Lies laid at the foot of the Cross. Photo taken at the Mars Hill Women’s Training Day 5/4/13
I’m on a journey through Mars Hill Church’s; Redemption Group. I cannot say exactly where this will lead me yet. Well, actually that’s not true. I know because this journey is God ordained, that it will lead me to Him.
Last week I was asked by a lead in my group how I was doing. God laid it on my heart to share my deep secret. Satan actually had me convinced I was alone. As long as I can remember I have been on a journey of self-hatred. Oscillating between my risen savior Jesus and His promises and my own private beauty idolatry.
I can point my finger at the media. It’s chalk full of airbrushed images that scream, “This is beauty.” I can point at pornography which screams, “This is sexy. This is desirable.” Those things are obviously wrong. Obviously lies. Instead I took this ever changing standard of beauty and brought it inward. Nobody had to know that I was constantly berating myself. Satan would say, “You’re NEVER going to be good enough.” And I would take that and do his job for him thinking, “I need to stop eating. I’m not tall enough. I don’t have this or that.” I remember a time when I thought to myself, “If I gain a pound, I will kill myself.” Defeated and self loathing I could never measure up to the unattainable and frankly UNDEFINED standard of beauty that our culture portrays. You see it changes. One day its svelte and blond. Then its muscular. Then its brown hair. Then its tall then its petite.
I’m not her or her or her or her and I NEVER will be.
I’m just me.
The culture lies to us, ladies. And it’s standards are made up of altered images, the models themselves don’t look like!
She’s not her or her or her or her!
Coming to grips that belittling myself wasn’t sanctification, it was beauty idolatry, I felt humbled. Last week I faced the very real need to repent.
Repent of what!?!
At first, I wasn’t exactly sure.
Last Saturday, our church had a women’s training day. Aptly, about beauty redeemed. God’s timing is impeccable. He is so faithful. He laid this on my heart then provided a training day to help me on my new journey. 🙂
Now I know my heart was broken by the lies I believed. I have a journey ahead toward Jesus’ beauty. On that road I will repent of my self-abuse when my thoughts go to, “You’ll NEVER be good enough.” And Jesus will teach me to look to Him for beauty instead of myself or the culture.
You know what never satisfies and is never good enough to be my god?
And when I make anything other than God my functional god it crumbles under the pressure. And I wind up hating it!
Have you found yourself hating the very thing you believe you must do or be (your idol)?
Beauty idolatry is a journey to self-hatred.
You know who only satisfies and is only good enough to be God?
It’s all about Jesus! Even my beauty and worth.
Now I understand why we are to walk in the light. This is a huge step for me. For years my beauty idolatry and self-hatred were in the dark, looming over me watchfully. Angrily. Brooding.
Then brought to the light just a week ago and already I feel relief. I’m not perfect but that’s NOT THE POINT!
Satan, shut your trap. You liar. In Christ, I am radiant.
I’ll still be radiant when I’m seventy and have more wrinkles than hair because of Christ’s righteousness that was given to all freely when He died in our place, on the cross.
“Gray hair is a glorious crown; it is found in the way of righteousness.” Proverbs 16:31
The goal of a fulfilling life isn’t self actualization or looking 17 (unless you are 17)! It’s real, deep and meaningful relationship with Christ that fills you full so you pour out His glory and bless others, not compare yourself to them! Jesus’ promises deliver, everything else is a vapor. Meaningless and deceitful.
“Charm (favor, grace and elegance in the form of appearance) is deceitful (disappointing and betraying), and beauty is vain (a vapor and meaningless), but a woman who fears (cares above all else what God thinks) the Lord is to be praised (commended, celebrated and renowned).” Proverbs 31:30
Ladies, do you know what this means practically?!?!
When I dress myself or do my hair I can enjoy the unique workmanship I see in the mirror. How dare I belittle God’s work. He himself said it was good. He himself said He made man is His image and likeness. The Lord rejoices over me and you!
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Dear Jesus, thank you so much for this newfound freedom. Just because my earthly father struggled with porn and I strived to be what he seemed to love for so long, doesn’t mean you aren’t mighty to save. Thank you for giving me courage to bring this beast into the light. Thank you for the women’s training day. Thank you that you are the lifter of my head. Please help me to eat, exercise, and groom myself in a way that honors the temple you have made me into. May I be radiant because your glory shines through me. Amen.