Thursday, January 20, 2011
Do You Think I'm Beautiful?
I am so thankful that my beauty is not defined by anyone else other than the Lord! There have been so many times in my life where I can recall the deep shame I felt for who I was and what I looked like.
Middle school is hard no matter who you are, however each year I was in middle school my family moved. Three different times I tried to make friends and just as I would finally feel like I was fitting in, Mom and Dad would announce that once again we were moving. Yes, I was angry about this, but we can save that for another blog post.
In fifth or sixth grade we lived in upstate New York. One of our neighbors, a man by the name of Bill, said something to me that I have never forgotten. He told me that I had a double chin. I am sure I did have a double chin, because I was overweight at the time. However, his words hurt me a lot and I can still feel their sting today. As a result, I have been self conscious about this every since!!
As I have grown in my walk with the Lord, I know that others cannot define my beauty. I try to walk in the truth of what God’s word says about me, but Satan uses these memories to pick on me when I am vulnerable.
Friends, please read the devotional below. It was such an encouragement to me. I know that we all have had encounters like the one I described, but I needed to be reminded that the Lord is the one who made me and His opinion is the only one that matters!
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Do You Think I’m Beautiful?
18 Jan 2011
"The king is enthralled by your beauty..."
Psalm 45:11 (NIV)
My sons and I dance in the kitchen as we put away dishes while loud music blares. The sanctuary of our home is the only place I can dance without embarrassing them lately, a fact which usually doesn't stop me from car dancing when a good song comes on.
Besides, today I would dance anywhere because I'm in a dancing mood.
Why? I got a new pair of boots. And these are not sensible, forty-something year-old boots. These boots are high-heeled and impractical. Today they make me feel beautiful.
I hope you don't dismiss this devotion because you want to tell me real beauty comes from within. I know. Please keep reading.
I remember another pair of boots that made me feel beautiful once upon a time. Somehow I had convinced Granny to buy me what was the height of cool and grown-up in third grade: Go-go boots. They were white with a bit of a heel, zipped up the side, and stretched up my leg to just below the knee. Mere walking was not good enough for those boots—I pranced.
After going out to dinner, I strutted my nine-year-old self around in those boots, laughing and twirling, intoxicated with the attention from the adults along with the delicious satisfaction of feeling beautiful.
Do you remember a moment like this? Whether in third grade or in our third-plus decade, our feminine hearts long to feel beautiful, don't they?
Sometimes we hide from this longing. We wonder if a good Christian woman is vain if she admits she wants to feel beautiful. Shouldn't we be more concerned with our character than our outward beauty? Besides, every woman knows how easily we can be filled up with attention and admiring looks one minute, but deflated and insecure the next.
I remember vividly how that night in third grade, prancing in my go-go boots, ended with feeling just that, deflated. In the blink of an eye the enchanted night evaporated when an older relative rebuked me with her sharp comment: "That's enough. Quit showing off like that and come sit down." And that's what I did for the rest of the night. Quiet, ashamed, no longer feeling beautiful.
As little girls, and big girls, our beauty sometimes gets buried beneath critical comments like that of my relative. Or, it becomes the victim of our duty-filled lives, broken hearts and unfulfilled desires. So we try to discard our longing by telling ourselves that physical beauty is a useless pursuit.
But deep down this doesn't ring true.
I think what's more true is this: We don't want to be admired exclusively for our outer beauty, nor do we want it dismissed.
We desire to display both inner and outer beauty. One without the other is not really who we are, and we want someone to see who we really are. What we really long for is for someone to be enchanted with our entire being, our very essence.
What if instead of discarding this longing to be admired for our beauty, we embrace it? What if we recognize this longing as a God-given desire which distinguishes our feminine heart?
When I turn this over in my mind and heart, I find something incredible: Not only does God give us this desire, He also satisfies it. You see, the King is enthralled with our beauty (Psalm 45:11).
The King sees me completely. He sees the effort I put into creating a scrapbook of my teenager or revising a writing submission until the words line up perfectly. He sees me taking time to encourage a friend, or love my husband. And He sees my efforts to exercise and take care of my body.
Our heavenly Father is the One who created and fulfills the longing of our hearts. God sees us inside and out, and He's not disappointed or critical. He is delighted and enthralled. By you!
The King is enthralled with our beauty. That's why I'm dancing in my new boots today. Won't you join me? Put on your favorite stylish shoes, crank the tunes, and dance. His eyes are on you!
Dear Lord, nothing makes me more beautiful than Your love. Thank You for being a Heavenly King who sees me completely and loves my whole essence. In Jesus' Name, Amen.