Anyone who knows me knows how much I love makeup. I’ve been wearing it since I was about twelve years old and doing it on others as a side job for the past four years. I think it’s amazing what looks can be created with makeup. I can make my face bright, colorful, and scream fun. I can make myself look more awake or highlight some of my favorite features with neutral shades. And, on the practical sense, I can cover any imperfections that might be noticeable to others.
I know many women use makeup, not as a way to hide, but as a way to shine. I do this, too, but we all know that moment when an unexpected blemish appears or when the bags from lack of sleep seem to jump out in the mirror. What a friend concealer is on those days. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I often try to do this in every other aspect of my life, too.
I think even before makeup, I had a tendency to do this to an extent. Any time I have had to be transparent about any of my problems, I have a pit of nervousness in my stomach. It wasn’t until high school that my doctor told me the word for this: anxiety. My anxiety was so apparent that it caused me to mask anything that I thought would draw unwanted attention or judgement from others.
This was an overwhelming feeling and one that consumed my mind constantly. I had grown up in church, but when I was presented with my diagnosis of anxiety and depression, I didn’t think I could turn to anyone, especially God.
In college, when I decided to follow the Lord, I soon began to realize that this wouldn’t work with Him any longer. He already knew all of the blemishes, all of the stuff that I kept firmly locked away. “‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations,’” (Jeremiah 1:5 ESV). What the Lord told Jeremiah here is true for me and for you.
So why do I still concern myself with the fear of rejection from others and even from God although I know He knows me fully? I know He tells me that He knows everything already and it’s pointless to hide, but sometimes the anxiety tells me that in order to be loved and accepted I need to keep burying, keep concealing.
If you’re feeling this way, I wrote this to let you know that you aren’t alone. Your feelings are valid and understood, but they do not have to control you anymore. God tells us that He is with us (Joshua 1:9), that He will fight for us (Exodus 14:14), and that trying to please man is fruitless (Galatians 1:10).
No amount of concealing will hide you from Him and no amount of makeup will make you more gorgeous in His eyes. If this is something you want Him to continue redeeming in you, as He is continually doing in me, read the scripture below. Pray through it to Him. Pray that He writes it on your heart, that you would know and believe it to be true, and that He will continue to help you break the bondage of anxiety about rejection.
Psalm 139: 13-16
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;