by Joanie Butman
In response to the numerous horrified emails expressing sympathy and legal advice after last week’s post, “Those were not my real brows in the photo!” While the first couple of weeks did loosely resemble that picture, I’m happy to report that the final result was all I hoped it would be. Not that anyone else would notice, but it’s still a shock when I look in the mirror because I haven’t quite adjusted to my brow-enhanced reflection. Whatever personal changes we choose to make, regardless of how small, take time to feel “normal.” Nowhere is this truer than in our spiritual lives.
When I started Bible study 20+ years ago, I felt like a fish out of water. I couldn’t figure out why these women were moved to tears so easily, reading scripture felt forced, and the homework seemed laborious. I felt like I was trying to be someone I wasn't. It didn’t happen overnight, but over the years those women and God’s word became my joy and my lifeline. The transformation that began when I embarked on that journey is ongoing as Christ works to mold me into His likeness – a lifelong passage He makes with all of us when we choose to follow Him. Eventually, it stopped feeling like I was wearing a hair shirt. Turns out, I was simply trying to be the woman He created me to be all along.
Following Christ involves involves leaving behind old habits and thinking patterns as I embrace God’s plan for my life. The effort isn’t easy or comfortable and sometimes comes at great cost – like getting a brow tattoo! As I’ve often been taught, “God is more interested in our character than our comfort.” However, as we settle into a new life aligned with Christ, His will supplants our own selfish desires and you find yourself at home in your new skin doing things you never dreamed possible. Now the discomfort comes when you revert to old ways.
Years ago as a new Christian, I wondered if anyone noticed the difference in me that felt so conspicuous at first. Probably not, but as my enthusiasm for Christ grew I hope I was not one of those newly-converted, over-zealous Christians people cross the street to avoid. If I was, my apologies. Choosing to put on your new self may not involve microblading, but we all have room for Christ to leave His mark on our heart. The change may not be as obvious as the brows I photoshopped on last week, but His love can’t be contained. It will shine through you into the lives of others and will be the only beauty enhancement you'll ever need.