Thursday, 10 March 2016

Revelations of #NOMAKEUP

So y'all know I've given up make-up for lent - and I've shared the reasons why (read here). 
I believe I'm almost 30 days into the challenge, so what has struck me most so far?

no make-up | no filter | no edit ~ @jessiefaerber 

1.   I am free

I am loving it. And I hoped I'd get to this point, but thought it would be very unlikely! The first week (especially the first few days) SUCKED. But it proves that once you push through an awkward period of uncomfortable change, liberation knocks at your door

I love that I'm thinking less about how I look. I love that I can look in the mirror and be comfortable in my own skin with my own, natural face. I love that I've broken free of the chains that compelled me to wear make-up. I love that I'm still loved by family, friends (and Robbie of course). I love that it's provoked conversation about image, and how much it has sparked new insight

Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to being able to wear it again - but the interesting thing will be to see whether I actually do or not...

2.   I am more than my appearance

Rupi Kaur sums this bit up for me very well:

As I've said before - I'm still the same Jessie no matter whether I wear make-up or not. But this should impact us on a deeper level. 'Pretty', 'attractive', 'beautiful' (etc) seem to be the compliments we strive for in this society. I know I have. We dish them out to young girls from a very young age, and we surround them with images of the perfect woman - so it's not flipping surprising. 

WHY do we put this on eachother and ourselves?!

I've been really challenged to think about the way I view myself as more than my image. I'm talking about my characteristics. I'm talking about what makes me ME; what makes me unique. I don't want to be just 'pretty'. I want to be pretty wise, pretty resilient, pretty brave, pretty faithful, pretty loving........

This had a knock-on realisation for me: I want to be a woman who champions this in other women (however young or old they may be). I want to shift my thinking to assess the hearts of other women before I assess the square footage of their face (!) And I want my words of encouragement and compliments to reflect that. 

3.   I am my heart

This follows on from point number 2. However, at this point I want to bring in God - don't stop reading! I'm a follower of Jesus, dreaming and conversing with God about each step I take in life and all for playing my part in God's master-story.

The last few days I've been mulling over the fact that we have NO idea what God looks like.

As human beings, we were created in the image of God himself: "God created mankind in His own image" (Genesis 1:27 NIV). And we're called to be like Him. Our indicator of what He is like is in the Bible (and through His son, Jesus): wise, faithful, loving, good, compassionate, generous, creative...  

SO, being created in the image of God and growing into His likeness MUST be about our heart, who we are, the characteristics we possess BECAUSE we have no idea what God - our Creator - looks like. So why are we human beings (His children created in His image) more obsessed with what we look like than who we are and were created to be by Him? Kinda getting my jist?

"People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)

God is the ultimate designer of your heart and my heart. 

Next time you look in the mirror, assess the condition of your heart. 

Next time you look at someone else, assess who they are, not just what they look like. 
Next time you pick up your make-up, consider giving it up for a significant period of time and see what it teaches you. 

I'll keep you posted.