When I was in 7th grade (at the rat tail end of the 80’s) I was not allowed to wear make-up yet. So I secretly (but not so subtly) applied it at school.
Pink frosted lip gloss (a shimmery glue-like substance) and bold blue eye shadow were my weapons of choice to woo the boys (who were a foot shorter than me…convenient). I felt grown-up, but I looked like a clown.
Don’t get me started on the bangs that were ratted up so high they scrapped the ceiling as I entered Science Class. Ah yes, Science Class, the place where I was introduced to gems like the Growing Up and Liking It booklet and Captain Condom cartoons (don’t google it, wait, you already did?).
Back then, I couldn’t imagine going a day without makeup (unless I was laying out in the sun, lathered in baby oil, trying to get as tan as possible while listening to Salt-N-Pepa on my Walkman).
Something amazing happened when I turned 40 last September. Almost overnight, I stopped wearing makeup so often. In fact, there are more days that I go without it.
This might seem like a trivial admission, but it was the result of a significant internal transformation. You see, other people’s perception of me dictated much of my life up until this point. I slaved away, trying to look good on the outside and the inside through image management and behavior modification. That is, until I discovered the best beauty secret of all time.
Through a phone conversation with my friend, Jami, God took the blinders off my shadowed eyes, and I finally got it. For decades, I tried to earn approval from Jesus and man (and woman) through my behavior, my looks, and my good deeds. But God revealed the one thing that mattered…His Love…which was settled on the cross and given freely to those who don’t deserve it one iota.
Through Jesus’ complete sacrifice, I am forgiven, loved, accepted, and delighted in.
I don’t have to cram my birthing hips into size 4 jeans—ever! Glory!
I don’t have to paint my face to be desirable. I am accepted (stray chin hairs, sunspots, and all).
I don’t have to be ashamed if I eat fast food nor am I required to workout for an hour afterwards to burn off the fries.
Now, trust me, I’m not letting myself go to pot! I want to take care of my body but the pressure to keep up appearances and live like a slave trying to please a Tyrannical Master, is no longer my motivation for striving.
I am a beloved daughter and God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And maybe for the first time, I believe Him.
What’s the secret beauty tip?
It’s grace. The unmerited favor of God!
It’s mine and it’s yours, not because of what we do or how we look—all because God has freely given us the lavish gift of it, through what Christ has done on the cross. We believe Jesus is Who He says He is and we receive His salvation, by faith, and we’re set for life (not reapplication necessary)!
So, I’ve been showering less, wearing less makeup, and not cringing quite as much when my kangaroo pouched middle won’t cram into the size 10 skinny jeans I bought, in faith, at Goodwill. But I’m happy. Some say, I’m glowing.
Sure, I still like to look my best and I’m not condoning being a slob or letting your chin hairs grow out (can that always be out of style, pretty please?!). But I am no longer driven by a need to reach an impossible ideal. I don’t have to because Christ has already proven Himself perfect; flawless.
The image of His Body on the cross changes the image I have of mine.
One day, this body will be transformed for good. Hallelujah! One day my face will shine as Moses did, radiating the glory of God. But until then, I’m utilizing the best beauty secret of all time. And it’s reshaping me from the inside out.
I am secure in a Love that doesn’t scrutinize my looks or break up with me for a more desirable model. I don’t have to try and woo Him, He daily woos me. I don’t have to spend hours getting ready to see Jesus, He lives within and therefore I have access to Him anytime (whether I’m bare-faced or made-up, sweaty or showered, pudgy or toned).
Religious folks probably won’t like this freedom I’ve found…it makes them nervous. It sounds too unpredictable, too out of their control, too good to be true.
It’s okay, I was skeptical too, until about six months ago when I discovered the beauty secret for all ages.
It found me, in the middle of the unraveling. And I’m not the same and I’m not going back.
I’ve grown up and by golly, I like it.
No more striving to earn the favor I already possess. No more living like a weary slave because I’ve been reborn, a beloved daughter of the Most High. And no more obsessing about the size of my fearfully and wonderfully made rear end.
I dare you to apply the beauty secret that changes everything—no matter your age! Its byproducts are peace, joy, and freedom (and possibly not wearing makeup as often as you once did).
This article originally appeared at KatieMReid.com.