The Girl in the Front Church Pew: Accepting the Lie of Mandatory Perfection

The Girl in the Front Church Pew

The girl in the front church pew. She’s happy and kind. She is always perfectly put together and she has it all together…

Al least, that’s what everybody seems to think.

She’s that girl who came from a good, strong, steady Christian home. At church almost every Sunday. Participates in extracurricular church activities. Lends a helping hand when she’s asked. 

Congregants look at her and think that her life is without hurt. Kids at school think of her as the “goody-goody church girl” who doesn’t like to have any “real fun”.

Yet, she’s breaking on the inside. Her heart feels like a cracked window; a hundred little shards falling out one by one. 

Putting on a mask so that she doesn’t “let anybody down”. 

When people ask her “how are you?” she smiles and says “I’m doing so good” in the most chipper voice she can muster, all the while she just wants to scream and claw at something. Yet, she keeps things upbeat and lighthearted because she doesn’t want to bring someone else down with her troubles.

The girl in the front church pew…

I’m that girl…rather…I was that girl.

I was the girl who used to think that I had to cover up when I was hurting because people expected me to be happy; to always have a smile on my face. 

I had myself convinced that people only wanted anything to do with me when I was hurting; that they didn’t care about me the rest of the time, so why do that to myself.

I have seen several girls who grew up in church go through the same thing. We let the lies of the enemy convince us that we have to be happy. That we’ll let everyone down if we let them see that we are going through a rough time. 

There was a period for about two years that I wouldn’t let myself cry in front of people because that showed weakness. I didn’t want others to see the pain that I was hiding. It also didn’t help that I was told that crying in front of others was purely selfishness and a means to gather attention to myself.

Some of you may know from my social media sites, that I was at a ladies retreat this past weekend, and the topic above is one of the areas where God was doing some major healing in.

I’ll be honest, I had myself completely convinced that no one cared unless I was visibly going through something. That they wouldn’t take time for me unless they knew I was hurting. So, I started closing myself off to people, as I decided that if they didn’t truly care about me-or take time for me- at my highest like they did at my lowest, then they didn’t deserve to know the details of my life… 

It wasn’t until this past weekend, that I realized I wasn’t closing them off because I thought they didn’t deserve to know my life, I closed them off because I didn’t want to feel the hurt and pain of rejection again.

I want to talk to you ladies who have lived a similar life as the image of the ‘Church Girl who sits in the Front Pew’ that I wrote at the beginning of the article.

 

You are loved and people do care about you. You don’t need to put on a mask of happiness in order to make sure you live up to the standard that you think people have for you. and take it from someone who has lived through this, most of the time it is only what you think they think. 

It’s all a lie from the devil. Plain and Simple.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

The enemy wants to alienate you (us) from our church family. Without that support and fellowship, we’ll close ourselves off and could end up falling so deep in believing the enemy’s lies that we start to walk away from the church altogether-as is what started happening to me. 

I left my home church and started trying other churches, and started to feel like I could start sharing stuff again; my life, my testimony some of my struggles and eventually, I ended up going back to my home church, and that’s when I started thinking that I had to keep this happy attitude. That people expected me to have a happy smile on my face, so, that’s what I did-even if I was feeling totally miserable.

What I’m trying to say, is that I believed so many different lies. Lies that I had to do this or else that would happen. That this is what people thought-or didn’t.

Ladies, it can be so easy to let ourselves get lost in believing these lies. 

I know…I know

One of the definitions I found for “to know” is: “to have developed a relationship with…through meeting and spending time…” 

I developed a relationship with these lies. I held them close and used them as my proverbial safety covering. I met with them and let them convince me of their so-called “truth”. Shielding myself with them. The lies of having to present an air of happiness became an exhausting chore, yet whenever the exhaustion would hit, my “friend” the lie would come calling and remind me why I was doing it.

 

I want you to know, you aren’t alone. I know what you are experiencing. I also want you to know, that these things you believe are so far from the truth. People care about you, and while I might not know you personally, care about you!

Seriously, I want to encourage you, if you ever need to talk, you can always contact me.

You can get a hold of me through Facebook or through e-mailing me at unfadingbeauty77@gmail.com. And if I can’t help, I’d be more than happy to try to help you find someone who can.

