Wednesday, October 30, 2013

He Says I'm Beautiful

Photo

Here's the thing: people do, too.

I know you know this. 

Some of us are tall and leggy. Some are pear-shaped. We have heart-shaped faces, square jaws and ski-slope noses. We have brown eyes that are wide-set, green eyes that are narrow and blue eyes that are round. Big feet, flat chests, jiggly rears, long hair, short hair, cankles and angel wings. We all have things we accept about ourselves and things we wish we could change. 

I don't see any pumpkins complaining about the way God made them.

After my aerobics class today, I overheard several women commenting on their size and what they had been eating (like a pig, according to one. I just cannot control myself).

I guess we women will never get over the self-deprecating remarks, the critical analysis of one's diet, the constant desire to loose just a little more weight. It's like there is a small box the world has labeled WOMAN, and we are all trying to squeeze ourselves inside.

I don't know exactly when the lie begins in a woman's life, but somewhere in her early teen years she begins to become very aware of how she looks compared to others, and suddenly what used to be simply a part of who she is (a little bit of a tummy, curves) becomes not just undesired but BAD. If it's something she can't change (long legs that make her taller than everyone else), she believes the lie that all feminine girls are petite, and she hates her legs and her height, with the slight chance that later on in life she may appreciate her elegance. If it's something she can change (curly hair), she believes the lie that all pretty girls have long straight hair, and she works day and night trying new ways to make what she doesn't like like-able. 

When did we start believing the lie that how we are made isn't good enough?

As we get older, the lies we believe about ourselves continue to run the familiar track in our heads, deepening the already well-worn grooves. Sometimes things happen and the deep-seated beliefs about ourselves are confirmed, like the time a boy called me ugly (he actually called me a dog, the ultimate insult). I was heart-broken, but I believed that lie, and later, I came to believe that unless someone directly called me pretty, they too thought me to be unattractive. Does it make sense? No, but believing the lies doesn't make sense in the first place.

We've got to get out of the dark.

The dark keeps us from seeing the truth. But when we finally expose what we've been believing for ___ years to the truth, when we finally are able to flip on the light switch and flood our very being with The Truth, the lies are practically drowned by it. They can't survive. Sure, they keep trying to resurrect themselves, like zombies in a horror film, but here's something we all know about zombies: they aren't real. And neither are those lies.

You are beautiful. I am beautiful. We are all unique, made differently, made specifically, made just the way we were supposed to be made. We are lavishly loved by a gracious God who values who we are to the very core of our being, even when your second toe is longer than your big one. He cherishes our hearts, He loves our soul, and He provides a security that cannot be found anywhere else. It doesn't matter that I don't look like a Victoria's Secret model, because I am me. There is no other me, there is no other you, and we add value to the world.

I want to start living life, taking risks, expecting adventure, being free of the shackles of untruth that weigh me down. I've lived life half-way, one part of me wanting to be free, the other part holding tight to the conviction that that box labeled WOMAN must contain me.

Freedom. It's a beautiful thought.

It's also a reality.

Jesus didn't die on the cross and shed His innocent blood so I could continue to allow the world to define who I am, down to the very shade of lipstick I apply in the morning.

He died to set me free.

Free from lies, from assumptions, from narrow definitions of who I should be, from expectations, from stereotypes, from boxes labeled WOMAN.

There is one Truth: He made me. He defines me. My worth rests in who He says I am. My value is determined by Him. Not the world. Him.

And He says we are not worthless just because we don't fit in a narrow mold.  He gave up His life to show that we are worth everything to Him. We are His crown of jewels, the apple of His eye, the crown of His creation.

Valuable.

Significant.

Beautiful.
 

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