Monday, March 24, 2014

Pursuit of Beauty

Originally I was going to post something very quickly but everything I came up with seemed half hearted. So now, instead, I decided to look through some old journals and see if maybe God would like for me to post one of those. And I think He does. 
I will admit this one is hard for me to post because it's about my weakest point. I feel intensely vulnerable, but I believe it's worth it to get the message out there.
I have always struggled with my image. Everyone in my family knows that. 
            See, God had been working on me for months on the issue of believing I am just as beautiful as He sees me. And we had gotten pretty far. I began believing I was beautiful and began liking looking at myself in the mirror. I had stopped comparing myself so much, and I even started seeing more beauty in others! But all it took was a few comments, as well intentioned as they may have been, and all the insecurities came rushing on back. Now I didn’t want to even show them how it hurt me, because I was already vulnerable enough around them. So I swallowed it until I could sneak into the bathroom and cry to God.
            As I cried the Holy Spirit instantly reminded me of His love. And I knew it, I felt Him there, but all I can think of was to apologize. I apologized for letting a few comments backtrack what we had progressed so far on. I apologized for feeling so crappy when I knew how He felt about me. You see, I am well aware that satan is taking advantage of the situation to take me down. I am also well aware that I am not a very good warrior in this field yet. The Holy Spirit, being the comforter that He is, just stayed in the bathroom with me, loving me as I weeped, which is exactly what I needed right then. I wish I were able to say that this situation was a success story on my part, but I don’t believe it was. I believe that I should have immediately shot down the destructive thoughts in my mind and began declaring what His Word says about me. Nevertheless, I believe I will get there, and soon. I also believe this situation wasn’t a complete failure either. It wasn't just a pity party I had for myself. God taught me something through it as well.
            After my crying in the bathroom, God said “now go to my Word and read what it says about you. Read Proverbs 31”. I knew what Proverbs 31 was. It’s the chapter about the virtuous wife. I thought it strange that God wanted me to read about being a virtuous wife when I’m not even in a relationship. Regardless, I obeyed, because He was really just training me so that I could begin to practice virtue. As I began reading God said “Is there any part of this chapter that says a noble wife is thin?” And I said “no”. “What does it say?” And then He began pointing out the characteristics I did have, such as bringing good and not harm (v. 12), working diligently (v. 13), helping the poor and needy (v. 20), being clothed with dignity (v. 25), giving faithful instruction (v. 26). Then, came verse 30: “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”. God showed me that my value did not come in what I looked like, but that true value came from fearing and honoring Him.

            I’d love to say that now all my issues are solved in this area, but I know that’s not true. I need to continue clothing myself in the strength that comes from believing what God says over me OVER what humans say.
            In complete honesty this post is a cry out to the young girls of my generation. One of the devil's master plans this century is to make girls think they're ugly. Satan is convincing us of a lie. Don't let him have his victory. We need to see the beauty God sees in us, and we need to tell our sisters of the beauty we see in them, because encouragement goes a long way! Just as one comment was so destructive for me, one (truthful) complement can be incredibly constructive!
            So join me in this battle and let's fight together rather than against each other. Let's stop comparing ourselves and start preparing ourselves for our wonderful Groom that is Jesus Christ! 

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