Finding Beauty in the Insecurity
"A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy enough. She knows in her quiet center where God dwells that He finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy, and in Him, she is enough." -Stasi Eldredge, Captivating
She was in third grade, a little tomboy, and only ten-years-old. She was enjoying recess like all the rest of her friends. She wanted to play football with the boys, just like always, but there was a new boy in the group she had never met before. She went to introduce herself and before she got the words out of her mouth, he asked, “Why do we have a fat girl playing with us?”
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and that little girl is now a senior in high school. It’s prom season. She goes on a mission to find the “perfect” prom dress. First store, she wants to try on the newest and most popular style dress they have. The consultant says, “I don’t think a girl your size should try on that dress.”
We've all had those moments in our lives where we know we’ll never forget the cruel words said to us. We let the words define us.. or at least I did. I would like to tell you that I have feelings made of steel. That nothing anyone has said about my body affects me. I would like to tell you that when I go to look at myself in the mirror that those words never cross my mind, but they do.
Confession: I struggle daily with how I see myself.
I don’t think I've ever admitted it. Don’t get me wrong, I've been blessed with an amazing family who has always made a point to love on me and try to boost my confidence. I just think I've put up a front when it comes to my self-image. I hear what they’re saying, but I don’t truly believe it. And I don’t think I’m the only girl who does that.
I've let the world deceive how I see myself. I've believed the lies. I've been told that I have big thighs and that I should be setting a goal to get that “thigh gap.” I've been told that if I’m wearing a size fourteen that I’m a “plus” size and I need to make it my goal to become a size two. I've been told that my blemishes are something to hide under makeup all the time, so I hate to go without it. I just typed some harsh words, right? Here's a really harsh reality: I went on a run a few weeks ago and I completely stopped in my tracks. I realized I didn't even go running for the enjoyment anymore. I went running to basically punish myself because I thought I ate too much. I thought that maybe if I pushed myself enough.. nobody would notice how much weight I may have gained.
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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." -I Peter 3:3-4
No matter how we see ourselves, the weight on the scale, the scars in the mirror, God doesn't care about that, ladies. He cares about us. If we spent more time in our relationship with Christ rather than spending time on our appearance, we would be more internally beautiful. And that is the beauty that counts. It's crucial to who we are as young women in Christ.
[pullquote width="300" float="right"]If we spent more time in our relationship with Christ rather than spending time on our appearance, we would be more internally beautiful. And that is the beauty that counts.[/pullquote]
Sometimes we hate the mirror. I can tell you that the mirror has been my worst enemy. But, the mirror deceives you. It doesn't show you the beauty within.
Here are some truths I've learned over the years for you to tell yourself when you look in the mirror:
- "You are loved!" - trusting that no matter how bad you think you look, God loves you.
- "You are not of this world!" - knowing who you are and to Whom you belong.
- "You are valued!"- you are treasured by your Heavenly Father.
- "Find the joy!" - in knowing the Source of all joy.
- "You are beautiful!" - you’re exactly who God made you to be.
The biggest truth… listen to what God has to say, not this world. Delve into His word, not the media's advertising.
"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, there is no flaw in you." -Song of Solomon 4:7
Society doesn't get to determine who is beautiful and who isn't. I have yet to overcome my self-image struggle, but I’m still a work in progress and maybe you are too. That’s okay. Jesus isn't going to leave us like this. He will continue to give us grace for the challenges we face -- like not seeing ourselves the way He does -- each new day.
"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." - II Corinthians 12:9
My prayer is that through all our insecurities and doubts, Jesus will be glorified.
// photo via www.camillapihl.no