Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Beauty Heals Broken Hearts

In my last post (skip the video and the book review) I talked about how God's desire is for us to behave in a way that attracts people to His goodness.  That should trump any beauty regiment or product sales.

On May 3, did baptisms. I stood in the sanctuary and jumped and danced and lifted my arms in worship, and cried and cried and cried.  I had an ecclesiastical epiphany.  I knew on a deep level that everything in the world: every task, every product, every relationship is utterly meaningless until someone's life is changed in a way that leads them to the cross of Christ and the realization that those who find God find the life for which we were created.

"And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

That afternoon, I posted this status to Facebook:

"I've never posted anything like this before. But it feels right, so I'm gonna go with that. 
My spirit just said "You are going to feel like your life is in shambles (with brief, sporadic spots of hope and peace) until you have allowed the Lord to create a full-time ministry through you."
So. There it is. Anyone who knows about ministry jobs, or who wants to pay my bills so I can quit my job, hit me up."

10 people were so gracious as to respond thoughtfully and compassionately.  The prayer team at LifeChurch gave me a ton of support.  I had two really meaningful and important conversations with women of God who I have always looked up to.

In six weeks, I have learned two indescribably important lessons:

  1. God speaks clearly. Always. 
    • Problems arise when we are not properly positioned to hear and understand what He is saying.  I was moved by God's love for us, by His investment in returning us to our place of ruling the earth as extensions of Him.  I was also overwhelmed and disappointed at school. I was in pain that I was trying to rationalize away.  I was guilty of not allowing Him to be my strength and my joy and my help. That last statement about ministry jobs was my flesh denying God's ability and willingness to redeem my current and past ministry roles and callings.  There's an old LifeChurch sermon about how when some people landscape, they do it slowly section-by-section. Others raze the whole property and start over from scratch.  You can guess which category I'm in.
  2. You can often discern God's voice because He is telling you what you don't want to hear (but what lines up with His word and what is right). 
    • At the beginning of last school year, the Lord provided me with Bible verses to guide me, as well as a prayer team that supported me and gave me words of wisdom.  A guiding scripture for my teaching career has always been "those the Lord calls he also equips." But I was not letting Him equip me. I was not utilizing prayers and the anointing, or group accountability to do the job the Lord had assigned me.  Some of the pain was to purify me and some was self-inflicted.  God did not want to abandon His process by validating my weakness and lack of trust.  I am a teacher.  At least for now. 

The Lord was very clear when He spoke to me. "...until you have allowed the Lord to create a full-time ministry through you."  What He did not say was "...until you quit teaching." What He did not say was "...until you work at a church or in the mission field." He told me to allow Him to lead and to allow Him to hold the paintbrush.

Teaching is a ministry, I just have to be willing to serve.

But I also was placed in the path of a servant who loves the Lord and wants to free His daughters from sexual abuse and slavery.  I was so inspired by his compassion and simplicity (sometimes it's simple - if not easy: find safe houses, rescue women and girls) and determination (to put a permanent end to sex trafficking worldwide).  His project, Broken Hearts, is in the very beginning stages, but he planted a seed in me and I know will continue to do so for others.

Through a conversation with my sweet friend Ericka, a makeup artist and manager for MAC, about her passion for the company's philanthropy, I was reminded about Younique's dedication to domestic violence awareness (DVA) and support for victims.  This is not my first time working for DVA.  For three years of college, my sorority made a large effort to promote awareness.

I also remembered that my friend Maria has transitioned her mission to save souls in Haiti to include helping Haitian women rise up from their discrimination and high rate of violent and sexual victimization and empower them to create better lives for themselves and their children.  Her Jasper House will open this year.

In the USA, Christians spend a lot of time talking about how women hurt themselves by the relationships they choose, clothes they wear, friends they model.  We talk about our petty and catty tendencies.  We talk about working versus nurturing our family and about church leadership or back-row seats.  But we ignore the enemy's darker and more violent attack on our femininity and our ability to see, embody, maintain, and exude the beauty God had in mind for us from the beginning.  We don't talk about violence and sexual assault.

And we definitely don't ask ourselves enough if we can help.

In September, it will be a year since I focused my creative energies around three words: Truth. Beauty. Inspiration. Through my recent revelations and the lens through which I now see so many things (advertising, pornography, the premature and exaggerated sexualization of young women), I will be narrowing that focus down even further.

The Truth is Yeshua, the Messiah, the Savior, the soon returning and reigning King. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to [humans] by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). He is also the Word, our logos - the reason we do anything (John 14).

Beauty is everywhere and IN EVERY ONE OF US, especially women of God.

We are called to use that beauty to Inspire others towards the greatness inside them, whether our husbands, our students, our best friends, our church family or the world.

I am working on a plan and system by which I dedicate my Younique sales, book sales, and performance payments first, to paying off my credit cards so that I can reallocate my salary toward an apartment and then house of my own so that I can be hospitable to others. Secondly, and more importantly, to donate and undergird the missions of Broken Hearts and the Jasper House.

Until (and even after) I have generated the funds to be able to allocate and reallocate them, my makeup photos will take on a more focused connection to the beauty in us already and the healing and empowerment God desires for us.

This post is plenty long enough, but there will be more and more and more on this topic in the future. Thank you to my Bold, Brave and Pretty sisters who helped me get here!

What can you do to help?
Buy makeup!
Buy my poetry book! Contact me for instructions.
Pray for me!


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