I just finished a thirty day fast from all things beauty related. No makeup, no heat styling for my hair, no nail polish, just me without the mask I held so tightly over my skin for twenty years. It was thirty days filled with insecurity, dread, doubt, discontent and lots and lots of pouting and snarling. But through it, out of it, there came something so much bigger than all of those things. JOY.

I was putting on my makeup one Friday morning while my three year old watched in amazement and God pressed on my heart that it was time to take a break from my vanity. I can not tell you how many hours I have spent over the years primping in front of a mirror and slathering on layer upon layer of war paint to cover the imperfections that made me feel I wasn't measuring up to our world's definition of pretty. I continued putting on my face, trying to ignore that voice that I had heard clear as day. "But I don't want to!" And that was when I knew even more clearly that it had to happen.

I wore my mask the rest of that day, and then upon waking the next morning, I packed up all the makeup in my bathroom and purse and gave them to my husband to hide from me. All was good and fine until we had to leave the house that evening. I was going to have to step out in public with every bit of my blemished skin and frizzy hair and own it like I wasn't filled with despair!

The calling that God put on me in this time was to refocus my eyes and heart on how He defined me; what my beauty meant as a daughter of the Most High.

I struggled through the first few days of the fast, pouting and snarling every time I would pass my reflection. I knew this wasn't the way He wanted me to be, and through each day I would find new scriptures to focus on instead of my selfishness.

Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

He made me! He made you! He made us! He created us and breathed mightily into our lungs and said we are good. He said we are beautiful. He said we are perfectly imperfect, just the way he wants us!

I floated along on these promises for a few days until the enemy tempted me. He saw the progress and he aimed to diminish it. I was searching for something under my bathroom sink (AKA the deep unknown) and I found a bag of makeup that I had overlooked when packing it all up for my husband to hide. For that split second, I thought about how easy it would be to throw on the tiniest bit of concealer, or mascara, or
blush, and how no one would even notice the difference but it would make me feel so much better about myself. And then a second later I recognized what was happening.

Satan is a liar!

From that moment on, I knew that the vanity break challenge was God ordained, and though I wasn't crazy about my appearance through it, The Lord showed me each day the importance of listening to His voice above all others. It was difficult, the hardest fast I've ever done, but I gained a sense of Joy and Confidence that can only be found in Him.
After the thirty days ended, I didn't feel the need to cover up everything the way I once did, and it has forever changed the way that I feel about myself. In no way will I ever be perfect, but through Christ in me I will always be enough for Him.

Song of Songs 4:7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

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About the Author :

Emilee Lowe is a Christ following wife and mother who lives in Wilmington, North Carolina. She is a former hair stylist who is committed to being used by God in whatever way He sees fit.

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