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~

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

“A friend is…

“A friend is one who knows you
and loves you just the same.”
Elbert Hubbard

Friendship: It can be a funny thing sometimes. The word ‘friend’ actually means to have a strong feeling for someone. A friend is someone who knows you. A friend is someone who wants to be close to you no matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past. A true friend will be there for you no matter what. They will help you through the rough times and be there to celebrate the happiness in your life with you.

God wants to have a friendship with us. He already loves us beyond anything anyone could possibly imagine. He gave His life just so we could go to heaven to live in eternal bliss with Him. All we have to do is ask God to forgive us of our sins and live for Him. He already loves us, already knows all about us. All we have to do is want the same kind of friendship with Him.

Friends grow close by getting to know each other. Listening to each other’s stories about life. Experience the joys and pains of life together. That is exactly what God wants. He wants to experience the joys and pains of our lives with us. He doesn’t just want to sit by and watch. He wants to actually BE with us. He wants for us to TELL him our thoughts, our feelings, our hurts, our joys.

That is what a friendship with Christ is. Getting to know about Him through the Holy Spirit, reading His Word and praying. He wants to tell us about Him and His love for us as much as He wants us to tell Him about ourselves.

Now, you might be thinking “If He knows everything about us, then why should I have to tell Him if He already knows?” To answer that I will ask you this: Have you ever known something about your friend even though they hadn’t told you? You still may have known but you still wanted them to tell you, correct? Well, God is the same way. He already knows, but He still wants to hear it from us. He still wants us to tell him.

Tell me about your experiences with friends, I would like to hear about it. Your thoughts, feelings and even questions.

I’d love to hear from you!

Blessings,

~Kris~