This past weekend I cut 11 inches off my hair. My cousin also colored my hair and I experienced a pedicure for the first time in my life from an official salon. I even bought a dress and some earrings. Not one of these things (apart from the earrings) is normal for me at all, and I’ve always struggled with the whole concept of “a beautiful woman.”
For much of my life, I believed I was ugly. I believed I was worthless and unfit. Somewhere along the line I believed a lie that threatened to consume me. My idea of beauty was whatever I was not, and it was not until last March that I learned a truth that changed my life.
I have been a “Christian” since I was 9 years old. I grew up in church. “Jesus Loves Me” was a song we sang nearly every week, but I guess I figured Jesus loved me because He had to, or because He apparently loved everybody else, and He didn’t want to leave me out. Where in the world did I come up with that? However, it was so engrained in me, that it took quite a bit of work to purge that lie out of my system.
Because every girl (and I think this generalization is true) wants to be beautiful, it leads us to ask the question, “What is beauty?” We look at magazines and TV shows and see the perfect hair, body shape, and eyes and think, “Wow. What would it be like to be beautiful?” Is that really the kind of God we believe in, that He would create a few things beautiful and the rest something to despise? If God is holy and wonderful and awesome and beautiful, and if WE ALL are made in His image, then maybe our idea of the beautiful has become a little skewed. Especially for my sisters out there, I really want to share with you a timeless truth that I have learned.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
God created a masterpiece when He made you. No one else that has ever lived or will live is quite like you. He has given you a complex personality, the ability to dream, and gifts to make it happen. He believes in you more than anyone could, despite all the reasons why you believe you can’t do anything. Nothing that you could ever do could take away His love for you. Even if you never love Him back or accept His love for you, He will always love you.
We can’t control many of the situations that have come to us. A lot of people in the world are stuck feeling cheated by life and they live every day in this victim mentality. There is nothing that sucks the beauty out of someone like a person who is stuck in the pain of her past and cannot move on. On the other hand, there is nothing more beautiful than a person who has been through the fire and allowed God to transform her life into a true reflection of Himself. God is the very essence of beauty, and the closer we become to Him, the more we take on His characteristics of beauty as well. And might I add, this is a beauty that only grows richer over time as we grow closer to our Lord, and the years and wrinkles of time can never take it away.
A year ago this month, I was able to walk away from a 10-year battle with depression. God truly healed me from a pain that ran so deep that I could not imagine living without it. Since then, it has been a journey of learning how to discern between the lies that I have always believed about myself and the truth that God has spoken over my life that He loves me. God loves ME? Why would He do that? The only thing I’m good at is messing things up…or so I thought and have always believed. God’s love breaking through in my life has truly made the difference in showing me how God sees me, and consequently how He sees those around me. Going through all this has taught me how easy it is to believe the ugly lies of the world and reject the beautiful truth of God.
God made you beautiful. He doesn’t just want to show you how to live with the hurts of your past; He wants to heal you of the hurts of your past. He wants you to know Him, to experience life with Him, and to understand what it’s like to be radically loved by Him. Take it from a girl who was picked up from the ground and lifted out of the pit of seemingly inescapable darkness: if there is anything in life worth knowing and experiencing, it is the love of God. And believe me, I would never go back. What would it take for you to accept God’s love for you? God created you in His image. He created you to be beautiful. Accept the incredible gift He is offering you today and start the journey of falling in love with the Author of love. It is in Him that you truly shine.