Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Without All The Concealer!


Before I begin this week's book study post I have the pleasure of announcing the winner in my 50 on my 50th birthday giveaway, Jenny at Special Considerations. Congratulations Jenny, please email me with your address and I will put the book in the mail.

This week in our Behind Those Eyes Book study hosted by Lelia of WriteFromTheHeart, Lisa Whittle challenges us to take the concealer off and reveal the real us. Umm, ok but I have a few questions first.

What if you have used concealer so long that the layers are just too thick to be removed?

What if in covering up the flaws you just cannot see the 'real' you any longer?

What if the concealer has become so hard that there is just no way to penetrate its depth?

What if your tears have been held back for so many years trying to protect the concealer from, you know, those lines that ruin the perfectly applied makeup, that the well of tears is totally dry?

What if, in response to other's comments regarding your emotions, you pulled the emotional trigger and buried your emotions so deep that you cannot find them in the mountains of concealer they are buried under?

I don't live my life in the 'what if's', I am far too busy to live in that neighborhood, yet there are times when I go visit and reading these two chapters this week has caused me to slow down and take a walk through the what if's. I don't like what I see in this dark and lonely neighborhood and it actually scares me to think that this place exists within my soul. A place called lonely.

How could lonely exist is someone as busy as myself? How could there be emptiness in someone who loves the Lord as much as I do? How could there be a hole in my heart as big and deep as the Grand Canyon itself in someone who knows God is there is fill every void?

Layer upon layer upon layer of concealer!

Insecurity, jealousy, rejection, fear, pride, and hurt cause us to lather on the concealer. Don't let anyone see the real you, they may not like what they see and therefore may not like you. The problem with that coverage is you lose site of who you are and loneliness settles in. I stand and look in the mirror and I do not even recognize the person staring back.

Here is were the concealer comes off.

I have lived my life with some concealer attempting to cover up a few bruises and scars from battles long since ended. However, five years ago I became very proficient in the use of concealer. There was a particular day, I remember it so vividly, and that concealer became my very best friend. Details are not important but looking back it was the most damaging day in the life of my emotions. It was the day I decided to turn off all emotion and cover them with the ever growing mountain of concealer.

I can look back at that day and see, it was not only the day I buried my emotions, butI think it was the day Cindy died. I just can't seem to find my way back to life.

So, I go back to my what if questions.

What if even God cannot peel the layers off?

What if my heart stays buried and I never feel again?

What if healing rain never comes and I never cry again?

It is possible that God is using this book like stripper on an old piece of furniture. Pouring it on THICK, allowing it to penetrate and then scraping it off to reveal the beauty which lies underneath. I hope so! But you know what ~ it hurts and it takes time.

The layers are plentiful. They are thick, deep and hardened by life's disappointments. But this morning as I type I am reminded of a scripture that I have prayed numerous times over my children.

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Though it is terribly painful, Lord complete the work you have begun.

I really am Considering It All Joy,

Cindy

29 comments:

  1. I see the beauty starting to peak through, Cindy.

    God is big enough to all of our "what ifs" He's big enough for our lack of faith. I pray you will be like the man who said, "I believe...help my unbelief!" Just keep being honest with Him and let him use that holy paint stripper on your soul. I love that analogy.

    I promise you..I love you for you. I won't be turned off by whatever you consider to be the "ugly" inside...if you promise to not be turned off to mine! How bout that? :)

    Praying for a resurrection for you, Lee

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  2. Hi Cindy!

    Great post today! :)
    Grace

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  3. Cindy,

    God can and He will!

    My grandmother lost her tears for several years after losing her husband and son to cancer. Now those tears are back and I smile everytime I see her cry. She couldn't even cry at her son's funeral. And couldn't understand why, but knew the Lord was with her and would complete His work in her, which he did.

    God loves you!

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  4. Forgiving: the healing secret......

