God’s Embrace

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 I stopped wearing makeup. Well, except eyeliner. I know, settle down you say, whoa Deanna big breaking news. I have chosen to embrace my 49 year old face. If Alicia Keys can do it, I can too. Haha but seriously, I have always been a minimalist when it comes to makeup and ironically the older I get the less I see a need for it. The world puts such emphasis on beauty and improving how we look rather than embracing the process our bodies go through as we age.

I am not saying this is easy, there are certain things I have difficulty accepting but it is part of the process of loving myself.  The whole fearfully and wonderfully made kind of loving. Losing the makeup is just one more step. Funny thing, I have had more comments about my face or how I look in this last couple weeks than maybe ever. Perhaps there is something to this embracing who God made me to be.

One theme that repeats itself throughout the Bible is loving your neighbour as yourself. We may know this idea from an expert in the law trying to test Jesus by asking Him what is the greatest commandment. Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39.

And tucked in the middle of Moses getting instruction directly from God for the law in Leviticus 19:18 it says,“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.”

I want to take a little license with the idea of loving yourself. How do you feel about yourself? Can you boldly look at yourself in the mirror and say you are worthy? Can you inhale the truth that God takes great delight over you? I want you to practice this with me. You can take baby steps and look in the mirror and say God loves me or start with I love you. It will depend where your heart is at as to which statement is harder to digest.

Honestly can we love our neighbours authentically if we do not come from a place of being loved? If we ourselves do not receive God’s love how can we truly pour that out on to others? And so loving others as we do ourselves is not from the worldly point of view that we are full of ourselves and think we are all that, but through humility and receiving all that God has for us. Receiving is connected to believing.

So what’s the deal with the makeup? Believing I was enough has come incrementally. One part unlearning, one part renewing, one part persistence, one part humility, one part unconditional love by the Father = receiving His transformative love. It is a recipe with a whole lot of variables and some extra ingredients have been added or taken away over the years of healing. End result – I don’t need anybody’s approval but God’s alone. I am learning what I love and who I need to be. In that freedom, I can encourage others to do the same. Join me.

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