You are beautiful.
But you don’t always feel that way, do you?
Have you, too, been in that moment? The one when you try on item after item in your too-tight wardrobe, face heated, emotions rising, eyes brimming with tears, hating your own body?
Or the one when you catch a glimpse in the mirror at the end of a day? Your skin is either shining and oily or alligator dry, your makeup is smudged away leaving blemish scars on display, and maybe there’s a humiliating stray hair or two sprouting somewhere embarrassing. As if on cue, images of airbrushed-beautiful models come to mind, and you quickly turn from the mirror.
There have been moments when I feel, not frumpy or haggard, but downright ashamed when I look in the mirror. Have you felt it, too?
I could talk to you for hours, seated on a comfy couch and wrapped in a blanket, about my insecurities and hang ups. I could tell you the times I was mocked for the acne on my skin. I could tell you about when, as a teenager, I heard girls snickering about my “almost pretty face” just loud enough so I could hear, and how I went to the girls’ bathroom and wept. Little comments that are lies of the world.
And, sister, I know you have your share of heartaches and hurts, too! Did your mother tell you, “If you’d just lose some weight…” Did someone gasp when you walked in the room without makeup? Who or what filled your mind with lies?
We could talk about our hurts and wounds all day. But those thoughts and feelings are lies, so instead, I want to share truth with you.
Friend, I am plenty pretty enough, and so are you.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,”
Oh, the folly of my wandering heart that cries, “I disagree with You, Lord.”
“Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear:
Forget your people and your father’s house.
The king is enthralled by your beauty,
honor him, for he is your lord.”
Did you read that with me? The Lord doesn’t think you’re OK. He’s enthralled by you. You are loved, beyond reason or logic, and pursued relentlessly by the King.
And the best part is, the things we do to make ourselves acceptable to this world we’re passing through are totally without value.
“Do not let your adorning be external
—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry,
or the clothing you wear—
but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1 Peter 3:3-4
Your tattered jeans, your summer frizz, and your scuffed up shoes mean nothing in the eyes of the Lord. The gentle tranquility of your heart makes you lovely.
The bump in your nose was planned and is actually adorable (I’m speaking to myself here). The stretch marks around your waist from bringing forth new life are gorgeous. Your skin was made with pores on purpose.
Look at yourself! Really.
Look, with wonderment, that when your friends and family look at your smiling face, their hearts feel joy. Do you see that wide smile? It’s contagious. Your giggle? It is infectious and makes others join in. Are there lines around your eyes? They tell every stranger you meet, “This woman has laughed and cried and lived life with others.”
Do you see the Lord’s perfect plan for your face? When we look at you, friend, we feel happiness and adoration.
Have you seen your child smile and reach up from his crib at the sight of you? Did your groom, like mine, cry as you walked down the aisle? Has your grin in a coffee shop made the stranger passing by grin, too?
To me, there’s no sweeter, more joyful name than Jesus. And guess what?
“he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.”
However you stumbled upon this little musing, I pray for you, right now, that you see yourself as you really are.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”