On my 2nd morning waking up in Pittsburgh, I was filled with excitement about being in a new city, being on vacation, and getting to spend another sunny day with my family. We were going to the Strip District that day, so I was excited to visit all of the local stores and restaurants and take lots of great pictures. As I walked into the bathroom to get ready, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to put on my full face of makeup since it wouldn’t be able to stand up against the 90 degree heat. Then, all of sudden, I started to think about how terrible I would look in pictures because I wouldn’t have my full face of makeup on. I thought, “You’re not going to look good if you don’t have your makeup on...”
With that one thought, I discovered so many hidden things about myself: I don’t feel pretty unless I’m wearing makeup; I hate taking pictures when I don’t have makeup on; and, I hate when other people see me without makeup because it means they can see all the imperfections of my skin – uneven skin tone, dark circles and acne scars. I always thought that I wore makeup because it was a way to enhance my beauty and express myself creatively with color, but subconsciously, I believe I used makeup to feel better about myself. This was a huge revelation to me.
While reflecting on all of these new thoughts about myself, I continued with my usual makeup process of applying foundation, eyeliner, mascara, blush and lip gloss. I felt a sense of security knowing that I had makeup on my face, which meant I wouldn’t scare the locals (ha-ha!), but I still felt down about myself. I didn’t want these thoughts to linger with me throughout the day, so I tried to remember a scripture that would encourage me and help me feel better. As I went to grab The Message Bible from my suitcase, I immediately knew which scripture I needed to turn to, as this is often the one that I read when I’m feeling down about myself. It is Psalm 139: 13-14 and it says, “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation!”
Why didn’t I think of this earlier?? I am marvelously made (or, as the NIV says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”). And God shaped me first inside, then out. To me, that means that He was more concerned about my inner parts working properly before he got started on shaping the outside of me. This brought to mind another scripture that says, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7; NIV)
Reading these words uplifted my spirit and helped me to get out of the little funk that I was in. The song that came to my mind during this time was “From the Inside Out” by Hillsong (they have so many amazing worship songs, don’t they?). I know I thought of this song because it has the words “inside out” in it, which were the exact words that I had just read in Psalm 139. As I started to sing this song to myself, the words began to resonate within me and my focus slowly shifted off of me and onto God. It was amazing. Suddenly, I knew that my purpose is not to always look great, but to love great because He is great. I want to love and praise Him from the inside out, just like the song says. Check out the video to this song. It’s an amazing encouragement to me and I hope it encourages you as well.