XoXo,

~Kristen~

Unfading Beauty Ministries Top 5 Articles of 2016!

Hey there!

I hope you all had an absolutely wonderful Christmas! With New Years swiftly approaching, I thought that I’d share with you all the Top 5 Articles of the year! That way, if you want to re-read-or read the ones you missed-then they’re all here in one easy, quick place for you to find!

So, without further adieu, here they are!

unfading-beauty-ministries-top-5-articles-of-2016

  • Number 5: Summer Internship: The Beginning –This past summer I got to intern at a Bible Camp for a few weeks, and this is the first article that I wrote about it!
  • Number 4: A Moment of Honesty –This is a more recent article I wrote about my struggles with being single-and why I have struggled with it. Along with it, I also wrote some truths that God has reminded me in the midst of it all!
  • Number 3: Lessons I’ve Learned From Disney’s Beauty and The Beast –This is one of my most favorite articles I’ve written to date! Why? Well, first off because it’s about my most favorite movie to date: Beauty and The Beast. Secondly, because as I watched it this one time, there were so many things that really spoke to me, similarities and lessons alike, that I somehow missed every other time I watched it!
  • Number 2: Witchcraft in the Church — This is an article that I had on my heart for a very long time before I wrote it. Why did it take so long? Well, it’s considered a pretty “controversial” topic. I have watched so many good christian people get dragged down because they’ve gotten into all sorts of New Age Mysticism, and there was an itching in my spirit to write about what the Bible says about those kind of activities.
  • And, finally, the most read article of 2016: Glancing Back at the Past; Looking Forward on the Future –I wrote this article about how God impressed upon my heart to wait to date until I was 20. I wrote this just before my 20th birthday, reflecting the two years I took as I followed his leading-and boy! am I ever glad that I did! Why don’t you go ahead and read just why I’m glad I took those 2 years!

Just before I sign off for the night, I want to say a very big Thank You to each and every single one of you; my wonderful readers! I have so enjoyed getting to interact with each of you–whether it be through FacebookInstagram, YouTube or Twitter–I have enjoyed every single comment and message!

Finally, make sure you stay tuned, because come the New Year, I have some incredibly exciting news! I am expecting to do a vlog about it, so go subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you get it as soon as it’s out there for your viewing pleasure! I’m so excited-and I hope you are too!

Love You All!

XoXo,

~Kristen~

 

Unfading Beauty Ministries: Our Foundations

found

Hello Everyone!

Yes, I’m finally back from the land of vacation! I got to go to Montana, Idaho and Washington and then spend a bit of  somewhat-quiet time at home! 

Lately trying to find things to write about has been…challenging…to say the least. I’ve been struggling as to what to say and what direction to take this ministry, and after much research and thought I’ve decided to really lay out to you all the heart of Unfading Beauty Ministries and a bit of a background story/testimony as to why I started it.

When I was in High School, I didn’t really “fit in” anywhere. I wasn’t as obsessed with my looks as the pretty girls-so I couldn’t join in when they were talking about this make-up, or that hair style, I wasn’t very good at sports-and despite the fact that I played on several teams, I really wasn’t accepted as one of their “own”, and I wasn’t obsessed with this boy band or that new singer (despite trying to be) but I just didn’t really understand why a girl would go to a concert bawling out her eyes for a guy she “loves” despite the fact that she doesn’t actually know them…So, needless to say, I was an outsider on the most basic levels of the high school hierarchy. To set me apart even further from everyone else, I was a right-winged, Christian girl-who was MORE than outspoken about her faith-who in spite of being born and raised in Canada, LOVED the United States (more accurately Montana) more than I did my home province. I’ve always said that I was born Canadian, but I’m Montanan at heart.

So, that all set me up for some…backlash. 

Enter: NINTH GRADE

Ninth grade was hard for me. It’s the year that TRULY set me on a course I absolutely DID NOT see coming. 

I have severe peanut and tree nut allergies along with a severe perfume/fragrance allergy that causes me to have to carry an epi-pen around with me EVERYWHERE. So, long story short, because of people purposely either wearing excessive amounts of perfume (or spraying it directly at me) or bringing nut around me, I ended up in the hospital several times and almost died one night (I am SO thankful for modern-day medicine!)

Thus, the beginning of my online homeschooling and the meeting of a friend who set up everything for me to start this lovely little ministry!

