Make sure you visit the host of this study, Lelia as well.
(Words in red are quotes from Lisa.)
I think the best way of summarizing chapter 6 entitled Cosmetics for the Soul is the statement given by Lisa which says, "We use concealer-cosmetics for our souls-that will camouflage those places in our hearts that are uglier than we want to see." After reading these two chapters, I was hit straight in the face of where I have been before in my life. About eight years ago, my heart was completely covered in camouflage. It wasn't something I set out to do. It just happened slowly over time. The root of my cover-up was fear, insecurity, and thinking that I had to please those closest to me. I think these are all feelings that are very common to women. The thing is, I even thought I could fool God in all this. He didn't really know what was going on in the deepest places of my heart. Or did He?
After living this way for quite some time, it finally came to an end. God brought a few women into my life to come along side of me and walk me through healing and restoration. The first and most difficult step I had to take was to get REAL. Honest. About everything. When I think about it now, it was a time when I have known my Lord to be the most tender, compassionate, forgiving, and loving. I was daily and sometimes minute by minute making the choice to BELIEVE God and to STOP believing and buying into lies. I clung to the promises of knowing that the truth would set me free and that I did have a hope and a future to which He has called me.
Lisa concludes this chapter with the fact that as women we often believe because of our situation, we have gotten the short end of the stick. I could have believed that back then. Wasn't perfection what I was supposed to be striving for in every area of my life? My appearance, finances, my children, my marriage, even my relationship with God.
God's desire is for us to be real and open and honest and deeply and fully satisfied with our lives. That is the truth I choose to believe no matter what the circumstances are around me. Satisfaction is not going to come from the things I buy for my home, the clothes I wear, or who I am pretending to me. That is a road I don't want to go down ever again. Please hear me say that the temptation or struggle is not there anymore. It will always be there this side of heaven. It's not easy either. It's choosing to surrender to God and allowing His Spirit to consume me. To walk with Him and have my heart set on heavenly things. That's what matters. This has been such an important lesson to me that's where the title of my blog came from!
"But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."~ Matthew 6:33
Chapter 7 is called The Feelings We Conceal. Ouch. Do I even want to go there? Probably not, but is it for the best? Yes. As women, we spend most much of our lives trying to conceal things we don't want others to know about us.
After reading through this book, I have to say that I am a lot more aware of who I am and who I'm not. I love how God continues to bring something or someone into my life to continue the process or journey of making me whole. To make me the woman He created me to be. God began this process of showing, teaching, pushing, and guiding me to be real about a year ago. Not that I was continuing to live in ways that were deceptive or untrue, but that I could live in freedom by just being who He created me to be. Knowing that I could be vulnerable to God, my husband, and those closest around me. Even sometimes to people I don't know very well. I want to be REAL. No pretenses.
Have I been a woman of insecurity, jealousy, loneliness, or fear? Absolutely. Am I willing to recognize when I am having these feelings and release them to God? I hope so. It is sometimes easier said than done, at least for me. Remember, I'm just keepin' it real! I know what I am willing to do for sure though. I know that I can fall into any of these areas quickly and without fair warning but I will ground myself in the truth of who God is and who says I am... without all the concealer.