Believing in Your Beauty

A friend of mine asked me once why I kept telling her she was beautiful.  My response was simple.  She needed to hear that she was beautiful, so I said, “I will tell you that you are beautiful in hopes that one day you will tell yourself that you are beautiful.”

Do you need to hear it today?

You are beautiful!

Do you need to hear it again?

You are beautiful!

I believe that we all need to have that spoken into our lives repeatedly.  There are so many messages to the contrary that we are bombarded with every day.  So many things negative thoughts that we speak to ourselves, about ourselves.

We need friends who will speak it to us, not in flattery, but with a grace filled genuineness and love soaked compassion.

We need to fully receive these words.  Once they have entered our ears we need to guard them all the way to our hearts, so they will not be shot down by the first negative thought or comment that comes along.

These words are like on-going nutrition for our hearts.  We are not just going to wake up one day and always believe that we are beautiful no matter what.  Like everything else of value in life, the belief that you are beautiful takes mental effort and on going commitment.

I can sit here and honestly tell you that I believe in my heart that I am a beautiful person.  I am.  I am a precious gift and a beautiful treasure.

I can also, very honestly, tell you that each hour I am awake, I have thoughts to the contrary.  I weigh more now than I have since I was loosing the weight I had gained during my last pregnancy.  I’m still quite far below my lifetime high weight, but my clothes are fitting a bit more snug than I would like.  The number of gray hairs on my head seem to be multiplying exponentially.  My skin just does not have quite the same youthful glow to it.  I can describe in specific detail all of the reasons that I should not consider myself beautiful.

But these things do not change the beauty of who I am as a person.  Some of them are simply an indicator of how long I have walked on this earth and the daily wear & tear my body goes through.  My weight and eating habits are an ongoing battle for me.  It’s not for lack of trying.  I’ve been working out multiple times a week and fighting harder to be consistent with my healthy eating habits.  As of right now, it’s not reflecting on the scale, but that is the output.  So I press on to focus more on my inputs; what am I eating & when, when am I moving & what am I doing.

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This may sound disturbing to some, but I actually like my gray hair.  I am proud of it and feel like I have earned each one.  “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.”  Proverbs 16:31 (NIV).  Not that I consider myself righteous, I’ve got such a long way to go in my journey and I make so many mistakes along the way.  But, what if my gray hairs could remind me instead of the times I have done right in this life.  What about their splendor?  Do you know what splendor means?  How about this definition from dictionary.com; brilliant or gorgeous appearance, coloring, magnificence.  That sure sounds like beauty to me.

Those are the external things.  How about the internal flaws?  Oh, I have so many of those.  I am inpatient.  I am a control freak.  I give essay answers to yes or no questions.  I babble.  I forget.  I drag on.  I make assumptions.  I judge.  I am a failure at so many things.

I would bet that if I asked you to make a list of all of the things about yourself that keep you from considering yourself to be beautiful it would be an easy list to make.  Those things float so often through our minds, they are right in the forefront and would come quickly.

But, what if we looked at ourselves through eyes of grace and of mercy.  What if we washed our minds free of the negative dirt, and gave it a good spring cleaning.  What if we polished our minds with the sweet oils of truth.  We are in fact beautiful.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.” 
Psalm 139:13-16 (Message)

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7 (NIV)

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.” 
Psalm 27:4 (NIV)

We are made in the image of the Lord.  He is a perfectly beautiful God.  In creating us in His image He blessed us with glimpses of His glorious beauty.

You are beautiful!

You are my dear reader.  You are beautiful.  You are amazing.  You are are stunning.  You are a precious gift.  You are a priceless treasure.  It is not based on what you can do or what you can not do.  It is not determined by where you have been or what you have done.  It is all about your identity as a child of God, woven together by His mighty, yet tender hand.  The beauty of God is reflected in your life.  Which means,

You are beautiful!

Today it is my hope for all of us that we believe it.

Dear, Sweet, Beautiful Lord,

Thank You so much for making each of us beautiful.  Thank you for the ways that You have made us in Your image, which is greater than anything that we can comprehend.  Lord, today I pray that this truth of beauty sinks deeper into the soil of our souls.  I pray that it finds nourishment there.  That it sprouts and blossoms into buds.  I pray that it ripens into the sweetest of fruits that will nourish ourselves, our families and the corners of the world that You have placed us in. 

May we recognize Your beauty, glory and holiness.  May we value the beauty that You have given to us.  In the splendid and radiant name of Jesus, amen. 

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