Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Prisoner In Your Own Mind

Being a pastor's wife has some very rewarding moments.  Many Christians partake in the joy of seeing a life change-the heavy burdens lifted, the feelings of hope restored, and new, never before experienced joy happening in the lives of people we've prayed for, spoken with, and encouraged.

Sometimes, though, the pastor and his wife see much more than the casual observer will see. Sometimes we are blessed to see deliverance from fears that no one ever knew about.  Or to see the battle won over something that threatened to destroy a child of God.

But sometimes we also bear the heavy burdens of the heart that are hidden.
Sometimes we see the hidden scars that have never been healed, and the deep secrets that have never been shared publicly.  We're often reminded how cruel the devil really is.

Recently we had a woman call who is a prisoner in her own home.  An elderly woman living in fear.  Desperately needing hope, and desperately needing someone to care.  She shared that she is ashamed to leave her house because she is so ashamed of her looks-because she feels she is so ugly.

Can you imagine the sadness that we felt, hearing this?  Needless to say, we are not going to let the story end this way.

We're living in such a day and age that youth is worshiped, and if you are in your 70's, and you don't look like you are only 50, you feel shame.

Ladies (and gents!), this OUGHT. NOT. TO. BE!!!

I'm in my 40's, heading for 43, and guess what!  I'm not crazy about getting wrinkles, but it's part of the aging process!  I have not worn make-up in over 25 years-since I was a teenager.  This is my every day face:

Yes, I'm getting wrinkles. Yes, I have a scar or two that I wish would disappear.  No, I don't look 20.

But should I be ashamed of how I look?


And neither should you.

A big part of our problem is that we allow Hollywood to define beauty to us.  Don't forget that many of these women look just like we do, when they have no make-up on, or have not been surgically altered.

Just like those of us who are not famous, there are those who age well, and have barely changed since they were 20, and then there are those like me, who look my age.

But if my face looked 20, and I was stunning in my appearance, what would that be worth if it was all I had to say for myself?

Cleanliness, proper grooming, clean, ironed/non wrinkled clothes-these are all things I consider important, and speak to others how I feel about me..  And these are things I think all of us should care for.  But staying 20 forever is not.

The real achievements of beauty we should strive for are the things that are pleasing to God--a pure heart, a meek and gentle spirit, compassion, love for mankind, being His faithful child, and many other things that eyes alone cannot see.

Don't ever become a prisoner of your own home because you feel like your appearance is a burden to society.  If you have more to offer than your face, please come out and be a part of society!  We need folks that are willing to give a word of encouragement to the discouraged, to lend their skills to a friend in need, to show the younger generations how it is done.

Don't let glamour magazines and movie stars set the standard.  I would rather be an Abraham Lincoln, who changed the lives of MANY, than the most glamorous women on television who has had 2 bad marriages and has nothing to offer to society, except a bad example of how to live everyday life.

Won't you join the rest of us?


Anne Marie Morris said...

Just luv your message. So many of today's youth are so focused on appearances and weight. Every age has its challenges. A new follower from the Meet and Greet Blog Hop. Hope you can drop by my blog as well.

Anne Marie

Madonna said...

Most of the movies stars are only air brushed. It doesn't count in my opinion if its painted on. I am not against cosmetics but I think they should be used with a light hand. And so many of them look so much older than their years due to the lifestyles they live. Thanks for visiting my blog. And Happy New Years.

Beth said...

Thanks for this encouraging message, Josanne. We, women, need to hear these truths over and over again. And I'm like you, a pastor's wife and I think we see the underbelly of life perhaps more often than most. For me, and it seems for you too, that gives me some insight into the need for greater transparency. Thanks for being so real and authentic here.

Josanne Anthony said...

Thank you, Ann Marie! I hope I can encourage our young people to be people with great character, rather than just a pretty face.

Josanne Anthony said...

Thank you, Madonna-I just wish that people would not be so obsessed with their looks that they feel horrible about themselves if they don't look like something out of Hollywood.

Josanne Anthony said...

Thanks for commenting, Beth, and yes, greater transparency is beneficial for all involved! For the hurting-it's a quiet call for help, and a tiny bit of hope. For the ones trying to help, it's knowing how to offer to help, and showing that there IS hope.

Naomi@What Joy Is Mine said...

Josanne...What a great reminder that the beauty we should seek has more to do with the heart and not outward appearances so much. Thank you for sharing your post at WJIM. Blessings.

Sparkling Mom said...


Love your post! I am visiting you through No Ordinary Blog Hop and now following your blog.

This is really a wonderful post. I would love to have you pay a friendly visit to my blog too. You can check my blog here: Joys Of Life

I am also looking to gain news fans and followers and for that I would really appreciate you if you would like and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Rose @ Walnut Acre said...

I love this post. I've been struggling recently with how I look and feeling like I don't measure up. This was a wonderful encouragement to me this morning. Thank You.