Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You Are Beautiful!


For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it.
For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it.
For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.




Ivan Panin

 



As a teenager, one of my best friends was a tall, gorgeous blonde with beautiful blue eyes, a pearly white smile and perfect skin.
Everyone loved her.



All the girls wanted to be her friend and the boys all wanted to be her boyfriend.

And then there was me…shy, awkward, and insecure.

I looked different than my friends with my dark, almost black hair, olive skin and dark almond shaped eyes .
I looked so different that at times I was mistaken for an exchange student.
I wasn’t athletic or smart (or so I believed).
Even my name was different. Oh how I wished it was Theresa, or Shelly, or Kim, or Lisa, or Wendy, anything but Lanette.
I felt like an outcast. I certainly didn’t feel special and I definitely did not feel beautiful!
Unfortunately for me and those who attempted to love me, those feelings followed me throughout my life.
It didn’t matter what anyone said, I didn’t see beauty when I looked in the mirror, only disappointment.
 
How many times have you looked in the mirror only to be disappointed at the image you see?
We think if only my nose were smaller, my teeth straighter or a bazillion other if only’s.
So often we are more critical when it comes to our own appearance than our worst enemy! Truthfully we are our own worst enemy!
 
We compare ourselves to others and think, if I could just look like her... it could be a friend, an acquaintance, or just someone we see in passing.
 
It becomes a dangerous game when we begin comparing ourselves to models and television and movie stars as we are constantly bombarded with images we fear
that we’ll never measure up to and most likely won’t, as many of them are airbrushed and altered to be more aesthetically pleasing.
 
 
The truth about those pictures we see of the flawless models has been exposed within minutes in videos that have been posted online and seen on different entertainment television news shows.

Although we’re all smart enough to know the truth about those pictures, we still attempt to alter our own appearance with the newest diet and exercise fads, pills, creams (how many infomercials do we see in a day?) and surgeries all in hopes of obtaining the same perfection.
Now if you’re one of the millions of people who have tried any or all of these things please don’t feel that I’m judging you, I’ve tried some too.
The problem isn’t with dieting and exercising or trying new things.
We should all strive to eat healthy and incorporate exercise into our daily habits and routines and we should care for our bodies and our appearance.
 
However, the way that we view ourselves and our appearance sometimes becomes so distorted that it develops into a full blown obsession and that’s when we cross the line.
And sadly some fall into the deep abyss of eating disorders and other dangerous phobias and addictions as the idea of perfection is always just out of reach.
All for the sake of beauty and acceptance.


It becomes more of a struggle as youth fades and is replaced by lines in our faces, silver streaks in our hair and the other changes that inevitably come as we begin to show our age.
We make the cliche' comments that we intend to grow old gracefully but who are we kidding? For many of us there is no grace involved. It’s a battle that we most often feel we’re losing! But we fight anyway, by coloring the unwanted gray highlighting our thinning tresses, we apply creams and lotions and do anything else we can to hold onto to the beauty that we struggled to believe was there to begin with.
 
What a vicious cycle.

But what if we looked past the imperfections?

Is it possible that our true beauty is in the imperfections, the very things that make us who He created us to be?
What if each time we glanced in the mirror we looked for the beauty God knitted in us? Would we see Him, our Creator, there?
 
Psalm 139:14
The Message (MSG)
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.



What if we began to look for the qualities that make us so wonderfully and beautifully unique and began speaking positive affirmations to the beauty found there.

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and since God calls us His Beloved, then our beauty is transformed by the eyes that behold it. 
 
And maybe, just maybe, by seeing Him and spending time in His presence, we'll see our transformation through His eyes as the reflection in the mirror becomes more and more a reflection of Him.




Will you join me in asking God to help us see our true beauty, the beauty He sees in us, the next time we look in our mirrors and attempt to be critical of what we see?


"There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty."
-Steve Maraboli





We were created by God, to be loved by Him and to love Him,


and in His eyes we are more than beautiful!

You. Are. Beautiful.







 

I'm linking up with Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart series on Wednesdays, or go to holleygerth.com please join us! Click HERE or go to www.holleygerth.com for more encouraging words!








 


8 comments:

  1. It seems our thoughts took similar paths with our posts! Loved this Lanette!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I love to see how God is connecting so many of us! Before Holley had posted what the next prompt would be God had already put "Beautiful" on my heart and had given me the message. Reading Holley's post today confirmed and connected it all!

      Delete
  2. Wow, Lanette! It is as if we wrote our respective posts while sitting next to one another, peeking over each others shoulder! Beautifully said!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Julie! Isn't it amazing that God put so many of the same thoughts on our hearts to share and encourage one another? Love that Holley connected us all :)

      Delete
  3. This was so beuatifully written Lanette! So blessed that Holley has connected us with such purpose. I can relate to so much you wrote here and I know so many other women can! Thank you for your wonderful words <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Veronica! I'm so excited to see how we all connect each week to encourage one another and others! The next writing prompt, You Are Not Alone, is already so true for all of us!
      Thanks for your encouraging words!

      Delete
  4. Perfectly written!! As time goes on, my gray hairs start peaking out and my metabolism slows; I have to remind myself I am wonderfully made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Misty! Yes, I have to frequently remind myself too :)

      Delete