In just a few days, I am headed to Florida for a family vacation, and I’m excited, but I’m also a bit anxious. I love getting together with family I haven’t seen in a while, and the beach is my happy place. It’s just that going to the beach implies wearing a bathing suit.
That is not a pleasant thought and fills me with anxiety–and just being honest here–some shame.
Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever imagine in your head that people are judging your appearance? I know I do and the thought of having most of my body out in the sunlight makes me want to hide.
Why do we fear what people might (or might not) be thinking about our appearance?
I want to stop thinking like this. I want to be at peace with how I look. I want to be content and comfortable with my body. I want to see me in the same way my Creator sees me? How about you?
We can look at this in two ways.
The first perspective is judging ourselves through the standards of the world.
Society seems to say that if you are not shopping in the juniors department, you are less than beautiful. The world says that aging is for old useless people. Media tells us we are not beautiful unless we are tall and skinny and have long blonde locks with perfect spiraling curls. Honesty again–if that is the standard we are striving for, we will be disappointed. Some of us may get there, but for the majority of us–no way. It’s not the way God made us.
If you are a fifty-something mom of three boys, working hard to keep a home, a job and the yard mowed, (like me) perfect curls and skinny jeans will never fit. Ever. (Can I get an Amen?!!)
We (I) want to meet the world’s standards. We (I) want to fit in. But the harder we (I) try, the farther away from these impossible standards we (I) fall.
Are you tired of striving for something that will never be? What if you are already beautiful and unique and a masterpiece?
The second way we can look at this is through the eyes of our Creator.
To Him, we are the daughter of the One True King. We are clothed in dignity and worth far more than rubies.
No, my body is not ideal, but I am the woman God made me to be, which makes me ideal. I am where God wants me to be. I am–you are–a masterpiece, ideally created by a perfect God. God does not look at our size; He looks at our heart.
The Lord does not look at the things the world finds beautiful. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
The measure of our beauty is not our dress size and hair color. The measure of our beauty is the love of God that is in us.
Exchanging the world view for this reality will not be easy and seems quite impossible. That doesn’t make it any less true. But we (I) have to try.
I want to be at peace with my body. It’s a good body. It has taken me places and held up through some pretty terrible times. It’s seen things and been places. I want to believe I am beautiful, not because I fit a worldly standard but because God, in his holy perfection, says I am. He says I am a beautiful daughter of the One True King and you are, too!
I’ve been thinking about how to get to this place of peace, and I think the first step is to believe what God says about us. Not just head knowledge of His truth, but truly understanding, applying, and living out the truth of how God sees us.
In Holley Gerth’s book, What’s True About You, she says, “What if we chose to see ourselves differently–the way God sees us? What if we asked God for His perspective–for His help understanding the purpose for each feature He’s given us? (Check out the Resources below for more about her book.)
She adds, “He says we’re wonderfully made. A divine design. A work of art. Who you are and how you look is intentional. Chosen with care.”
Let that sink in–who you are and how you look is intentional. Whenever you feel less than beautiful and doubt the magnificent woman you are, repeat these words:
I am beautiful. I am beautiful. Say it with me–I am beautiful.
We need to replace those self-defeating, untrue thoughts with the truth that we are a divine design, perfect in every way. Also, let’s help each other–tell the women in your life how beautiful they are. Let’s remind each other where our beauty lies, not in the standards of the world but in the arms of God. Let’s start a beauty revolution. Let’s turn world standards upside down. (And the crowd goes wild–Yay!)
Are you in?
A word of caution–knowing and understanding this truth is not a license to stop taking care of ourselves. As with any gift from God, we are to practice good stewardship, which means eating right, exercising, and seeing your doctor regularly. Take care of the body God gave you.
Nor, I believe, does it mean that we can’t take steps to help us feel better about ourselves. Get a new do, a new pair of jeans, a bright lipstick, a pedicure or whatever makes you feel good. I always feel beautiful when I get my hair colored and cut and a new pair of jeans in my size that fit like a glove–those a few of the things that help me feel beautiful. What helps you feel beautiful?
Another reminder from Holley’s book, “In God’s eyes, size doesn’t equal significance.” You are important to me, your friends, family, and children, and especially, your God.
It’s a long drive to Florida from here, and I’m hoping that with the help of God and by working hard to squelch that self-defeating voice I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the sand and sun–in a bathing suit.
Here’s to all of my girlfriends and sisters in Christ–YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
Father, thank you for the opportunity to be honest about my anxiety. Thank you that we are wonderfully made and that you knew us before the foundation of the earth was formed. Help us to see what you see. Show us the delicate, perfect features of our design that make us a work of art, a masterpiece in your eyes. Amen.
What makes you feel and know your are beautiful?
Please, leave me a COMMENT below.
CHECK OUT THESE RESOURCES:
You can find Holley Gerth’s book, What’s True About You, HERE. It’s a sweet little book filled with over 50 truths from scripture about who we are. It would make an excellent gift.
Also, another excellent book for dealing with our “thought closet,” or those self-defeating thought patterns is Jennifer Rothchild’s Me, Myself, and Lies. I have read this book multiple times and probably need another read. Check it out HERE.
(Just so you know, I am an Amazon affiliate, so take a look at my disclaimer, please.)