I’ve only known Jamie Wincey for less than a year. So, the story she tells in today’s guest post is before I really knew her. Jamie is a woman that has blessed me and taught me so much about God’s redemption. To read more from Jamie check out her blog here.
I haven’t worn makeup in nearly a year. That’s not entirely true; I have worn lip gloss and an occasional dab of lipstick. But I have used no product to alter my face or cover any blemishes. The idea came from a simple thought in late December, 2012: ‘I’m not going to wear makeup today.’ You see, I had been learning to identify myself through the eyes of Christ. I knew He did not consider me any different if I didn’t paint my face. Then He whispered to me “you should do this for a year.” Wait, um, no. That wasn’t a commitment I was willing to make. Maybe a week, I’d even shoot for a month, but a year? My biggest concern was failure. Failure to complete the commitment of no makeup for a year and failure to see myself the way God sees me. But alas, here I am nearly a year later. I am confident that I will finish the ‘one year make-up free’ commitment. The part where I change my self-image to align with God’s view of me: that’s a different story.
My experiment started off great. At first I was very self-conscious about what my skin looked like and wondering if anyone would notice that I wasn’t wearing makeup. After a few days, I realized that no one cares what my face looks like. They really don’t. I began to sense a new confidence; not in myself, but in God. I attended a wedding, had my baby dedicated in front of the entire church, and took many pictures that will last forever; all without makeup. But all these things didn’t “cure” me from my self-obsession.
What this year has shown me is that insecurities move. Instead of worrying about my face, I spent much more time (and money) on my hair. I bought a lot of new clothes. My focus moved to my body, which has always been an area of struggle for me. I’m not exclusively self-centered, but I still have an internal fight going on. I know what God says about me. When these thoughts come up, I pray and read scripture that strikes down the enemy. I also make it a point to celebrate progress.
Progress for me looks like this: I used to limit my food intake and weigh myself multiple times a day. Now I don’t restrict food, but I still cry when my jeans are too tight. I used to not leave the house without makeup. I can now, but still can’t wait until this year is over! I used to aim for the latest clothing style. Now I get what makes me feel comfortable, but I still try to be ‘cute.’
Of course, there is always room for improvement. My conviction comes in the form of time management. I spend an average of 4 hours a week exercising, 1 hour fixing my hair, and countless hours surfing the web “just looking” at clothes. I admittedly don’t spend that much alone time with God.
1 Samuel 16:7 says “…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
What if we spent as much time working on our heart as we do working on our outward appearance?