My Testemony : My Journey With Make-Up

Please don’t be expecting a ‘how-to’ step by step guide on how to look like Lady Gaga. No, I wanted to share my journey with you. A journey of freedom which led me to be free from the need of make up.

I started dabbling with make up at a very young age, like most girls. But it quickly got a tight grip on me and I found that I needed it in order to get attention from boys. You see, I was part of a crowd who were very active in the boy department, some even sexually active. Because I was a good church girl these things both scared me and intrguiged me at the same time. Would a boy ever find me attractive? Would I ever have a boyfriend? Would make up help me get a boyfriend were all questions which I asked myself as a young teenager.

I didn’t wear make up, I caked it on my face to make myself look like I thought boys wanted. I wore hideous eyeshadow, far too much foundation and dont even get me started on the amount of lip gloss I went through.

The truth is that make up never got me any real attention from boys, I didn’t get a boyfriend. My self esteem was very low and so I kept wearing the false face and kept looking for a boy to give me attention.

I got the attention alright, the wrong attention. At the age of fourteen I was sexually abused.

After that I decided to wear make up for a different reason, the same reason I decided to dress in baggy clothes and colour my hair black; I wanted to hide. I didn’t want any attention from boys anymore I wanted to be a shadow and for many years I was. Disappearing into corners and blending in with walls. No one noticed me and that was the way I liked it.

At the age of seventeen, the need for attention from boys was awoken in me again and I slipped into a destructive relationship. No longer was I able to slip into the shadows, I was told what to wear, how to do my hair and yes, how to wear my make up. I stayed in this destructive valley for a few years and then finally ran away and jumped completely into Gods arms.

After being in a loveless, painful relationship for so long I was desperate to attract a ‘good Christian boy’. I went to church meet a husband, to meet a guy who would make me whole and complete. The wrong reasons. But Church was more like a dating ground than the worshipful environment it should have been. I dressed smart and for the boys. I went through some crushes and broken hearts and then I met my husband.

My husband who so rapidly fell in love with the real me that it didn’t matter what I wore on my face or my body, he just cared so deeply for my heart and soul that he managed to see past the outside.

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It was at this point that I realised with new mascara free eyes that God see’s my heart. No, wait, you don’t get me – he seeeeee’s my heart. The inside of me, where feelings and emotions, where motives and motivation could not be hidden with a sweep of a make up brush. So I began to concern myself more with the state of my heart than my face. I worked with the glitter of the bible rather than the glitter of the eyeshadow I once hid under. The more I became engrossed with the word of God the less I became concerned with how I looked. God heals. God mends and its a good job because I was broken.

Hope and faith comes from hearing word of God, and the word of God becomes truth the more you immerse yourself in it and the more you immerse yourself in it, the more God proves faithful.

Poem : Trying To Conceive

Dear little baby you are so dear to me,
We are trying to make you, beause your face we are dying to see.
We know there will be will be times ahead when we will be sad, angry and fall out,
But just know that we love you and always want you about.

Little baby we will always try our best,
we will go wrong, but we will never love you less.
Little baby it’s your cry we want to hear,
We want your sweet giggles and singing to fill our ear.

Little baby come along quick, we are waiting for you,
You are pre-destined, loved, adored – we just hope you love us too.

Jealousy

I am not jealous of those people who have fancy cars and posh houses, no, I am jealous of people who come in to my church and right away feels at home and gets responsibility.

Now, before you think I am acting like a spoiled brat – please hear me out.

Myself and the OH had spent two years in a church, two years attempting to make friends and seemingly getting nowhere. Two years serving faithfully, overcoming hurts and disappointment and craving people to just do-life with.

Doing life with people, doesn’t that sound all idealistic and dreamy? Being such an integral part of your church FAMILY, that some people know you inside out, they know on what day you hoover and clean the bath, the can tell my looking at you what mood you are in and know the present struggles you are facing in this forest called life.

A year ago a couple came to church and within two months they appeared to have everything that we wanted. Friends, freedom to be their selves, a job working for the church and they were fitting in. Heck yes I was jealous. Yes I was. Unfortunately for me at the time, but fortunately for my continued spiritual growth, the mother of the family persued me as a friend. Every time we spent time together, I felt drained and empty. I dreaded spending time with her. She was such a lovely person, such an encouraging person, such a spiritual warrior but I wanted what she had.

I wanted what she seemingly had.

Only now that we are leaving this city has it come to light how unbelievably isolated she and her family has felt over this past year. You could have picked me off the floor when she told me. I was shocked. I kept thinking that from the outside, they looked so all-together.

So people, learn from my difficult mistake, learn from my hard lesson and wasted time. Learn that people are on their own journey. Learn that life, struggles and hurts are often lived in secret. Learn that people may not tell us all the pain in their hearts because they need to think it though and try make some sense. Learn that people need us, need us to lay aside the wants in our own life and be fully there, heart and mind for them.

