Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Beautiful (Part 1)

I don’t know any woman who hasn’t had one of those days. You know what I’m talking about. The fat days, ugly days, bad hair days, clothes aren’t working for me days. The days when you look in the mirror and feel worthless, awful, and disgusting - all because of how you look.

I know I struggle with this. I’m short. I spent the better part of my adult life and formative years overweight. Guys didn’t want to date me because I was “Yellie - the good friend” who liked football and was over-gregarious. I suffer from hirsutism. And now that I’ve lost weight, I have extra skin that flaps in places I would prefer it not flap. I have cellulite. Sometimes I get pimples. My eyebrows aren’t as neatly trimmed as everyone else’s.

Yeesh. I am so incredibly hard on myself. Does anyone else have this problem?

We are our own worst critics!

But I’m not ugly. I’m beautiful both inside and out. I have a husband who tells me this on a daily basis; he reminds me of how gorgeous I am several times a day. My family and closest friends have always reminded me of how beautiful I am and why and what makes me beautiful. But why is this never enough to make me think of myself as beautiful?

“There is certainly no absolute standard of beauty. That precisely is what makes its pursuit so interesting.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

Last year while sitting on a beach in Jamaica, I read a book called Captivating. The book is about how beautiful women are in the eyes of God, and how we are His precious creatures. Sitting in a place I feel most in touch with God (next to the ocean - how can you not feel God’s majesty near an ocean!) reading about how He thinks I’m beautiful really put things in perspective for me. When I got to the last page, I closed the book and looked around. There were other women around me that were just as beautiful as me in God’s eyes - and in His eyes we are all the most gorgeous woman in the world. I stood up from my chair and went looking for shells because I didn’t want people around me to see the tear in my eye that I had developed with that single, powerful realization.

It wasn’t like I hadn’t heard that beautiful reality before - it just came at one of those poignant moments that He tends to find and wriggle his way into our hearts. The moments when He knows it will impact us the most.

This same thing happened to me today.

I’ve been down this week. It started when I saw a picture of myself and realized that I need a haircut and that my wisdom teeth pushed my front teeth forward a bit. Then I wasn’t feeling confident in an outfit I was wearing this week. I didn’t exercise for three days purposefully and felt gross. Add to that some other outside frustrations I’ve been dealing with - and my inner workings were a recipe for disaster. It really could have gone either way.

This morning when I was packing my gym bag I pulled down an outfit I know I look good in. I call it one of my “confidence booster” outfits, one of those get-ups that makes you stand just a little bit taller. I got to work, opened my email, and looked at my Proverbs 31 Daily Devotional. Wouldn’t you know... it was about how beautiful we are in God’s eyes.

One of the application steps? When you find yourself in a funk, remember to define yourself through God's eyes.

He really does know our hearts, doesn’t He? I am more and more amazed at how He knows us, loves us, and hits home with the right impact at the right time.

I paused and thought about how God views me. I thought about the text from Steve that I got a while back telling me to go in the bathroom (at work), look in the mirror, and tell that person they’re the most beautiful woman in the world. I sat up a little straighter, I felt a LOT better, and thanked God for His love (and for my husband, who reminds me all the time of how beautiful I am).

"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11 (NIV)


Stephy Lyn said...

That was beautiful. I need to go find some shells now...

Cara said...

I know this wasn't the point of your blog, but you're husband is awesome.

Cara said...

your husband. Not you're. Whoops.

Ben said...

That verse from Psalms is awesome!

Another one I love and think is apropos for women is:

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful."

The truth of that hasn't changed in thousands of years even though fashions and styles have.