It seems that the older I get the more I dress like my mother: bright colors, flashy jewelry, matching shoes. She’s a fashionable older woman who shops at Steinmart and Chico’s…you know the type! I haven’t yet started buying animal prints, but anything can happen! Add some “big hair” and lip gloss and I can be quite the sight! I know that we should not put so much stock in our outward appearance, but sometimes dressing up can help us to feel better. Here is me with some lip gloss:
Lately, I’ve needed to feel better.
Dr. Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Love Languages has coined the phrase “Love Tank.” He says that every child is born with a “Love Tank” and he compares it to a gas tank in a car. When the love tank is full the world looks beautiful and we feel loved. When the love tank is empty we feel discouraged and uncertain about ourselves and our relationships.
Lately, it seems that I have a hole in my “love tank” and it is constantly empty. I know that many of you can relate. Usually my “love tank” is full. I’m fairly secure in God’s love for me and I have many wonderful friends that love me unconditionally. But recently my love tank has been completely dry. I’ve felt unliked, unloved, and even unlovable.
What do you do when your love tank is on empty? I put on lip gloss. Usually I only wear lip gloss if I’m on a date with my husband. Lately, I’ve been wearing it a lot. If you see me wearing lip gloss, it means I’m really hurting inside. I’m trying to feel better about my outward appearance because inwardly I’m feeling unworthy, small, and insignificant.
When I’m in this dark place, I spend a lot of time talking to God. I know that He is near to the brokenhearted and He saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). I am certain that He will work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). I try to trust that in time, my heart will feel whole again. Some women grab a donut when they are hurting. Some pop pills. Some entertain themselves. But while I wait on God to heal my heart, I grab the lip gloss. And flashy jewelry. And I tease my hair.
The one thing that has been salve for my soul in this season is the kind words of my friends. I met with my mentor, Arlene, for coffee recently. Every time she would say something kind or nice about me I would say, “Okay, wait, I need to write that down.” I need a written record of someone’s words that says that I am likable, even lovable. When I’m low, I pull out these encouraging words and read them over and over again, in hopes that I will eventually believe them. I have one friend who sends me repeated text messages that she likes me, that I am a likable person. She loves me, too. When I am down, I ask her to tell me again. I need to hear it again and again in hopes that I will eventually believe it.
This is why it is so important for women to be in relationship with each other. Scripture confirms this:
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. Eccl. 4:9 NLT
A man that has friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11 NIV
There will be times when our love tanks are on low, even on empty. There will be seasons of life where it seems like circumstances steal the joy from our lives. Of course, in these times we look to God to give us comfort and strength. But often, He will use our girlfriends to be His hands and His feet, to give us love and comfort in tangible ways.
You never know if the kind and encouraging words that you say to your girlfriend are the lifeline she needs just to make it through her day.
Girls, let’s use our technology and top off someone’s love tank today. Make a call, type an email, send a text. Write a note card, give a hug. Ask God to give you the words to say to encourage your girlfriends today. You never know how badly they need to hear your words of life and love.
Especially if they are wearing lip gloss.
How is your love tank doing? I would love to pray for you and encourage you today.
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