Learn that things can sometimes be not as they seem, give people space, time and lots of grace. Just like God gives us.

A Faith Ride

We are a week away from moving to a brand new city and I was not prepared for the Faith-Ride that would be involved. 

One day I am overwhelmed with the grace and provision of God, the next day it could be possible that I am in the depths of despair trying to catch my breath. 

I don’t quite understand how I can be so pedantic with my faith, with my emotions and feelings. Surely now, after God had provided a move which we had wanted for such a long time, three years to be precise, a house to live in, finances and a job for my OH, surely now after all that I should be dancing in the drunkenness of the wonder of God, no? 

The thing is that, although one part of my life is completely falling in to place, there will always be areas of struggle, of working though of lessons to be learnt. And that was one thing I was not expecting. 

I was very singleminded in my approach to this whole move, I thought that everything, everything in my life would fall in to place. And its not. I still have a bad relationship with my OH’s family. I am still not pregnant. I still don’t have a job. I am still struggling with my weight. 

We can not compartmentalise life. Life is organic and at one single point in time you can have many irons in the fire, many boiling pots on the stove and many facets to life. There may be something amazing going on around us, but underneath it all there is still the chaos, the dreams not come true, the disappointments and struggles. 

Give yourself a break. 

If God has gotten round to making this dream a reality, if God is actively working on one aspect of life, what makes us think that the others won’t follow? 

God is sovereign, above all and never out of control. Trust. 

Life Change

I haven’t blogged in a while.

Time for an update.

Life has thrown us an opportunity, a chance, a whirlwind and it is far too exciting for us to pass up. You see, the city in which we live is not home. It has never been home and we have always wanted to move closer to our families who are seven hours cross country. We have the opportunity to move, to re-locate, to follow a dream, to build faith, to jump into the ocean which is God and place all our needs and trust at His gracious feet.

We are not leaping without a plan, we have a plan. A list. A five step route to what we think we need. But there are a lot of gaps, a lot of missing bits of information, a lot of question marks. But we have a strange blanket peace about it all.

We still have no baby, no pregnancy and we have been on a roller-coaster recently discussing adoption and medical intervention; we have agreed that only one of these are do-able; the non-invasive one.

This life change will see us living in a new city in three months, will see my husband-the-bible-college-student seeking out a placement within a church, it will see me as the main bread-winner and will see a lot of hours in prayer. But we are up for it.

This life change will mean stripping back out out-goings more so than we already have done on one wage, it will mean making new friends and building a life all over again. But we are up for it.

We are only at the beginning of this journey, but I know that I will need a place to share my thoughts and dreams and fears.

Come on this journey with me?

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“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will standAnd I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

 

All the vain things that charm me most…

I was standing there, beside the river. The river was flowing quickly and wild but at the same time it was still and peaceful – it was flowing with peaceful purpose. The air was clear and I could feel my lungs being filled with sweet, strength giving air. The trees were over head and they were pink with blossoms. As I was standing here I knew that this wasn’t just a nice visit to a paradise to give me some strength, I knew that there was something required of me, but, like always it was free will; I could do it or not. 

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My earthy body was standing in church, singing the worship songs with my mouth but yet the words were not really making their way to my heart. I was standing, bent over with the weight of the year gone past weighing on my shoulders, holding myself together with the use of a brown chunky knitted cardigan. But as I closed my eyes I knew God was trying to speak to me.

We had just sang a hymn while taking communion, the hymn was a well known one but there was one sentence in the song which jumped off the screen and jolted me where I stood:

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

2013 was full of ‘vain things which charmed me most’ and God was telling me that as I went into 2014, I had to hand those things over to Him.

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As I stood by that river, Jesus appeared beside me; always the same – faceless but radiant, beauty pouring from every part of his being. Jesus pointed to the river which I then discovered was a river of blood. It was a river of Jesus’ blood flowing with peaceful purpose. Jesus touched my shoulder and as I turned to look at him he handed me a box labeled “Perfect Job” – I knew what I had to do. I had to sacrifice it to His blood; I had to throw it in the river. 

I did. The box went sailing down the river. Next he handed me an even bigger box which said “Self-indulgent Stress”, this one was harder to swallow, I knew it was for my own good. So I threw it in the river and suddenly I felt lighter. I hoped that Jesus didn’t have another box for me, he did. This one broke my heart. Standing there in the summer heat, beside the river I knew what what coming. Jesus handed me a box with “baby” on it. I knew the tears I was sobbing were not only in my vision, they had transferred through to earthly tears. I knew he was right, having a baby had become more of an obsession that a healthy desire. I hugged the box like it was a real baby, closed my eyes and threw it in to Jesus glorious river. I knew that it was now in his hands and will. I felt relieved. I turned to look at Jesus and as I did I felt good, surely there was no more boxes! As I turned, I noticed boxes lining up the river side as far as the eye could see… I wasn’t worried, Jesus’ peace had consumed me. Those boxes were to remind me that as long as I continue walking this journey with Jesus, there will always be things that charm me and it would become easier, the more I did it, to hand these things over to God. 

