Put your make up on
Get your nails done
Curl your hair
Run the extra mile
Keep it slim
So they like you. Do they like you?
Stress. Stress. Stress. This past month has just been building up with assignments and resposibilities and work, work, work.
Yet in the midst of it all, I sometimes pause to look in the mirror. I smile widely, but not because I’m happy; it’s to sigh at my still crooked teeth and misaligned jaw. I look at my waist and wonder if it’s grown wider. I frown at how my glasses make me look like some strict, rule-abiding student dictator.
Then I think about the other girls at school. I wonder how come I can’t be like them. Elegant, beautiful and intelligent – they carry themselves like queens and princesses. Gentle, caring and radiant – they are the perfect role models. I envy them for being someone I’m not, someone I want to be. Next to them, I feel like an awkward child, just learning the ropes of womanhood.
So I try to go the extra mile. I spend more time on my hair, trying to tame the stubborn strands that curl in the wrong direction. I put on contacts so hopefully, my eyes look bigger and brighter. I walk into class hoping someone notices. And when they do, I get a small feeling of victory as I tell myself that ‘Yes, I’m one more step to being beautiful.’
Then one day, I was just texting a dear brother-in-Christ. And out of the blue, he told me that he had forgotten to say something to me that day: “You are beautiful.”
I felt like crying. I’m pretty sure I did. No guy had ever told me that before – so bluntly, so simply. And it wasn’t because I had finally reached some awesome goal of being beautiful, but I was finally able to start accepting something I should’ve known all along – I am beautiful. With or without my makeup. With or without my dangling earrings. With or without my glasses.
Sometimes, I still struggle with accepting myself and telling myself that I am beautiful. Once in a while, I still see those girls and wonder why I can’t be as pretty as them. But now I am more assured, more confident of my own unique beauty.
As it says in Psalm 139:14, ‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ I know that I am beautiful because my Creator, Abba Father, has made me beautiful. And I will always be beautiful in His eyes.
And I know that He not only looks at my outward appearances but at my heart. And I pray that my heart will become more and more beautiful each day as I spend time with Him, obey Him and let Him mold me.
My prayer for all of us is that we will always remember that we are beautiful / handsome just the way we are. We don’t have to try so hard to look like other people, or act like them. Instead, we should look inwards, and work towards shaping a beautiful heart, one that will shine for and glorify the Lord.
May the Shalom of the Lord be with you.
You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to bend until you break
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing