Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Never Thought I Was Beautiful

When I was a little girl, even as young as 4 or 5 years old, I remember feeling really insecure when it came to outward beauty. One day on the Kindergarden playground, a girl who was older, started picking on me.  The only thing I could think of at the time, was that I must be ugly. 

Another time I remember getting in trouble from my parents. I stormed into the bathroom. Looking in the mirror, I remember feeling disgusted. "It's because I'm ugly", I thought. "Who would have compassion on an ugly kid?"

Its not that my parents ever made comments to me to tear me down, but looking around, at all my other friends, and my siblings, I never thought I had much to compete with. 

Lets just say, I was always hoping that one day this ugly duckling, would become something beautiful. 

My dad had always stressed to me the importance of inner beauty, and so I guess thats where I always ended up. Working on my character instead. 

What is my point in all of this? 

Fast forward to today,! Many years have elapsed since elementary, junior high, or  high-school. I must admit, it wasn't until my mid twenties that I actually started to feel comfortable with who I am. Its strange, at the time, highs-school seemed like it was my life. Amazing how the time flies, and I rarely see any of my peers. Still, it doesn't mean the pressure isn't there all around us, every day, for women to be beautiful.

You may ask, "Amy... are you STILL insecure? Or do you now think you're beautiful?"

I have generally ignored this question my whole life. I'm not sure why. I guess as the years went on, I really didn't care. If I'm VERY honest with myself, I think I always saw my younger sister as the more beautiful one. She has the blue eyes, the darker skin, ...the perfect smile. 

Part of me thinks, well... if God made me this way, I should be thankful. I should delight. I guess the only answer I can think of is, if we compare ourselves to eachother, we might always find someone more or less beautiful. Beauty is also in the eye of the beholder, so who's to know? 

How about I ask a better question. What do I even consider beautiful? The older I get, the more and more it looks like the same thing the Word of God says:

Proverbs 31:30
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
      But a woman 
who fears the LORD, she shall be praised

Its funny, this is how I was raised, and this is what I always return to. When I see Jesus inside someone else, there isn't anything to me that could be more beautiful. How often have we known someone who was absolutely gorgeous, but because of their character, they became ugly to us?

I think if people were to look at me and see something only surface, never see the love of God, it would be my greatest regret. Even when I look at guys, the most attractive ones have been those who reflect the heart of God. There is a deeper beauty that this world shys away from. Media today just sells sex. Body parts are becoming so exposed, so exploited, ...there is no substance, no lasting fulfilment. 

I Peter 3:4
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Let me tell you this, if you see any happy couples, loving each other way into old age, I'm pretty sure its not because they think they are hot stuff. Love is so much deeper. When you love someone, it is about loving their soul, their spirit, their mind. 

Ladies, if you spend all your life TRYING to attract the opposite sex by flaunting yourself, you will ALWAYS be needing to do that. And where will you draw the line? If  you think that by dressing provocatively you will be saving yourself time, because all the guys will flock to you, I question which kinds of guys you are actually attracting.

What do I think is beautiful? I'll say it again:

A meek and quiet spirit. A person who fears God. 

To me, beautiful is the person that everyone loves, and feels loved by, and all the while, that person has no clue just how many lives they have impacted!