Friday, August 16, 2013

I Just Want to be Pretty

I sit and stare at the magazine picture, flawless and radiant. It's really not fair, I think to myself. Why did she get all the pretty?

Then I catch a glance at myself in the reflection of the computer screen. (Anti-glare=good idea.). Hm. I'll never be that pretty. Sometimes I don't know why I waste my time putting on make-up. (PMS does bad, bad things to a woman's psyche.)

I fix my gaze on the outside through my window and contemplate the blue sky with cottony-white, fluffy clouds, the green grass gently waving in the breeze, the dull gray asphalt, the towering trees, the house across the street. A snapshot of the world outside, framed by some wood trim and white paint. It's the same every day. Nothing special. Kind of like me.

The world says that in order to be special, I need to have something. An extraordinary talent. A lovely face. A beautiful body. Or the perfect trifecta--a combination of all three. And when I compare myself to those standards, I feel like I've lost out on something. Something I wish I had.  Something I think I must deserve. I get angry with God, angry with myself, angry with the unfairness of the whole deal. I work harder to look pretty, to be thin. I put my faith in the fact that if I look in the mirror and see pretty, then I have accomplished my mission. I will finally be happy. I will finally feel good. I will finally have confidence. Except I don't see pretty in the mirror. I see pretty in the magazine, and it doesn't line up. It causes strife in my heart and a constant longing for an ideal.

It seems simple enough. I just want to be pretty.

But when the simple want becomes a raging obsession, it's too hard to pull back the reins. I don't want to accept myself for who I am. I feel like I need to try harder. And the harder I try, the more I dislike what I see. It becomes a vicious cycle of insecurity, defeat and discontent. Caught in the cycle, I don't notice that He is trying to catch my attention, grab my hand, turn my face toward Him. The Creator of Beauty, the definition of Perfection.

Instead of being chained to a narrow, confining definition of beauty, He opens that window and allows me to step outside. Beyond the dull gray pavement are majestic blue mountains. I feel the breeze, the sun warming my skin. I smell the grass and stand under the trees and I know without a doubt that I was created for more.

There is a picture in a magazine.

And then there is life.

 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think.
{romans 12:2}

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