    Not many of us get through life without feeling the sting of unfair hurt. Someone you trusted lets you down, injures you. You didn't deserve the pain, and it went deep enough to lodge itself inside your memory. You can't forget it.
    If this has happened to you, you are a member of a world-wide club. The question is: Do you want to shackle yourself to the painful past? Or do you sincerly want to be healed and maybe even revive a past relationship that died because you were so deeply wounded? The choice is yours because you have three basic options for coping with unfair pain.
    One, you deny it, stuff it into your unconscious and try to make believe it never happened. But this is dangerous; personal pain comes back to haunt you in sneaky ways.
    Two, you can try to get even, seek revenge, make him or her suffer as much as you have suffered. But this is futile. Nobody ever gets even in the pain game.
    Third, you can forgive. This is the hardest way, and it often takes time, but it is the only way to cope creatively with undeserved hurts.
    Forgiving is love's toughest work. Don't confuse forgiving with forgetting. Forgivers aren't doormats or patsies.
    What do you really do when you forvive someone?
    First, you feel the pain. When it wasn't deserved you feel it even more deeply.
    Second, you feel resentful, even hateful. Hate is nature's backlash against unfair pain. But it will poison you if you let it linger too long.
    Third, you begin to heal yourself. You surrender your right to get even.
    Fourth, you open yourself up to the possibility of a new relationship with the person. It may never happen. No matter. The most important thing is that it's not your hate that is closing the door.
    Now, you begin a solo flight to inner freedom with God's strength holding you in the palm of His hand. Give it to God, I don't mean show it to Him. I mean GIVE it to HIM.
    Forgive people only for what they do, not for being what or who they are.
    Forgiveness only works when you are ready. It's good to remember this when we want someone to forgive us. You'll forgive when you decide that you've had enough pain.

    Remember, if you don't forgive you are giving the person who hurt you permission to keep on hurting you. There is no easy way to forgive. It is a type of spiritual surgery. You slice out of your past a cancer that shouldn't be there. Forgiving reverses the flow of hurt pouring silently but painfully our of your past.
    I will be praying for you. It took me almost 46 years to forgive my father. God worked through many venues to get me to that point.

    Why are you holding on to the hurt and pain ? It's time to get out of the comfort zone. Your choice will change your life.

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  5. Dear Anonymous,

    I have forgiven, I gave that pain and that person to the Lord about 1 year ago. I have learned through many trials in my life the awesome power of forgiveness both toward others and from God. That is not my issue.

    My issues lie more with the layers of protection I have placed around my heart. That is were God is working now.

    I appreciate your words as they are truth ~ I only wish anonymous people who have Godly wisdom would be authentic enough to sign their name.

    Bless You, Cindy

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  6. Cindy, it's great to meet you through a fun "Tag" blog game! Although, I think God had a greater purpose for me choosing you to tag. Your posts are inspiring and encouraging to me in a time I need it very much! Thank you. You have no idea how much God is speaking through you. I'm excited to have a new bloggy friend! :)

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  7. Oh, yes, your God is big enough for all of your layers... but sometimes He specializes in the slow healing method.

    I pray that He is peeling off a layer, as we speak.

    Your post was beautiful. If you bring that kind of truth before the Lord Himself, and before His word... He will not leave you empty handed, or without an answer.

    And, (just as I am struggling to do), I invite you to believe only what HE says about you. The rest is of satan.

    and the Truth will make you free.

    So glad to be on this journey with you,
    Darlene

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  8. Great post Cindy! And I love the questions I know I have asked them myself. Yes the journey isn't easy, but he has a purpose for it all. It sounds like he is working, so I pray as the journey continues he will strenghten you for each step. Just last week as I homeschooled my kindergarten son I think our slogan of the week was for me. We were learning about turtles our words to remember were, "I don't quit, I persevere." God's word says he will complete the good work, so trust him and keep holding on.
    Prayers and blessings,
    Jill

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  9. Cindy,
    I love, love, love your questioning heart! Haven't I asked these same things? He took a chisel to me, friend! He emptied me in a painful way, but I am so glad He did. I don't know, even now, if I would have the strength to do it any other way.
    To be able to mark the very day that your emotions turned into a wall is a heartbreaking thing. I have been hurt by friends and I know how long that healing process is. You are a strong lady to start that process of peeling away the layers of concealer.
    bless you!

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  10. You are asking the hard questions and only God will show you the answers in His time. I too see your beauty and happiness starting to peak thru. Thanks for asking the questions I don't always want to think about...Connie

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  11. Cindy,

    Praying for you that the passing of your 50th birthday will be a new start for you on this road back to the freedom that God has for you!!

    He WILL peel off the layers in his time and when those tears start flowing again, and they will please let all of us bloggy friends know about it, OK???

    blessings to you today,

    Kim

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  12. Oh my dear friend...
    I have been there. I have asked the questions you have, and have not dared to ask them so in the open on my own blog. I am still there in some respects... still waiting for God to get the rest of the layers off...
    I am praying for you.
    Thank you so much for being so open, and so willing to let God do his work... praying the hard prayers and doing the hard work of looking inside...
    He will bless you in it all.
    Love to you,
    Heather

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  13. Cindy I am not participating in this study but I have dropped by some sights of those who are reading the book and I'm sorry I missed the chance. Anyway I truly appreciate your honest and openess you are not alone my issues may not be an exact copy of your but it is close. I have been looking for a group of women who can be real in my area but his just haven't happen I believe because women have a hard time being real-open becasue of a fear of rejection which I think your hostess said. But it appears to me that this book has allowed some to step up and say this is the way it really is. Must be a truly awesome book. Hope to read it one day. thanks for being real

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  14. Hi Cindy Yes there are a numbe rof women who love unconditionally. I live in VA

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  15. Hi Cindy..

