Thursday, April 8, 2010

another heart to heart

I felt so refreshed after I shared a couple of days ago ... so I thought that I would do it again. 
After all, this is what blogs and writing are for - right? 

You might find this totally random and it might not apply to your life at all, but maybe one of you out there can relate - and because of that, I will share. 

While I was in Costa Rica, the Lord really convicted me about a few other things in my life. 

I'll just warn you, I was totally blind sided by this one.

It was one of those times, when you pray that God would mold and shape your heart to be more like His - and then all of the sudden, he convicts you about something that you didn't even know you struggled with. I felt like ..."God I know that I struggle with a lot of things ... but this, seriously?"
I'll also warn you that this conviction was from within my own heart. 
It has little to do with the people or country of Costa Rica.

However, while I was down there, God revealed to me that I have a lot of insecurities. Insecurities that I didn't even know where there. Before leaving for the trip, I felt pretty content with who I am. I know that I struggled here and there with the whole not finding a job thing, but overall I felt ok. 

Then, I got down to Costa Rica and BAM! 

God totally convicted me and opened up my eyes to how much comfort I found in things like makeup, vanity, doing my hair, my clothes ... I think that you get the point.

I know that this probably sounds super immature, but it is true. 
I hope that I am not the only one out there that has struggled with these things.

The ironic thing is at the beginning of the week, I felt so stinkin' confident and self-righteous. While we were down there we worked really hard and there just didn't seem to be any logical reason for me to put on makeup or straighten my hair. I mean honestly, within two hours any makeup that I did put on would've been gone because of sweat! 

So, the first couple days I went without makeup and just let my hair air dry. Like I said, I was feeling pretty good about "not being that girl who has to be all done up." Then, I noticed myself judging other people like crazy. 

{disclaimer: I also learned from this experience that when I judge someone it usually means that I am insecure about something}

I judged the other women who would straighten their hair or put on makeup in the morning. I hate admitting it, but I literally thought things like "I am glad that I don't need to do that. I feel comfortable enough in who God made me to need to put makeup on. They must not be very strong in their faith." In general, I was so self-righteousness and pretty much had the attitude that I was better than them.

Let me just say, that I was totally lying to myself and I didn't even realize it ... until the Spirit started convicting me. I would see myself in pictures taken and think "I look disgusting." Does anyone else do this? There's a group shot that you're in and as soon as you see yourself in the picture, you start picking out all the things wrong with yourself. Well, that's what I was doing. I think we do it all the time. I think we are so used to doing it, that we don't even realize that we're going it!

Then, I would compare myself to the other girls for the opposite reasons. 
{why as females do we struggle so much with comparison??}

I would beat myself up and think "that girl looks so good and natural without makeup. I wish that I was naturally pretty and didn't need make-up. But, I'm not ... I look terrible without it." 

So so sad, but this is literally the things that I would tell myself.
I hope that I don't sound too crazy. I have a feeling that I am not alone in this! 
I hope not :)

Throughout the week God revealed to me more and more how insecure I was in this area. He totally tore my self-righteousness to shreds. Instead of feeling prideful about not being "that girl," I found myself wishing to be "that girl" so that I would feel pretty.

So there it is. It's amazing/frustrating when God reveals struggles that you didn't even know where there. Sometimes it is painful, but I guess that's what it takes to grow.

As for wearing makeup, doing my hair, having on cute clothes ... I'm not going to say that I will never do it again. To be honest, I have makeup on right now. But I am confident that I want to grow into the women of Christ that doesn't find her security in those things. 

Psalm 45:11
The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him for He is your Lord.



Rachael said...

I feel the same exact way, and I do not think we are alone! I know the most beautiful girls and they all feel so insecure without makeup. I also struggle with judging others to cover up my own insecurities. I believe it has to do with the way we are socialized as women in this day and age. And the scariest part is that sin, beauty, and greed have become so common that it enters our minds without our acknowledgment. Reading your post really hit home.

Julie said...

You're not alone in this one, Rach. SOOO not alone.

Good to think about...thanks for sharing!

jenna said...

absolutely not alone. i don't think you can be a girl in the U.S. and not struggle with this :)

Randi said...

have you been reading my journal?? :) i definitely struggle with this too! i want freedom from the comparison game!! in high school i would compare to lose because i didn't want to be conceited. lately though, i play to win and lose now. either way it isn't the freedom that Christ set us free for at all. the sad part is i realize in my head that "okay, so since i shouldn't compare at all, my worth and confidence should come from the Lord and not how i measure up against other people (usually my friends, which makes me feel like the worst friend ever." unfortunately, it hasn't become indisputable heart knowledge yet. i'm working on it!

----how do we help each other with this since it seems like it is such a common and almost a secretive stronghold? ----

Stephanie Shaver said...

Rach - you and every other woman in the world feel this way. Unfortunately that is how we have been raised in our culture. I recommend Beth Moore's bible study on Daniel. She really has opened my eyes to our Babylonian society and the excesses, lavish wants and unreasonable expectations we all have. Maybe you young 'uns ought to have this as your next bible study, I highly recommend it!

kathy said...

Not sure if you're interested in my thoughts because I'm not very religious. Not sure how I see this, but I've never really connected whether people like makeup, etc., with their possible relationship with God. Anyway, I love makeup and stuff, and I definitely judge other women who DON'T use it as people who don't care how they look and who have no self-esteem. I know I shouldn't judge anyone, and yet I still do. And I totally know that this is my own insecurity coming out. I think that these types of internal struggles are just human nature. I think that if you enjoy makeup and like to wear it, it's okay; just don't judge other people on whether they choose to do so or not.