A momma’s ears perk up when she hears sniffles coming from her young teenager’s bedroom.
Opening the door, more than sniffles were happening inside. She was sitting on the floor, tears streaming down her face. Crying to the point where no words could make their way to the surface.
After a long embrace, the words a mother is never prepared to hear trickled through my daughter’s tears,
“Why am I not pretty? Why am I not skinny?”
My tears joined hers. All this momma saw was beauty in this daughter of mine. Beauty inside and out. A caring, compassionate, independent personality. Talent beyond compare. A heart bigger than Texas. Blue sparkling, nearly mesmerizing eyes. Hair as spectacular as Snow White’s. A flawless complexion. A strong and wonderfully hand-crafted body.
She was nearly perfection in my eyes.
I had no idea she had been struggling with such feelings. Walls slowly crumbled that evening as we talked about truth, and how amazing God created my daughter. How beautiful she really was. And how going through the early teenage years can change our bodies, our emotions, and our thoughts. Especially about ourselves.
That evening was nearly eight years ago. I remember it as if it was last year.
I know full-well my daughter hasn’t been the only teen to ever struggle with seeing herself as beautiful. Goodness, the messages the world sends our young–both girls and boys–is messed-up. It tells us to be beautiful (or handsome) we need to be a certain size, have a certain color and length of hair, wear certain trendy clothing, hide our flaws, eat certain foods. The list goes on and on.
As we age, it gets even tougher to continue to jump through those hoops. We buy into the latest fad diet or whatever will make us “skinny” (or muscular for the guys), we’ll purchase wrinkle creams and makeup to cover our flaws, and pay big bucks on clothing to hide our less-than-perfect bodies.
Oh, and yes, we do whatever we can to hide the gray strands now adorning our heads.
I’m not implying I don’t do these things, because I do. I want to fight this aging thing as much as the next person. I want to take care of the body God has given me. But if our beauty is based solely on outward appearances, and succumbing to the notion we need to do these things to be beautiful, we’ve slipped far from God’s standard of beauty.
God sees each of us as beautiful.
You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless. Song of Solomon 4:7
Yes, your Creator made you absolutely beautiful.
How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful! Your eyes are like doves. Song of Solomon 1:15
If the world, or someone in your life, or even yourself tells you differently, remember this truth. His beauty exudes through you and in how He created you. You don’t have to fit into a certain mold, or do a certain thing to be beautiful. You already are.
And your beauty is more than skin deep, my friend.
Each time you live out your faith and share it with others, that is beauty. Take a look:
How beautiful is the person who comes over the mountains to bring good news, who announces peace and brings good news, who announces salvation and says to Jerusalem, “Your God is King.” Isaiah 52:7
And as you continue to walk hand-in-hand with Jesus through your days, it gets even better:
You will be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, a king’s crown in the hand of your God. Isaiah 62:3
Even though these promises were spoken to the people of Israel years ago, we can cling to them today.
Over the years God has continued to reminded my daughter just how beautiful is. She’s grown into an even more beautiful woman… inside and out. This momma couldn’t be more proud to be her mother.
Today I pray God gives you a glimpse of how beautiful you are to Him. I pray you are able to embrace your true, authentic, God-given beauty.
Friend, you are beautiful. Incredibly beautiful.
I’m celebrating you today.
It’s Day 19 of 31 Days #CelebratingWhoYouAre. A beautiful creation… that is what you are. I’m praying we can each see ourselves in that light this day. What’s one beautiful characteristic you can celebrate about yourself today? (It’s not being boastful or proud.) I’ll start: I’m celebrating the beauty God blessed me with in a heart that is drawn to the hurting and homeless. (Linking this post up with Crystal for Intentional Tuesday.)