I am not what you would call 'stunningly beautiful'. I am probably not even considered 'really pretty'.
Ever since I was younger, but old enough to choose my own clothes, talk with my friends instead of playing dolls all the time, and pretty much act somewhat grown up, I have always been extremely conscious about my outward looks.
I come from a family who is big boned and 'hefty'. In other words, we aren't petite. My dad's side is like this, any way. My mom's side is more of the typical human build.
My Dad and Papa (grandpa) have the biggest hands any one has ever seen (ok, that I have ever seen). Many friends of mine have said that if they shake my Dad's hand, their hand feels 'lost'. Papa's, Dad's, and now my brother, Josh, have those type of hands which were built to work. They are muscular, strong, and pretty much just big.
My Mom has delicate, long, slender hands. I think they are beautiful. My Nana (mom's mom) has the same kind of hands. So does my Aunt on my mom's sister.
Dad has those wonderful broad shoulders, big muscular build, and tall height.
Mom is of smaller, feminine build, and fairly tall in height.
Why all this comparison? Well, I have always admired my mom's side of the family. I love both sides, of course, but there was something else about mom's side that I admired.
When I was born, I got most of the genes from my Dad's side of the family. I have a large build, am big boned, 'hefty', and have big hands. I also got the 'lovely' thing called 'big feet'. I did get my mom's 'just right height', but I didn't get her lovely red hair. (super bummed about that!).
So, when I began getting older, I became very conscious about myself. I walked around with my shoulders slumped, hoping to hide from everyone, and hoping no one would really take notice of me. I hated getting new clothes sometimes because anything that was 'cute' was always too small, or made me look even fatter. Being 'hefty' and not so slender means that I can't wear my shirts tucked in, or wear dresses. Ok, I 'could' because nobody is forcing me not to, but I know I don't look good in them.
Eventually I hated going any wear. I hated going shopping and usually never went in with my family. I would opt to stay out in the car, watching people walk by, admiring different passersby.
This became my life. Hiding from everyone and hoping no one would notice me too much. I hated going any where public. If it wasn't just our close friends, then forget it.
After several years of this terrible, no-one-look-at-me stage, I finally started coming around. (he-he!)
I started realizing that it doesn't really matter what people think of you. What DOES matter is what God thinks of you. So what if I don't wear the newest fashion of mini skirts? Does it matter? Yes! It matters because of the reason why I choose to wear or not wear something. I began to realize that God doesn't care if you don't 'look good' in that pink dress. What He does care about is if you are dressing to please Him. To be a modest maiden and not care what the world thinks of you.
So, my story? Well, after realizing this, I began to enjoy going places. I didn't mind so much any more what people thought of me. I walked with my shoulders back, head held high, nose turned slightly up... ok, I didn't go THAT far... But I did start doing things differently. I became more confident in myself. Of course, I still had a little nagging thought every once in a while. If someone told me I looked beautiful, I was elated because I was never quite sure if I DID look beautiful or not, and I was still yearning a little bit for that outward praise.
Lately I had been going strong in my convictions about not caring what the world or people thought of me, but what God thought of me..... that is... until I was at a certain event. Introducing Home school convention.
Home school convention used to be one of my most hated times of year. Why? Because I was going to a public place with tons of people I didn't know. I usually tried to hide behind our table, or go to different places quickly and with my head down.
This year I was really looking forward to it. I was confident about myself. Well, during the three day long event, I was surrounded by beautiful, slender, fashionable young ladies. At first it didn't bother me, but by the end of convention, I was feeling bad about myself again.
After getting home, God began to gently remind me of what really matters. I was doing fine again until today. I was looking at a blog. This blog had several pictures of the owner: an adorable young lady. She was cute, she was fashionable, her hair looked perfect, and she had an infectious smile. I was instantly jealous. Thoughts flooded my head. The enemy was closing in. 'How come I can't ever look that pretty?' 'Why can't my hair look that nice?' 'Why can't I be slender and fit like her?' 'Why can't I choose more fashionable clothes while still being modest?' 'How come I don't have dimples when I smile?' 'How come I can't be photogenic?'
Yes, all of those words hit my brain and I began to sink. Why couldn't I be more beautiful? Why couldn't MY hair look perfect all the time? Why couldn't MY face look clear instead of blotchy?
The enemy was definitely closing in. They thought they would get me. They had the upper hand for sure! However, they forgot one tiny detail... I had back up. I had something much better than their weapons. I had prayer. After closing down the blog and wallowing in self pity for a little while, I once again realized something. It doesn't matter what the world and people think. It only mattered what He thought. After praying, I was able to beat back my enemy with my Lord's help.
Realizing that what God thinks is what matters can be difficult. I should say, it is easy to know it, but hard to apply it to our daily lives.
Beauty come from within, ladies! I remember meeting someone once... She was beautiful. But she wasn't beautiful physically. I remember first meeting her thinking that she was beautiful, but I just couldn't figure out where. Later, I realized that she had a 'radiating' beauty. Something that came from deep within her was radiating through her face, eyes, smile, everything! She had a heart on fire for the Lord. It made her beautiful.
God's love for me is the same whether I am slender, fit, and beautiful, or chunky, 'out of shape', and not so pretty. His love should radiate in you so much that you shine. Be beautiful for Him, not for the world! It's His opinion that matters, not some make up artist or facial cleanser product.
So what if we may not be beautiful to the world? Guess what? We are beautiful in God's eyes........ and that's all that matters.
In Christ's Service,