I love to analyze women. I love to assess which style of beauty they are and teach them what not to wear. I love to consider their personality and encourage them with their life’s mission in caring for their husband, kids, home, career and girlfriends. I love to search their hearts and minister to the wounds that have affected their confidence. But do you know who I do this to the most? Myself.
Whenever I feel a strong emotional twinge in my spirit I ask God, “why am I feeling this way?” I don’t always like the answer.
One day I snapped at my little girl for taking so long to wash her hands. She was only 5, she had no understanding of all the important things I had to get done as she played with her bubbles and sang her song. I broke her little heart by hurrying her. Then she broke mine as she tearfully told me how her teacher said she needed to finish the song before rinsing her hands so that she got rid of all the germs.
“God, why do I do this? Why do I make those around me feel so rushed? Now my daughter feels less important to me than my busyness.”
“Well, why do you feel so rushed, my daughter?”
Ooch! My daughter’s playfulness was cramping my style, but my style is what was wrong, not hers! This was the beginning of a powerful “cocoon time” when I really searched my heart for all the reasons I was always so rushed. Why did I keep myself so busy? There was a lot to it: man’s approval, God’s approval, my desire to control, impress, succeed…
I didn’t want to fail, disappoint, become lazy…
It all came down to fears and flesh and this realization was a bit like eating humble pie. The thing is, after eating it m eyes were opened (Maybe the pie was made with the same fruit Eve ate?) and I could see the root of it all: shameful pride. I was proud of my shame. It sounds twisted because it is twisted–or what I call a twisted-Truth.
The Truth is that Christians should serve others selflessly.
Philippians 2:3, 4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
The twist happens when we read the Truth without the words only and also and it speaks a lie that says we are selfish and conceited if we take care of ourselves. What a total misconception!
This twisted-Truth was causing me to neglect myself and consider myself unimportant.
God knows we have needs and that part of a woman’s desire is to get a little pampering now and then. God expects us to look out for our own interests and He wants us to use our understanding of our own needs to better help others with theirs. If we feel ashamed of our needs or unworthy of being cared for we cannot serve others well because we either make them feel weak and needy or they feel like they are depriving us. That’s what I did to Tori that day. Her need was a bother to me because I felt deprived of my own needs. Not anymore. I found the whole Truth and it set me free.
I may not sing out when I wash my hands, but I often whisper a little prayer of thanks for my moment to enjoy a little lathering with Bath and Body Works.
Tori’s teacher would be so pleased.
Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their confidence conflicts; it is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Losing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at www.CatrinaWelch.com