Here are some things I've learned about myself recently and am happy to share with you. I pray you will be strengthened in your own journeys. Read the last post for the full story.
You ARE beautiful... And its likely that nobody else is unsure of that fact about you. It's not like trusting God means that you admit that you are actually hideous but that God is like a Grandma with bad eyes who couldn't care less how you look because either way she thinks you are perfect. It's not like that. You actually look great. You have lovely features and we all see it. Even the devil sees it. He is called "the father of lies" which means all he does is tell you lies that will lead to your destruction. Lies like:
- you are unattractive
- you are not desirable
- your friends are better than you
- no ones wants you
- you look too old to be beautiful
- you look too fat to be beautiful
You get it.
But really, physically, you are quite lovely. The Bible teaches though that we are not to merely get our beauty from outward things, like makeup and nice clothes, because those things are fleeting. They are fun but ultimately they are meaningless. Looking to the world to determine what beauty is will be exhausting because it is constantly changing and few ever meet "the standard".
You don't have to prove anything. No one is looking at your photos to decide whether or not you are beautiful. They won't be clicking on your next profile picture and think to themselves, "oh wow, now I see that she is beautiful". And IF there are people doing that, it is undoubtedly because they are struggling with insecurity more than you and I are. Photos are simply to capture fun moments. It's okay to want to look great in them... But a photo DOES NOT determine your beauty. You can take the most physically attractive people and toss them into a photo with some harsh lighting and a strange angle and I promise even they will look strange. Photos are just photos. You do not need to freak out when you see a bad photo of yourself. It doesn't mean anything.
You also don't need to walk into situations wondering whether or not you are good enough. You are enough.
My friend told me once, "Who you are in Christ is exactly enough for what He has called you to."
Don't worry about what the people around you are thinking, most everyone is thinking so much about themselves that they don't even have the capacity to think about you too. We all struggle. The best thing that I have learned to do is to speak out the positive things we see in other people. It changes the atmosphere in a room. Try it! When you are in a place and you are tempted to feel insecure, look for something to compliment in someone else. If there is someone in the room that makes you feel particularly inferior, compliment her.
Smiling, encouraging, laughing, loving, serving... These are all beautiful qualities. Focus more on these things than you do on outward things. People will remember you more for these things than they will for your thin waist or clear complexion.
As females we are carriers of beauty. Taking care of ourselves physically is a big part of that. Enjoy it. God loves to adorn His daughters because it brings Him glory. Like when I see adorable little baby girls, dressed in the cutest outfits ever, I don't compliment the baby as if she picked out her clothes. I compliment the mommy. The baby girl is a reflection of her mommy. Well it's like that with God too. I often pray for Him to dress me. To take care of my hair. My skin. My makeup. My shoes. I want everything about me to reflect Him. It's more fun that way. If He can dress the flowers and the sunsets and the snowflakes here in Michigan... Surely He can help me know what to buy and what to wear. And actually most everything I own is a gift. In September I prayed for jeans and was given a garbage bag full of designer jean samples. Every pair fit either me or my sister. I'm wearing a pair of Michael Kors boots. A friend gave them to me. Shaun and I often laugh about the fact that it is not rare for me to have days where literally everything I wear has been given to me by someone else... Undies and all. He provides haircuts too. In the last few years I have been totally blessed with great haircuts and coloring.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying God always blesses me with designer products. I'm also not saying that nice hair and clothes are a sign of His blessing. I could be dressed the same way but actually have a heart that is greedy, and wasting my money on things He doesn't intend to give me. I have had times of God dressing me in places like India but I was makeup-less, dirty, and definitely not a style icon. But the joy I felt was the same... Because even dressed like that, I was bringing God glory and He was affirming my beauty.
Jesus tells us not to worry about things like clothes because God already knows what we need. He says to "Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven (the plans and purposes of God) and His righteousness (meaning being like Christ) and all these things (like clothes, food, material needs...) will be added to you."
So my beautiful friends... I know this post was all over the place but I'm praying that you will be encouraged by it. Insecurity issues distract us from the greater things in life.
I pray that especially in this Christmas season you will be able to see yourself as God sees you. Totally capable. Qualified. Lovely. Beautiful.
And as He reveals these truths to you may you be strengthened to share the love of Christ with others. Be bold sweet girls. Don't hide the light of Christ within you.
Life is short. Press on toward the goal that has been set before you.
"Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that."
1 Corin. 1:7-9 the message.
Sending you Christmas cheer from Rochester Hills, Michigan!