The photo at the bottom of this blog is what I looked like after 30 minutes with a makeup artist who used not one but two tackle boxes of makeup to make me look “natural.” To be honest, as someone who usually wears a ponytail and no makeup, it was fun to cover up my “flaws” for a few hours.
There’s a problem though when we cover up what we consider to be internal “flaws.” This is why it was refreshing that Meghan Markle, who is married to Prince Harry, shared what’s really going on in her mind and heart. Markle, who has to look like both a fashion icon and model wife and mother, has admitted that it’s not always easy to handle fame, marriage, and postpartum mothering.
When someone asked if she was okay, she replied, “Thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m okay. But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes. Look, any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable,” she said. “So that was made really challenging. And then, when you have a newborn . . . especially as a woman, it’s a lot.”
The interviewer then asked if it was fair to say she wasn’t okay, that it’s been a struggle. She immediately replied, “Yes.”
Prince Harry supports this kind of honesty and wants people to realize there is a difference between mental health and mental illness. “I think most of the stigma is around mental illness [and] we need to separate the two . . . mental health, which is every single one of us, and mental illness, which could be every single one of us,” he said.
Life as a Christian means realizing that the people around you are hurting and need the hope that you have to share. Plus, it means being in it for the long haul, because Satan is not giving up on trying to ruin people’s lives and eternities. Right after Jesus left this earth to go get your room ready in heaven, his disciples knew how much people would need believers—and how much believers would need each other. So they wrote down God’s words in the Bible, where over and over they encourage us to cover up less and be more real. They encourage us to pray for one another, encourage each other, serve one other, carry each other’s burdens, and even confess our sins to each other. That can’t happen if we cover up our flaws and our struggles.
Letting other people serve you means you need to be real enough to ask for help too. Be courageous enough to say, “I’m tempted; I could use your support” or “I’m lonely, I could use a friend” or “I’m struggling, do you have some time to talk?” or “I’m sad; I could use your encouragement.”
When I share that I’m weak, I get to tell people that Christ strengthens me. When I share what made me sad or afraid, I get to talk about my hope that has made me fearless. If I’m brave enough to share my flaws, I have a great opportunity to tell you how God’s grace covers—and actually completely erases—all my imperfections.
He does the same for you. In God’s family, come as you are, imperfections and all. Let God do the covering up. Because of what Jesus has done for you, God says you are flawless.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who thinks it would be pretty grand to have a makeup artist all the time.