Originally, I started writing just because I needed to write. It was my way of venting and putting my thoughts together in a way that made sense. Something I could do to de-stress.

Then it stated to become more…

Well, after going back to public school in twelfth grade (so I could graduate in the same school as my brothers and previously dad) I saw all the bullying that was going on. I saw girls who hated themselves for one reason or another and girls who flung themselves at the guy most willing at that point just to feel loved.

So, why Unfading Beauty Ministries? What’s the point of all this?

That made me want to do something. I HATED seeing girls feel like they didn’t belong. I knew that feeling all too well. I wanted girls to experience the same kind of freedom that I have experienced. To know that just because they are different doesn’t mean they have to feel distant from everyone and everything or not wanted or desired. I hate seeing gorgeous girls hate on themselves, starve themselves, cut or anything else they may do just to try to achieve the unattainable standards of “beauty” that the world tries to shove down their throats. 

Unfading Beauty is about becoming the Women of God that we were created to be. It’s about learning about BIBLICAL standards of beauty, and through said learning that gaining a Christ-centered view of what beauty is and a contentment that only can come through this Christ-centered view of, well…EVERYTHING!

The ultimate goal of Unfading Beauty Ministries is to make John 3:16 known: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”, because once we know and accept this in our hearts, it opens the doors for Christ to teach us all these other things that Unfading Beauty Ministries is all about.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or privately contact me!

Also, just so you know, I uploaded a new vlog on YouTube Entitled ‘Emotions and Surrender’ the other day, so you can go search for Unfading Beauty Ministries, and it will be there!

One last thing, I am going to be starting up a monthly newsletter, so if you sing up with your e-mail on the sidebar, you will be getting one within the next couple of weeks!!

Love you all, and thanks for all your support, love and reading!!

XoXo,

~Kristen~

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Words, Happy Hearts

SW, HH

Kind words are like honey—
   sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

~Proverbs 16:24~

I just love talking with my friends! I mean, what girl doesn’t? I’d talk every day, all day away with my closest friends if I could!

I have a friend, Naomi, that bestows an unhindered amount of love, encouragement and wisdom upon me! And sometimes even has to give me the proverbial “smack upside the head” and asks me “Are you sure you know what you’re doing? I think maybe you need to pray though this a little bit more,” And I am SO thankful that I have someone who loves me enough to confront me. 

As women, I sincerely believe we need that kind of bolstering and love in our lives. Women CRAVE love and acceptance from each other! It doesn’t even have to be from someone we know! I mean, who doesn’t like getting stopped in the store to be told “I just absolutely LOVE your shoes!”? I certainly do! 

Men find it funny. Like, you don’t see most men walking up to a guy they don’t know to gush over their clothes! I just can’t see men standing thee getting all giddy and excited over some other guys’ shoes! In fact, I would probably stop and stare if I ever saw such a sight occur in front of me!

Recently, I’ve had the sweet opportunity to get to know a fellow blogger and sister in Christ, Bethany Harper at Taxis, Tots & Polka Dots (You can check out her amazing blog HERE) and already, we have found out that we have more in common than one would ever have thought! 

There’s a pleasant sweetness that comes along when women encouraging each other. I mean, not only does the person you encouraged feel good, but so do you knowing that you did a good, kind thing! 

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

(1 Thessalonians 5:11)

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)

You see ladies, we NEED to be lifting each other up! This world tells us that we need to envy, hate and compete against one another. Why? What does this accomplish? I personally think it’s because the more we envy what someone else has or looks like, the more we will buy. The more we buy, all the more money that lands in the pockets of the designers and CEO’s of the brands and corporations. Not only that, they tell us that unless we have their products, we aren’t as “Beautiful” as the women that do. That just causes insecurity and disdain towards the girls that do have those products!

This is why so many times in the Bible it is said that beauty isn’t about what’s on the outside, but on the inside. 

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.” (1 Peter 3:3-5)

This is why it is so important to be there for one another. Women need love and encouragement. We were made that way.

So, this is my challenge to you. Next time you see a lady with something you would just LOVE to have, instead of becoming envious and tempted to feel disdain toward that woman, go up to her and tell her what it is that you just absolutely love! It will do both of you a world-and heart-full of happiness!

XoXo,

~Kristen