanation. In that, I swallowed my tears and put on a brave face while parts of me broke down. During the process, I left my spot a few times to try to alleviate the pain; it backfired. I didn’t break free until I could stand strong and silent to one audience, while opening my heart in a safe place to another. Now, I truly understand winning.

That was my path to growth. I learned the importance of cherishing and protecting my space no matter where I am on my journey. Nothing is worth trading my spot. We must allow God’s purpose for us to source our validation and vindication. My challenge to you: even in the face of crushing circumstances, boldly declare: WINNING!

I eventually won. And so will you.

Feel free to use the comments to share times it looked like you were losing, but were on the path to victory!

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