    I found your blog as I was visiting my sister Willnette,aka God Chaser. I saw your blog title and it made me smile. I am doing a series on Joy each Sunday and have been blessed by what the Lord keeps revealing to me about his JOY. I love this post.. Talk about someone who in the physical cannot go without my make up concealer each day lol. Whoa.. than it made me think about the heavy duty layers of concealer I also wore before becoming a woman of God. Scary to think what was hiding under all that layers once the Lord washed it away little by little, which I am glad he did it that way instead of all at one time. To be exposed, no longer hiding behind the layers of concealer can bring out pain-ful, or even shame-ful, as well as even blame-ful moments. but it takes those moments of facing what is behind the layers for healing to begin in our lives. We get the victory, and God gets the glory.

    Blessings Lorie

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  16. Somehow through this blogging world I stumbled upon those of you doing this study. I ended up ordering the book although it will have to wait until the current study I'm involved with is over. Peeking into your heart just a tiny bit today feels like my own in some ways. The first 18 years of life were crushing, deadly and destructive. God began a process in college of setting me free. Forgiveness took place and since then I really think God has been peeling back in layers the walls I put up. It would have been too much all at once. I still have no happy memories of childhood---but I'm looking forward to that day. Because I know that His light was shining even then.

    But I KNOW there are days that I grow weary of what feels like left over consequences from those years. I also know as painful as it can be---(I've had 32 years of experience at it)---I KNOW it releases more of my heart, spirit and mind to receive such sweetness from Him.

    Fear not, for He is with you.

    Hope this isn't "TOO" much from a stranger. I have known such love from Him in this area that I just want to jump in and encourage somebody else looking at this process. And selfishly it kind of helped me this morning because of my present season.

    I'm looking forward to getting into this book. Thanks for being open to share.

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  17. WOW Cindy~
    What a powerful..honest post.

    God LOVES you for you...and frankly...anyone worth their weight...LOVES you for YOU...I know I DO!

    God LOVES you so much sweet Cindy, and he's SO pleased that you are working through the transformation process. He's with you...through thick and thin, and he's so in awe of you!!

    I'm SO proud of you...for taking the necessary steps towards being authentic!!!

    I'm praying for you...as you journey on this process. :-)

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  18. Oh Cindy......I can so relate. Ouch, Ouch and Ouch. No, this isn't fun....but my prayer for myself and you and the many others doing this study is that God will make all this yuck into something beautiful! And He is in you my friend!! =)

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  19. Hey, Cindy!
    What a great post! Your openness and honesty just show us what a beautiful heart God has given you. Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Susan

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  20. Cindy,
    Thank you for your encouraging words on my blog. Yes, I wish we lived close too...I can tell by reading your blog that we have a lot in common. But, we can know each other through this blog and I look forward to spending more time on yours too. I will pray for you, as I totally can relate to your post. (it could have been written by me)
    I have many "What if's" but I want to be real too.
    I look forward to getting to know you better...and you are the child of the King...there is NOTHING ugly there!
    Liz

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  21. Cindy,
    Last month my grandmother had surgery to remove what they 1st thought was cancer but ended up being a polyp in her colon. It was so huge that the surgeon has had to remove it in stages. Next week she'll have what we hope to be the final surgery. I share this with you for a visual of exactly what you said...it takes time. I don't think God expects us to change overnight, He just wants us to keep bowing down to Him. Keep allowing Him to do what He's doing in you & through you Cindy so you can be completely free. And as my husband tells our 6 month old granddaughter everyday..You are precious in His sight.
    Love,
    Lelia

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  22. You bring a smile to your Saviors heart...for your hearts desire is to be snuggled up right next to Him and I love to read your blog...cause it is so real and encouraging. Thank you Cindy...keep shining like the "real go get God girl that you are!"

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  23. It is possible that God is using this book like stripper on an old piece of furniture. Pouring it on THICK, allowing it to penetrate and then scraping it off to reveal the beauty which lies underneath. I hope so! But you know what ~ it hurts and it takes time.

