When I was in 7th grade (at the rat tail end of the 80’s) I was not allowed to wear make-up yet. So I secretly (but not so subtly) applied it at school.
Pink frosted lip gloss (a shimmery glue-like substance) and bold blue eye shadow were my weapons of choice to woo the boys (who were a foot shorter than me…convenient). I felt grown-up, but I looked like a clown.
Don’t get me started on the bangs that were ratted up so high they scrapped the ceiling as I entered Science Class. Ah yes, Science Class, the place where I was introduced to gems like the Growing Up and Liking It booklet and Captain Condom cartoons (don’t google it, wait, you already did?).
Back then, I couldn’t imagine going a day without makeup (unless I was laying out in the sun, lathered in baby oil, trying to get as tan as possible while listening to Salt-N-Pepa on my Walkman).
Something amazing happened when I turned 40 last September. Almost overnight, I stopped wearing makeup so often. In fact, there are more days that I go without it.
This might seem like a trivial admission, but it was the result of a significant internal transformation. You see, other people’s perception of me dictated much of my life up until this point. I slaved away, trying to look good on the outside and the inside through image management and behavior modification. That is, until I discovered the best beauty secret of all time.
Through a phone conversation with my friend, Jami, God took the blinders off my shadowed eyes, and I finally got it. For decades, I tried to earn approval from Jesus and man (and woman) through my behavior, my looks, and my good deeds. But God revealed the one thing that mattered…His Love…which was settled on the cross and given freely to those who don’t deserve it one iota.
Through Jesus’ complete sacrifice, I am forgiven, loved, accepted, and delighted in.
I don’t have to cram my birthing hips into size 4 jeans—ever! Glory!
I don’t have to paint my face to be desirable. I am accepted (stray chin hairs, sunspots, and all).
I don’t have to be ashamed if I eat fast food nor am I required to workout for an hour afterwards to burn off the fries.
Now, trust me, I’m not letting myself go to pot! I want to take care of my body but the pressure to keep up appearances and live like a slave trying to please a Tyrannical Master, is no longer my motivation for striving.
I am a beloved daughter and God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And maybe for the first time, I believe Him.
What’s the secret beauty tip?
It’s grace. The unmerited favor of God!
It’s mine and it’s yours, not because of what we do or how we look—all because God has freely given us the lavish gift of it, through what Christ has done on the cross. We believe Jesus is Who He says He is and we receive His salvation, by faith, and we’re set for life (not reapplication necessary)!
So, I’ve been showering less, wearing less makeup, and not cringing quite as much when my kangaroo pouched middle won’t cram into the size 10 skinny jeans I bought, in faith, at Goodwill. But I’m happy. Some say, I’m glowing.
Sure, I still like to look my best and I’m not condoning being a slob or letting your chin hairs grow out (can that always be out of style, pretty please?!). But I am no longer driven by a need to reach an impossible ideal. I don’t have to because Christ has already proven Himself perfect; flawless.
The image of His Body on the cross changes the image I have of mine.
One day, this body will be transformed for good. Hallelujah! One day my face will shine as Moses did, radiating the glory of God. But until then, I’m utilizing the best beauty secret of all time. And it’s reshaping me from the inside out.
I am secure in a Love that doesn’t scrutinize my looks or break up with me for a more desirable model. I don’t have to try and woo Him, He daily woos me. I don’t have to spend hours getting ready to see Jesus, He lives within and therefore I have access to Him anytime (whether I’m bare-faced or made-up, sweaty or showered, pudgy or toned).
Religious folks probably won’t like this freedom I’ve found…it makes them nervous. It sounds too unpredictable, too out of their control, too good to be true.
It’s okay, I was skeptical too, until about six months ago when I discovered the beauty secret for all ages.
It found me, in the middle of the unraveling. And I’m not the same and I’m not going back.
I’ve grown up and by golly, I like it.
No more striving to earn the favor I already possess. No more living like a weary slave because I’ve been reborn, a beloved daughter of the Most High. And no more obsessing about the size of my fearfully and wonderfully made rear end.
I dare you to apply the beauty secret that changes everything—no matter your age! Its byproducts are peace, joy, and freedom (and possibly not wearing makeup as often as you once did).
My friend, Jami Amerine, is hosting 28 Days of Freedom over at her place (with posts like: Prostitute to Princess: A How To Guide and The Fat Girl’s Guide to Knowing Jesus). Join the fun and walk free, knowing that you are adored and clothed in His lavish gift of grace. It looks divine on you, by the way!
P.S. Pre-order Jami’s upcoming book, Stolen Jesus: An Unconventional Search for the Real Savior.
As a writer, I often promote my friends’ books with joy. But I promise this is one of my favorite reads ever (like in all my forty years). It’s hilarious and serious and it will set you free from the ball and chain of self-righteousness (can I get an “Amen?!”). You won’t want to put it down! How’s that for an endorsement?!
CRYSTAL HALL says
Love how you don’t feel the need to wear makeup on a daily basis. You’re beautiful without it, Katie 🙂
Thanks Crystal. 🙂 How are you doing?!
Katie I’m sad I no longer longer feel beautifully any more because I’m loosing my hair. I thank God every. day for my hair but I’m still sad.
May God remind you of how He sees you, Janet– beautiful.
Theresa Park says
My mom began the journey to make-up when I was 14. While I wanted to feel ‘grown up’ and wear make-up like all my friends, I never knew what hit me when I became a slave to it. Mom was a 12 hour a day business woman who taught me that you can never make a bad first impression……. EVER! Not sure what would happen if I did but there were no second chances. She lead me to believe that you could not function without wearing make-up every day. So I went my entire high school life and I never missed a day without make-up. Even the popular girls would wake late and felt confident enough to go the day bare, but not me! After all, the day my unmasked face hit the halls surely that earth shattering event would cause economic collapse or even worse begin a world war! The world really did revolve around me didn’t it? LOL! I now have teens and realize this “ME” syndrome is an unfortunate genetic anomaly that has been passed down! Crazy what bondage to ‘self’ will do! While my teens are not plagued by the first impression make-up debacle I am sure their memoirs will be good writing material for a blog someday once they finish therapy!
When I was out of high school I no longer wore make-up AT ALL. Haven’t spent a dime on the stuff since high school 24 years ago! When we get family photos I made the mistake of going Au natural once to which my mom’s reply was that I really look washed out. Love you too mom! My husband prefers me without make-up as this is how he met me. However, in our most recent photo shoot I had a friend’s daughter, who does make-up parties/selling, over to do make-up. It made our family pictures something she could not complain about but I still prefer no make-up for everyday! 🙂
So enjoyed reading your comments Theresa. I think the key is not to be a slave to wearing it or not wearing it- balance, right? 🙂
Glenna McKelvie says
You can get an “Amen!” Katie! Thanks for starting my morning out on the right foot!
Thanks Glenna 😉 So thankful that His grace is not made-up!
Hope you’re having a great day, Crystal!
Julie Todd says
I spent many many years climbing the spiritual ladder until God removed the veil. For these last 8 years I have been detoxing from religion and embracing the amazing grace of God. I write about my journey and discoveries. I would love for you to visit sometime.
Once you’ve tasted the freedom, as you stated, you just can’t go back to that gerbil wheel.
Thanks for sharing!
Love these thoughts, Julie. Grace is such a gift!