It’s not easy to always put on appearance. I’ve done it for so long that it seems like second nature to me. It’s not that I am intentionally trying to fool anyone. It’s just that I was taught for so long that it’s better to put on a happy face and pretend that things are okay than it is to risk rejection and humiliation when you let the real you come undone in front of anyone but the steamy bathroom mirror.
A couple of days ago I was digging through the archives of my blog and I stumbled upon a few family pictures from my early 20’s. I cringed at the lack of style, makeup and pose. I cringed at the fact that I wasn’t the “perfect” version of me that I try so hard to be each day. But I also missed that girl. She was so confident and had no reason to hide behind layers of makeup.
(Picture of Me, Goob and Sissy taken in 2008)
It’s almost funny to me that the older I get the more I start to only allow others to see what I want them to see. I fear that if I continue down this path then I run the risk of becoming altogher fake. I don’t want this! God doesn’t want this either. I have come to realize that it’s easier for me to let it all hang out emotionally. I have no problem disclosing all the kinds of messed up that I am, yet I am still not giving you the full effect because you can’t see it. I wear my appearance like a mask…I can tell you all day long about the issues that I have, but if you don’t see them, then they aren’t real.
(Picture of Me and BIG summer of 2012)
About a month before we moved to the Bakken I told my husband that I was ready to get breast augmentation done. I’ve given birth to 4 children and this body has seen tighter days. My husband in his wisdom told me that he loves me the way that I am, but that if this was something that I needed to do for myself then he would write the check. I made my appointment for my consultation.
I arrived at my consultation in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in. I sat there with the doctor and told him everything that I wanted from my new breasts. He encouraged me to go beyond what I originally thought I wanted, and so I tried those out. Standing in the mirror looking back at myself, it was all I could do to not run out of the office. The mind tape that played through my mind was horrific.
“Well, if you get larger breast, then you will need to always been in this good of shape or better, or you will start to look large. Maybe you should have a tummy tuck at the same time. I’ve always hated the cellulite that resides on my butt, and my nose is a little large for my face.”
At the end of picking myself apart, I left the office went to the room down the hall to schedule my surgery for a week before we moved.
As I sat there and she listed out the prices for everything that I wanted to have done I looked around the room. In the picture frame on her desk was my neighbor. A neighbor I’d been evangelizing too.
“Hey that’s my neighbor! How do you know her?” I asked
“Oh, I thought you looked familiar! That’s my daughter. I have watched your children play together through the fence.” She said to me
She asked how I wanted to pay for my surgery, and I told her that I was going to need a little bit of time to talk this over with my husband and with God. At that statement she said that was understandable and I left.I realized that this girl would know I was fake, she would see that I didn’t really trust God the way I said I did, because I’d always told her that beauty was on the inside, not the outside. And here I was trying to make my outside into something it was never meant to be.
I prayed and prayed about what to do. There is no place in the Bible that says cosmetic surgery is a sin. And I believe that just like some things are spelled out for you as a clear “no-no” there are some things that God omits because that is a personal journey that He is going to take you through.
My husband had made his wishes known. He loved me for who I was, not who I wanted to pretend to br. No matter how you slice it, cosmetic surgery is still fake. It isn’t wouldn’t make me who God created me to be, and I already had plenty of issues of trying to be someone that I am not. In the end, I have decided that was the best $200 I could have spent on a consultation. I no longer wonder what I would look like with perky, pre-baby breasts. I know.
But I also know for ME. (Please hear these as personal statement for myself, if you relate, awesome, but I am not condemning nor condoning cosmetic surgery, I am simply stating what I learned for myself.) That trying to alter my appearance on a permanent basis was not going to fix what I was really trying to do, I was trying to hide. I wanted to hide from all the mistakes that have taken its toll on my almost 30 year old body. I wanted to turn back the clock and start over. But by doing that I am erasing some of the best years of my life. These are years that are riddled with overwhelming joy and tremendous heartache, but also miracles that only God could provide for me.
While I am still not brave enough to let it all hang out physically, and go makeup less. I am trying to make baby steps to be more real. The me that God created me to be.
God is pretty clear in His Word on what He desires His baby girls to be:
“I want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3: 3-5
Those verses don’t say you shouldn’t have wear braids,look nice, or wear makeup. But they DO say that is not where your definition beauty should come from.
Keep me real; remind me who I am in You, Jesus. I am not beautiful because I am up to date on worldly fashions; I am only beautiful when my Spirit is right with You. Help me to remember that I don’t need to hide emotionally or physically from my Creator. That you made me this way, and allowed these trials to come before me to bring me closer to oneness with You. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And YOU, oh Father, You make no mistakes that need make up to fix. I love you! Amen