Lent: Face Value Days 3-8

Hey guys. So leaving it 5 days isn’t exactly leaving it a day or two is it? I’m sorry for taking so long to write. It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve sort of been here and haven’t and my head has been a bit of a no-go area. It’s been a weird one, I’ll say that. Have had bouts of unnecessary sadness (to be fair, when is it necessary where depression is concerned?!) and have been bed-bound for a bit of it. Just lying there, usually trying to go back to sleep so I don’t think or feel anything. 

And mainly, feeling seriously ashamed of my face without any make up on it. This post mainly, is about how flipping ridiculous this feeling is, and just some general Annie thoughts that you always get even if you don’t want them. 

So, just to reiterate – I felt ashamed. I looked in the mirror a few times this week, and just wondered what on earth I was doing and why I was doing this for Lent. It’s been leaving me feeling so rubbish and crummy about myself that it just highlighted how absent any kind of self-worth has been from my life on and off for the last few years. It’s awful, really. I preach about it and get on my high horse about how incredibly made we are. Yet when it comes down to it, I can look in the mirror and be disgusted or unsatisfied with what I see looking back at me. Disgusted and unsatisfied. Hmm. 

Here comes the first Jesus bit. In Genesis, when God made Adam and Eve, what did He say? Did He say, “oh no, what have I done? I’m disgusted and unsatisfied with my Creation?” No. He said, “it is good“. God was proud of what he made back in Genesis. The first people, EVER. The first pair of hands, the first set of 10 toes. The first nose, the first beating heart. The first hair follicles and the first belly button (maybe? I don’t know if they would have had one… that’s not important right now, but I guess something worth thinking about for the theological geek like myself). God loved it. He thought it was good. Not disgusting, not unsatisfactory. Good. 

I don’t know about you, but if you’re anything like me, I forget this all the time. All the time. And as difficult as this week has been in places, I’ve learnt one thing: Jesus thinks I’m good. 

He made me properly, even when I don’t think He did a good job on me at all. How awful is that? What a horrendous thing to say. Shaming God’s handiwork is NOT cool, guys. So if you are like me and get all down in the mouth about how ‘poorly made’ you are, forget those thoughts and remember this: you are good. This is the truth God speaks over us, not that we’re too fat or too slim or too ginger or too dark or too spotty or whatever else it is that the world wants to throw our way. We are good. 

So just some highlights. I’ve taken some pictures of my post-it notes (because I know you all want to see them) and it just gives me a real chance to explore some stuff with you. So here we go. Days 3-8 in multicoloured post-it note form (courtesy of my lovely best friend, thank you lovely girl!) 

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So. Day 3. I had some seriously weird thoughts going on. I was looking around at the people passing by me during the day and I wondered how much stuff they put on to hide themselves. Could be makeup, could be that designer label or whatever else. I don’t just mean my makeup here, I mean the walls we put up to hide ourselves. I do this better than anyone, most of the time. But putting up a wall like this covers up what is truly beautiful about you. Something I’ve learnt through doing this so far is that people love you and care about you more when they see you as you are. With no makeup, I’ve had days of serious confidence crises and panics, but my friends and family loved me anyway. It made me see that there are other things that people like about me, aside from the fact I think I look better with make up on and feel more comfortable that way. They laugh at the bad jokes I tell, they like that I drink too much tea and enjoy a good indie movie. That I eat soup, that I like chocolate and church and have a playlist of epic worship songs. That I like poetry and have an app on my phone just to read it. There’s more to Annie than just the foundation I wear, or the mascara I’ve been using in the past to make my lashes work a certain way. Makeup isn’t you. YOU are. 

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Which leads me nicely onto Day 4 (don’t worry, not every day is individually post-it-noted! It’s 1:46am, I’m tired and I really couldn’t deal with making this post that long). No hiding. So lets take the masks off. Let’s show the world who we really are. Honestly? Scariest thing I think I’ve ever done in my life. Scarier than telling someone how I feel, because there’s no going back on revealing who you are. You can’t lie about the maskless version of you that everyone can now see. Jesus said I am good. So I need to be acting as if I know that and believe that in my heart. Can I honestly say that I do, right now, believe and know 110% that I am good? No. But I’m giving it my best shot. And the best way to do this is not by hiding, but by being Annie – mask free.

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Here’s the last 4 days. I wrote these out this evening because I haven’t really had any motivation to do it really. I’ve been too tired and too worked up in worry to even think about what I would say. But these are the things that I remember sticking out to me from the last few days. The others are fairly straight forward. But the last 2 I will give a quick overview before I sleep because my eyes are going to fall out of my face at this rate! ANYWAY, “freedom from fakeness”?! I went clubbing last night. I’ve done this before, it wasn’t my first experience of clubbing, but it was my first experience of clubbing here at uni. Honestly? I had a fab time. S Club 7 (or two of them at least) were there and it was SO EXCITING. My feet hurt from my high heels and my throat is still sore from all the singing, but it was so much fun and just the release I needed. Why? Because as I was dancing, I felt free. Why? Because I was having fun. Annie was having fun. The world was dancing with me, or at least that’s what it felt like. I felt liberated, strangely, by not wearing any make up. And I felt beautiful. Looking around the club, girls everywhere were covered in makeup and fake tan and all the rest of it. I’m not saying I looked better or I am better for not wearing any makeup (or fake tan you’ll be pleased to know) but because I didn’t have the option to wear makeup, I suddenly realised I don’t need to wear makeup at all. And neither did any of the girls in the club last night. They were all beautiful, all fearfully and wonderfully made (this is clearly the slogan of the blog, in case it wasn’t obvious yet). All good in the eyes of God. 

Which, as before, leads me on to the final post it. He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree. I ended up talking about this song tonight at the student Alpha course my church here at uni are running. We were talking about God and jealousy, and I remembered these lyrics as if they were being sung over me then and there. God gets jealous – only because He loves us, and because we choose other things over Him. When we choose drugs or sex or alcohol or boys or girls or whatever else that could cause us harm over Him because we think it will be better, God gets jealous because He knows what’s best for us: HIM. He can offer us everything we’ve ever wanted and needed. He can look after us, nurture us. LOVE US. Why? Because he’s our Father. Our Friend. Our Redeemer. I realised tonight that I think God has been a bit jealous about my relationship with makeup. I’m not saying don’t wear any makeup, but for me, I use makeup to feel good about myself when actually it was God who deemed me worthy of being good in the first place. Not Maxfactor, or Rimmel, or Loreal. GOD. 

So I guess that’s something to think about. Here’s the song, in case you fancied a listen.

Thank you for keeping up with me guys. Will try not to leave it as ridiculously long next time!

Peace and blessings x 

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