A topic I have been spending a lot of time thinking about lately has been that of beauty. Of what it means to be beautiful, what causes us to feel beautiful, and the sad reality that many girls (and women) don't feel beautiful themselves. It's amazing to me that beauty is so much more than what the world tells us is attractive and acceptable. That women that the world would see as gorgeous and beautiful can still feel so ugly and insecure inside. So that tells us that it starts with something beyond outward appearances. That beauty doesn't lie in the achievement of a "perfect body," a certain weight, flawless makeup, a cute outfit, or lovely hair. Beauty starts much deeper, in our hearts, and in the thoughts we've collected about ourselves.
I can't separate my thoughts and feelings about this (and many other topics) from my faith, so I will say what I know, and what has been true for me. But recently I have been so aware of how beautiful I feel. Part of me wants to feel embarrassed for admitting that, because it seems arrogant or prideful, but the other part of me wants to embrace it, relish in it, and shout it from the rooftops. Nothing outward about me has changed for me to feel that way, but it has come from an amazing realization that I am made perfectly and completely by the Creator of the entire universe. I hear Him speak words of affirmation, love, and acceptance over me and I know that He wouldn't have me any other way. He knows me fully and still chooses to love me, He knit me together in my mother's womb, called me wonderful, and thinks precious thoughts about me countless times a day (Psalm 139). He created me in His image (Genesis 1), gave me purpose, and destined me for great things. And it's in these truths that I found my beauty and worth.
I wish there was a way for me to sit face-to-face with every girl who feels ugly, insecure, or feels the need to search for validation of her beauty in the attention (bad and good) from a man, and tell her that she is beautiful just the way she is. That her worth lies in something much deeper and more valuable than the temporary compliments or looks she gets on a day-to-day basis. And even more than that, I want her to hear the words of Jesus telling her, "You are perfect just the way that you are, I delight in you and love you more than you'll ever know. I have a plan and a purpose and hope for your future."
So that is my prayer for you and all the women I know. That we would experience this beautiful truth and be women that shine with a beauty from within that this world could never touch. That we bring beauty and peace with us where ever we go, and commit to fight a strong and diligent battle to preserve our beauty by protecting our hearts and bodies. You are beautiful, and you are worth more than you ever know.
From my heart,