    The layers are plentiful. They are thick, deep and hardened by life's disappointments. But this morning as I type I am reminded of a scripture that I have prayed numerous times over my children.

    "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

    Amen! You took my breath away with this post!

    Though it is terribly painful, Lord complete the work you have begun.

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  24. Cindy,

    I loved your post, and thanks for
    the prayers.

    I hope with your prayer to be able
    to take the conceler of.

    June

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  25. Cindy, I love what you said here:

    "How could there be a hole in my heart as big and deep as the Grand Canyon itself in someone who knows God is there is fill every void?"

    I've often wondered that. Even with some of the things Lisa said in her book about loneliness only being temporary in a believer. I struggle because I feel I shouldn't feel the loneliness since I have Jesus. But I don't think He expects things to be automatic. We are not robots.

    Also, I agree with you. Forgiveness has nothing to do with pain. I've forgiven my beloved who tore my heart out by unbiblically divorcing me. Yet, the pain is still there after 16 months. I don't know if the pain will ever be 100% gone. I just can't see that. My heart is terribly broken and with that is deep loneliness for many reasons. Anger can be an evidence of unforgiveness but not pain. Pain resides even in the forgiveness. I thought your reply in the comments was beautiful.

    I'm humbled by the pain in your heart but the desire for God to continue His good work even if that means more pain to come before the glorious victory comes.
    Love,
    Paula

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  26. Oh Cindy, what could I possibly post any better than what others have said?!

    The "day Cindy died" was not your final and your forever. It was the day that God seeded something eternal amidst your grave clothes and ashes. It was an obvious pain that crushed and nearly destroyed you...I can tell by your words.

    I've walked a similar "death" and an all too familiar lonely. We feel buried beneath the layers, but being buried isn't fatal. Being buried alive means that there is something vital and breathing beneath, waiting for its new blossom as watered by the tender tears of your hurt. God tends to your seed also with his hurt.

    2000 years ago, his Son hung in surrender on your behalf. Some of that surrendered blood belongs to you, friend. He bore your pain and he births your promise. Easter is more than enough to bring to harvest the seed that is now buried.

    When you look in that mirror today, see beyond. See Him. He lives in you, and that, my friend, is greatest dressing you will ever wear. He, alone, makes us worthy. You are beautiful because he is beautiful.

    Enough said. Thank you for sharing. You've landed your words in a safe place this day.

    peace~elaine

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  27. I am so often tempted to cake on the concealer... How I appreciate your insights.

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  28. Oh Cindy, what a post you wrote, I felt your pain, the what if's. I know that thick concealer, and it is a painful process it can be to have it removed. God's still striping mine.

    God kept proding me tonight to go and dig out the words to a song and share it with you. It's a song that I listened to over and over again during the first year of Brett's recovery, and when God started opening up the dark spaces in my heart.

    It's by a heavier alternative Christian Rock Band, the words just ministered to me. Part of it speaks of addiction but I believe that many of us can relate to the words.

    Missing Pages by Seventh Day Slumber From the Album Finally Awake. (it's actually a ballad)

    On the outside all we see is clay
    That hides the perfect light
    But no one really no the pain inside
    I understand how much it hurts
    To be the one who's never seen
    The missing pages in a mangazine
    Chorus:
    No one knows you any more
    You're lost inside the walls you've built
    No one know you anymore
    A prison deep within your soul
    There is One who sees it all
    He'll give you life you've never dreamed
    He can see the pain underneath your skin.

    It's hard to see you fading
    Nothing that I do can bring you back
    I pray to God that you don't fade away
    Your addicition is a symptom of a lost and dying soul
    Without Jesus there's no hope at all.

    Chorus:
    No one knows you any more
    You're lost inside the walls you've built
    No one know you anymore
    A prison deep within your soul
    There is One who sees it all
    He'll give you life you've never dreamed
    He can see the pain underneath your skin.

    There's so much more this is not the end
    It's all in your hands don't throw it away
    A beautiful life with so much to give
    The image of God underneath your skin.
    The beauty of God underneath you skin

    Cindy, you are the image of God and you have given so much to all of us who have read your posts, and I'm sure many more outside the blogsphere. I love you no matter what you could reveal, And God's beauty is underneath your skin, shinning through that thick layer of concealer, He's already started the process of removing it.

    I as many of your bloggy sisters will rejoice with you the day the tears flow. I just wish I could be there to hug you and celebrate in person.

    Continuing to pray for you, and your family.

    Love in Him
    Carol

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Hi Friend, I read and cherish every single comment you leave! You bring Joy to my heart! Blessings, Cindy