I recently had an experience that completely caught me off guard.
A friend wanted to take me to get my eyebrows waxed at a very nice salon, which if it wasn’t a birthday present I probably wouldn’t have ended up there.
The lady who was our Esthetician (aka- a person who knows a lot about waxing and facial treatments) was also apparently an expert on being “young” and “beautiful.” She had been doing this as her job for over 15 yrs.
I was lying on a salon bed with a huge bright light shining on my face, and a massive magnifying glass through which this woman was studying my face. She proceeded to guess my age of 27 (which no one ever does) and point out all the places on my face where I had apparent sun damage. (which most of these I thought were only freckles:) )
She then told me the importance of good lotion and eye creme, for which is a must if you want to continue looking young into your 40′s.
This lady then told me that after 25, things begin to go downhill! (wow I guess most of the world is falling down a slippery slope)
I know the lady meant well but my interaction with her sent me on a trail of processing in my own heart thoughts on youth, beauty, and the extreme value our culture places on it.
Now don’t get me wrong I’m all about taking care of our physical bodies, eating right, exercising etc, and I’m not against putting lotion on your face…
But what I began to consider after my appointment is how much our world FEARS growing old, and tries to prolong death and the signs of it as much as possible.
I decided to look into this a bit deeper…
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeon’s report for 2011 here is what I found:
In America Alone in 2011 there were:
1,579,079 Cosmetic Surgical procedures (Some examples: Facelifts, breast implants, nose jobs, buttocks implants (not kidding), liposuction, hair transplants, tummy tucks) and this is just naming a few examples.
12,249,647 Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures (Botox, cellulite treatment, collagen injections)
This equals a grand total of 13,828,726 procedures in one year alone.
In 2011, there was 10.4 BILLION DOLLARS spent on cosmetic surgery.
Is this troubling to anyone else besides me?!?
Youthfulness has been ingrained in our culture so much that we may be numb to it. We see it in the movies, on tv, advertisements, almost everywhere we turn. Our culture values being young and beautiful, and despises growing old.
The thing is, no matter how hard we all may try to slow down or correct the signs of aging, no human on the planet can escape it. Even those who spend thousands of dollars a year on plastic surgery will one day die.
I found that my own heart was impacted negatively by my experience with the lady at the spa. Her value on youthfulness and trying to run from growing old brought some anxiety to my own soul.
I left the appointment with her with some anxiety in my heart that I will never be 25 again…I realized wow, time really does fly by and I can’t stop it!
As I was driving to school the following day, the Lord spoke softly to my heart. All I heard Him say was: “Candace, you are going to live forever and be beautiful forever.”
I was reminded by the Lord that yes, I will grow old in this life (like we all will) With that will come sun spots, wrinkles, and gray hair, but because I am found in Christ I do not have to fear any of those things.
Though this body may grow old, lose it’s strength and one day perish…
There is coming a day when my body will be raised, and I will have a new glorified resurrected body that will be stronger and more beautiful than the way my body is now. My new body will be perfect FOREVER!
That makes a few gray hairs on this side of time seem like no big deal.
Here’s a few verses on our new bodies:
Romans 8:23 “…And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
1 Cor. 15:42 “So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body there is also a spiritual body.”
1 Cor. 15:49: “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”
These next few verses may be my favorite: 1 Cor. 15:53
“For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death where is your victory? O death where is your sting?”
If we are found in Christ we do not have to fear growing old or dying. We do not have to give into our culture that tries to define what beauty is.
Instead, we can live our lives to the fullest, loving Christ with each passing year. We can live with excitement that with each year we grow older, wrinkles, gray hair and all, we have an opportunity to love Him more than we did the year before.
May we live as men and women with hearts anchored in the reality of who we are in Christ, and the hope that we will be raised with Him in glory forever.
Candace Nashman is currently a student at Rockhurst University majoring in Mass Communications and Non- Profit Leadership. Prior to returning to school, Candace worked as an Account Executive at a radio station in her hometown of Calgary Canada and in 2006, moved to Kansas City to be on full time staff at the International House of Prayer. While on staff at the House of Prayer Candace served as the marketing coordinator for Onething Ministries, as well as an MC, and speaker for onething regionals from 2007-2009. Her passion is to see her generation love Jesus with their whole hearts and walk in their identity in Christ no matter what sphere of influence may be in. For more from Candace and the PodQueen, click here.