Isaiah 52 : Part 2

Yesterday I wrote a post about my journey with this beautiful chapter in Isaiah 52, the story has been a long one and there was no way that I could have written it all down in one page. Here is the second instalment. Please see my heart in all this, I have lived this and I am still living this. If you would like to contact me for prayer or just to share opinions please feel free.
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Fighting

I am more than a conqueror (Ro 8:37)

Do you remember the day the shackle became an extension of your body? Do you remember the feel of the cold iron wrapping itself around your skin? Do you hear the clanking of the chains? What about the roughness of the stone wall that was to become your home? How uncomfortable the ground was? How it cut into your bare feet? What about the humidity and humiliation that hung in the air? The dust getting caught in your throat and making you cough?

The likelihood is that not many of us remember the exact moment we became the chained woman of Isaiah 52, it could have been a slow process over many months or years – the drip effect. Maybe it stemmed from childhood, upbringing, those difficult teenage years or maybe its present day circumstances. If it’s been the drip effect, that can be dangerous; you don’t notice the single drips, but they keep hitting the same spot over and over again and before you know it there is an indent – a hole – a gap that leaves you empty and unfulfilled. Maybe for others it was an instant moment that bound and we can pin point the cause and the time in history, it was like the shutters came down, the wall came up around us and suddenly the world would never look the same to our eyes.

If we were walking with God at this point then maybe we sought ministry for our church leaders, maybe we reached out and tried to pull ourselves out of the ditch we had fallen into; I certainly did. I asked for prayer and through one particular prayer time my Pastor told me that God wanted me to know that “It wasn’t my fault”. She didn’t have a clue what she was talking about, but I knew and I knew it was from God. This helped me a bit but honestly, it didn’t give me the strength I needed to rise up and flee my captivity. Over the years I have sought more ministry although not consistently, but I felt so beaten down that mustering the strength to pull myself up seemed impossible.

Does your actions match your attitude & does your attitude match your actions?

Sure in the beginning I fought, I used all my energy daily to pull at my chains, to escape, to claw my way to freedom. I prayed, I read my bible, I repeated selective verses to myself. But it didn’t work. I had no idea why, I was trying so hard but seemed to be failing.

Today what is your cross you have to bear? As women we may see many things in our lives as burdens; our marriage, our draining friendships, our guilt, our scars of abuse, our inandaquances, unfulfilling job, a health issue or loneliness. But be rest assured no matter what your burden is today – God is just waiting for you to exhaust all your own efforts and pass it over to Him and you can do that today.

In church if your preacher said, “God wants to have a word with someone about something they need to change in their lives today”, we would all be sitting there thinking, “Its me, God wants to talk to me, I’m doing something wrong, I need to change”. But if our preacher stood up one day in church and said, “Today God wants to bless someone because He loves them so much”, we would be sitting thinking, “I wonder who it is?”.

For some reason we seem to think that Gods promises are for others and not for us.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

I have read this verse many times, I have sung in songs but the truth never really pierced my heart. I always thought it was something for someone else. I would have quite easily quoted this verse to a friend who was struggling with something and had faith that it was true for her, but if someone had told me that when I was weak God was strong I would have nodded in a Christian fashion, probably said something in Christianese like, “Amen sister!” and all the time be thinking, “But I am a failure.” It took me so long to realise that when I was most weak, it was then that Gods glory would shine through. I thought I could do it all myself – like I was some kind of Superwoman. Don’t get me wrong I acted all Christian while doing it. I would try to change my husband to make him more Christian, I tried to change myself to fix myself. I was being self righteous in my own limited strength and taking all the glory. When I should have been acting righteously (being right with God), relying on Gods strength to see me through and giving God all the glory.

When we try to change ourselves or our circumstances, even with the best of intentions, we mess up. Only God can restore us or transform our lives to be the best they can be. When we try to change ourselves we run the risk of trying to make ourselves the best version of what the world wants us to be and not what Gods original blue print was. We are suppose to be in the world but not made of it, what do you want to be made of? All the plans for good God has to prosper you or a cheap imitation which may fall apart at the seams with some wear and tear?

God made us, he spent time on every single little part of us, we were all premeditated – not an accidental craft project gone wrong one day. The bible says that we  were formed in the womb – we were known by God before we were known by our parents. God says that he knows the plans for our lives, plans to prosper us – again He knows all about us. The bits we attempt to keep hidden from everyone else, in my case my wobbly tummy, flabby arms and how insecure I am, God knows it all. If God knows us and predestined us He owns the original blue prints of us. We can move away from the original blue prints when we are hurt and bruised by people and situations but God never  throws them away, He is clutching them waiting for us to come back to Him with nothing but our desire to become more like the best and original version of ourselves.