Not long ago a question was posted on the Well Christian Woman Facebook page: “What does true wellness mean to you?” I commented on that post by saying “True wellness to me in realizing who I am in Christ. Working on not allowing the world’s views and opinions guide me and influence me but remembering that God created me and when I am focused on him I am well.”
That question and my immediate response got me thinking. Am I well?
Shortly after that, I was with some mama friends for a much needed evening out. Our conversation turned to how we feel we need to present ourselves to the world and how this can affect how we view ourselves. For example, we were discussing make-up (yes, makeup, lipstick and all) and how often we wear it and how we potentially feel like we can’t leave our homes without it.
We were speaking about wearing less and leaving the house sometimes without it. How, when we see that others aren’t responding any differently to us without makeup, it helps remind us that we don’t need it to be respected or beautiful.
I don’t mean to imply that there is anything wrong with wearing makeup. I love it and enjoy playing around with different makeup, but I sometimes wonder whether I am using it to mask an insecurity. Or perhaps because I need it to feel a sense of belonging and worth. If either is true, I am not experiencing true wellness.
I was teased a lot by someone as a child for having freckles. I can still hear their voice so clear at times that it’s like that person is standing in front of me. I learned to use makeup as a way to fulfil a desire to make my freckles disappear. To be ‘pretty enough’ by someone else’s standard of beauty. It is in the moments I am hearing that voice that I am furthest from bring truly well.
As I grew older I realized this was a lie. God created me. Beauty has much more to do with loving Him than it does with having freckles, but knowing this logically and believing it “deep down” can be very different things. That question and recent conversation made me reflect and check in with myself.
I want to keep that voice from creeping back to affect how I perceive myself. I want to see myself the way God sees me. I am learning that this is a journey for me, one I need to submit to daily. I never want my kids (two of them being daughters) to ever feel they are “less-than” or to ever feel they need to strive to meet worldly, fear-inspired standards.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter I placed the words ‘Fearfully and Wonderfully Made’ above her bed. I wanted a daily reminder for my daughter on how God created her.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 NIV
I need that daily reminder. When I focus on that truth, I am much closer to True Wellness. I pray I am able to be an example of what it looks like to be truly well so my kids can know it too.