Lent Face Value: Days 34-39

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Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? – Amos 3:3

Hello everybody. Exciting times – it’s nearly Easter (WOO) which means Lent is nearly over (not wearing makeup on Easter Sunday, “you don’t need it, Annie” sayeth the Lord”) but it also means I still have some time to pull some serious life lessons from all this no makeup business. One thing I realised this week is that self-esteem issues aren’t skin deep. They go waay deeper and way below what we look like. It’s the foundation of how we feel about ourselves and what we do as a result of how we feel. Tonight, surprise surprise, I want to talk about relationships. I was going over some of my recent blog posts and I’ve used couples in them quite a bit… (my personal fave being Carrie and Brody, maaaaaaan he’s LOVELY, isn’t he? Well, except for the terrorism… or is he a terrorist?!)

ANYWAY. I was kind of emphasising the importance of realness in relationships. I didn’t realise this until I read them back, mind, but that’s okay. I guess I can talk about it now. So you guys know a fair bit about me now; love Jesus and tea and jumpers and I LOVE chocolate, weird movies, my best friend and just being a bit darn odd (I sound like one of those pretentious bloggers, it’ll have some meaning I promise). But you’ve also read a bit about my depression and what my experience of that has been like over the last few months I’ve been writing about this. I’ve talked about my symptoms, my times and talks with God, what’s helped me and what’s not helped me, my experiences with self-harm and self-boosting, as well. It’s not all been bad, I hope. There’s also stuff I’m not going to write about on here, because I reckon even for a blogger there’s a bit of privacy. I guess if and when I get married, but also with the people I’m super super close to, there’s a time and a place for talking about stuff. I’ve already mentioned some stuff about how I feel about how we should be equal in our relationships and that real love should be accepting (you know, cause God loved us first and all that), but there’s a few more things I want to say.

First of all, if you’ve ever said this to someone, I forgive you. It makes me beyond angry, but I forgive you.

“No one will love her with scars like that”

Erm. Sorry, what?

Scars aren’t attractive, point taken. I don’t look at people with them and marvel at how I could get one that looks just like it. But I do know what it meant for them to get that scar – yes, I’m talking about the ones left over from episodes of self-harm. I’ve seen TV shows (okay, like embarrassing bodies HA) where women have gone on to get help to sort their scars out. I get it, they’re not nice. Scars heal and scars fade. But the emotional stuff will always be a memory. I guess what I’m trying to say is that real love won’t care about the scars. The love worth having won’t care at all. They won’t look at you and just see the scars. They’ll see the person underneath them and the loveliness of who you are. THAT is what I would say to those silly people who say things like what’s up there (again, I still forgive you).

Another thing is judgement. I know I’m a nutter. At the Student Alpha we’ve been running at uni I told the group that before Jesus I was even more of a nutter than I am now – and that was without an actual label for my strange behaviour! 😉 that’s besides the point (also, genuinely wasn’t a knife-welding psycho or whatever I was just a bit odd. Who wasn’t?! Err…). What I mean is, your past isn’t your future. Who you were isn’t an issue if someone loves you properly. Jesus forgets it, so why shouldn’t a husband or wife? I’d like to think if I get hitched one day that whoever Mr. Annie is will be totally on board and accepting and all those other lovely things about what I’ve been through and all the rest of that scary emotional stuff. If he’s a judge, I don’t want him, because he clearly doesn’t want me. End of.

I’ve blogged as well about not being the perfect Christian wife. I really AM NOT the perfect Christian wife. I love Jesus, but I’m also insanely eccentric, too loud, awkwardly funny, etc… I wear jumpers in June, for goodness’ sake. It really grates on me when people are super specific about what they want from a husband or wife. I know we all have things we’d like (Irish, tall, dark… mmm) but a rigid criteria just makes me want to scream. What happens if you meet that person; they’re as people as you’d want them to be, the right hair colour, the right height, the right eye shape… but they’re actually a complete tool? What then? Are they still meeting your standards?

I’m not saying settle for someone who treats you badly and makes you feel worthless because you don’t want to have a criteria. Have standards, and go for someone who will be good for you – who you will be equally yoked with, as it were. All I am saying is don’t be too rigid with it. The other thing I want to say is that girls (we’re worse for this) don’t compare yourself to a guy’s checklist. Bad move every single time. You end up feeling crummy and thinking things I was worrying about, like AH I’M NEVER GOING TO BE THE PERFECT CHRISTIAN WIFE FOR ANYBODY – no Annie, you’re not; you say things like ‘high 5 for Jesus’ and ‘God is a babe’. I’m by no means the standard wife type. And guess what? That’s okay. If you’re a guy who doesn’t like the fact I don’t fit that mold, the actual issue isn’t about you not wanting me, but actually? I don’t want you. We wouldn’t be good together and we wouldn’t glorify God together. So… no thanks. Your opinion and your feelings are just as important as the other persons’. This isn’t just a girl thing, by the way, it’s a guy thing too.

So what the hell has this got to do with Lent? Well, as I said, self-esteem issues aren’t just skin deep. Makeup covers us up, doesn’t it? It covers up what we don’t want people to see and highlights the things we do. Imagine if we were like that all day everyday. I’m not just saying about makeup, I mean with EVERYTHING. If we can’t be real with the people we love and the people we’re closest to, then who can we be real with? The verse from Amos makes me smile big time. Have you agreed to walk with someone? And I mean really agree. Agree to go through the bad stuff, the good stuff, the amazing days and the totally crappy ones where it’s all dark and scary. The days of spotty faces and fuller waistlines. The days of tired eyes and tears and scars – have you agreed to that? Only then can you walk together, with Jesus.

Always keep him involved, I reckon.

Now, what do I know? I’m 19, right? True, I don’t have all the answers and I’m not pretending for a second that I do. It’s only the little experience that I have and what I’ve gained through this whole Lent thing – be YOU. Totally, completely, and wonderfully you. Fearfully and wonderfully made, remember? As you are, warts and all.

Peace and blessings x

Picture from Latoria J on Pinterest 🙂

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