Outward Beauty, Inward Loss

hope-and-healing-patty-masonOne thing I’ve discovered about you, we both want some of the same things: freedom, joy, and a good life. I believe that happens when we fully realize that our lives and voices matter. So for the rest of 2013, we’re celebrating the power of voice, your voice. On a regular basis, we will feature a guest post from a brave-hearted reader who shares a slice of their own  journey to finding and using their voices {in the hopes of encouraging you to use your own story to make a difference}. This week we hear from  Patty Mason.

“To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3).”

 

As I sit in one of my favorite places of beauty, enjoying the solitude of this lovely sanctuary, I notice the condition of the pond situated in the center of this secret place. The water, once clean and clear, has become stagnant and grunge. The formerly beautiful pool now sits motionless before me, as if lost in a time of warped discontentment. The life surrounding the pond, however, tries to convince its observers that the pond is still an object of beauty and wonder. It craves to distract you with the cuteness of the mother duck and her babies, the turtles playing effortlessly, and the trees, like a necklace, as they line and drape the pond with elegance. Although the adornment surrounding the pond delights in its attempt to fool the casual observer, the pond lingers in sadness. Despite all of its efforts to appear joyous, it is still grimy, unhealthy and lifeless.

 The condition of the soul is a fragile thing.

Like this pond, I, too, tried desperately for years to look beautiful on the outside, while on the inside I was dying. I went to great lengths to adorn my life, to pretend everything was grand. I surrounded myself with confidence and convinced myself with lies. But in my secret attempt to hide my true self and camouflage the pain, I avoided life.  Just like this lifeless pond, I hid behind a façade of beauty, not wanting anyone to see the real me. My heart and soul yearned to be free from the suffering, to let go of my past and finally feel the joy of life, still I couldn’t, wouldn’t, let go of the disguise.

 Until that day, the one where I reached the end of myself, when I could not go another day swallowed by the pain of depression. As I cried out to God, I began to see real beauty. With His touch upon my life, I came out from behind the mask to discover real joy—His joy. It was then He took the ashes of my painful past and created something truly beautiful.

My secret life within a well; anguished heart, no one can tell.
Shadows mask the hurt and pain; shades of grey, forever the same.

 Joy and gladness the pain does steal yet no one knows how I feel.
Night of gloom; raven call, letting go, O barren fall.

 Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide; mercy unknown, O desolate ride.
Present yet missing, alive though dead; not being found is what I dread.

 I am here, answer me. Look in the well, can you see?
O where is the love, the love I need? I am lost—answer me.

 In the darkness there I see, the light of God shines over me.
In desperation soul does cry; reaching out, yet asking why?

 My barren cry You have heard. Touch my heart; O Healing Word.
I rest in Your unchanging grace. Love lift me from this lonely place.

 Peace of heart is what I seek. Merciful God, I am so weak.
Thy healing hand has set me free. Your loving grace amazes me.

If you, too, feel like this pond, helpless, trapped and lifeless, desperately trying to fool those around you, look up. Your life is not  some stagnant pool of water. You are meant for much more.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).” He longs to take all of your afflictions and pain, all that you have suffered, and give you a new life. He longs to take from you that spirit of despair and give you a garment of praise, so you can tell others what He has done for you.

 

patty masonPatty Mason is a wife and mother who found hope and healing when Jesus reached into her well of depression and set her free.

BookCoverImageShe is the founder of Liberty in Christ Ministries and her books include Transformed by Desire: A Journey of Awakening to Life and Love, Finally Free: Breaking the Bonds of Depression Without Drugs, Experiencing Joy: Strategies for Living a Joy Filled Life, and her newest Bible, Know That I AM God.

4 thoughts on “Outward Beauty, Inward Loss

    • I need someone to pray really seriously pray for my heart , mind and spirit to be healed. I am on 150mg of Effoxor. And how it states. Hurt ppl Hurt ppl, well it’s me. Please please pray.

  1. Carolyn, I know the pain you face every day. I know you are hurting emotionally, spiritually and physically. I know the sense of hopelessness and despair. I know, more than anything, you long to end the madness and stop feeling like a prisoner in your own skin. I know, without a doubt, you ache to escape the emotional turmoil that is consuming and destroying your life. Yet, I also know, in the midst of my nightmare, I found freedom and hope. There is another side of depression, and you are making the right choice to cry out to Jesus. He is your Hope and Deliverer.
    Lord, I pray right now, in the name of Jesus, to abolish the darkness in Carolyn’s life! The gloom is gone! The spirit of despair is gone! From this day on, I pray she will to be filled to overflowing with the joy of the Lord, because the joy of the Lord is her strength. Heal her mind, heart, spirit and soul, and help her to know how dearly loved she is by you. Amen.

  2. I have been suffering from the outward beauty problems more since I’ve gotten older. Not really believing I was beautiful, a male friend began telling me what a beautiful soul I had, to match my outward beauty. When I discovered the friendship wasn’t based on what I wanted it to be, and wanted to end it. The same friend ceased all communication, I was no longer told all the things that person told me. I have had bad outbreaks of eczema on my face, and know I need other things done health wise. I suffer from much shame because of my looks, and must wear special makeup to go in public. I don’t know many women who discuss skin issues but it saddens me because I had a perfect complexion, and my own sister seemed to ridicule me saying I used to a complexion she didn’t have. I pray that I can allow myself to feel good about my appearance and began to be shy again the way I was as a child. My skin is slowly healing, but it let me know that my friend didn’t care as much as I thought. I choose to pray about friends now, and to know my beauty is more important inwardly than outside. The male friend said he wasn’t ashamed of my appearance, but to stop talking to me after I stopped helping him in some ways, let me know our friendship was one of my old performance-based friendships. If I”m not doing what a person expects, I’m not a true friend. I know God’s love isn’t like that, but human beings, especially many men do base women on looks. Depression has been a problem again in my life, but I do pray to have my self-esteem. This is to Patty and thank you for sharing about your depression and about inward beauty and outward beauty, and God loving us for out outsides but inside.

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