My last post: 30 weeks @ 31, I got caught up in my outer appearances. Mainly the fact that when you have a baby, you gain weight! I feel icky about how much emphasis I have been putting on the changes that parts of my body are going through aside from my belly. After I posted it, the Lord kept reminding me that my outer appearances are fleeting. They don't last and they have no eternal value.
Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;This post on the Young Married Life blog even further pushed me to reflection and repentance. I am very thankful that God led me there this morning.
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
What spoke to me great was this:
"Whatever you're struggling to accept about yourself, realize that it is part of who you are for a reason. And it doesn't hinder true beauty — the kind that draws people to Jesus through you. Let the Lord inform your opinion on what is beautiful. Then you will shine."Read the post below, I just copied it onto here.
What makes people feel beautiful ... or not?
For me it was my flawed skin that made me feel unbeautiful for years. I wrote about it in "Beauty Skin Deep:"
I think most women suffer from insecurities about their bodies — weight, body shape, waist size — but to have your biggest imperfection be your face is especially demoralizing. Psalm 34:5 says: "Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame."
For me, it felt opposite. My face was a source of shame. During college I became so discouraged that I cut my beauty routine to the bare essentials — foundation and a ponytail. I basically lost hope in my attractiveness. It wasn't a godly loss of pride; it was a stubborn belief that I was not pretty and nothing I could do would change that.
With maturity, came greater confidence (as one friend put it, "In your 30s you get over yourself"), but the fact that I would probably never have good skin nagged at me. Before I was married, when dates were few and far between, I inwardly assumed my "ugly" skin played a part. I'd become skilled at covering up the blemishes, but a part of me definitely felt like an outsider to the truly beautiful.
The thing I came to realize was that these feelings were selfish. God made me to be a vessel for His use. And He calls the vessel wonderful (Ps. 139:14). When I deny that and get all caught up in a pity party about my outward appearance, I miss God-given opportunities to minister. I can even frustrate my husband when I refuse a sincere compliment from him on my beauty. A joyful response blesses my husband. Realizing that my insecurities about my physical appearance can actually hinder God's great plan was a breakthrough for me.
Regardless of my own opinion on my looks, God desired to use me to minister to others. And that required looking them in the face — without shame — and being that radiant reflection of the One who filled me with hope and life. After all, God was the one who had created me with my flawed-skin genes. As much angst as it had caused me, there was a purpose in it.
Maybe for you, acne isn't the issue. Maybe another physical characteristic is causing you to count yourself out from among the beautiful. Whatever you're struggling to accept about yourself, realize that it is part of who you are for a reason. And it doesn't hinder true beauty — the kind that draws people to Jesus through you. Let the Lord inform your opinion on what is beautiful. Then you will shine.
[Thanks to you at Young Married Life!]