Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Want to Be Beautiful

When my little sister was three years old, she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. Without hesitation she responded, “Beautiful.” I love remembering her confidence in that moment.

Beauty is something I have worked for since I can remember. As a child I felt beautiful when my hair was long and I was wearing my mom’s high heeled shoes that clicked so nicely as I walked through the kitchen. When I became a teenager beauty was defined by how well I could apply my makeup and whether or not boys took a second look after I walked by. College came and the beautiful girls were all fiercely independent without a need for anyone else’s approval.

At this point, you would think that I could see how shallow and temporary all of these definitions are, but I find myself continuously returning to them when my confidence slips. If I’m honest with myself, I still find comfort in fancy clothes, hair that behaves, a lack of zits, and the ability to take care of myself. In the moments when these things are out of reach, I start to compare myself to other women and wish I was someone else. I forget where true beauty comes from.

My God is generous and gracious enough to remind me. He says, “Why do you worry about your clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin…If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:28, 30 NIV). I am also reminded to “cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in” (1 Peter 3:4 MSG). My beauty comes from being loved by God; I’ve noticed when my focus shifts from worrying about myself to thanking God for what He has done for me and doing what He has asked of me I am able to have a much more lasting impact. It matters less that people notice my face or my clothes and more that they recognize Christ’s love. I want the beauty God has given me to be the kind that recognizes beauty in others and draws it out.

Today, may you recognize that God’s love makes you beautiful.

Lindsay Hale

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