I slipped on my best dress, used as many beauty products on my face as possible, and straightened my curly locks until they looked like sleek perfection. It was girls night, and I was set on looking my absolute best.
My husband caught a glimpse of me and told me I looked beautiful. I responded with a quick thank you, as our usual routine, then returned to doing a full-body check to make sure I looked exactly right (completely letting that compliment go in one ear and out the other).
I slowly turned and looked at every inch of where my dress laid to make sure there were no noticeable bumps, or abnormal body shapes. I then proceeded to run my fingers through my hair and got face-to-face with the mirror to look at every detail of my face – especially to make sure those pesky dark circles and eye wrinkles were masked as much as possible.
Forgetting my husband was in the room, I heard a little giggle from behind me.
“You sure do look at every little detail, don’t you?” My husband said with a smirk on his face.
“I guess I’m just self-conscious of the little things,” I responded.
“Well, you look gorgeous to me.”
Somehow, God taught me a lesson right then and there.
You see, my husband did not see the little flaws I saw because he looks at me as a whole and thinks I am beautiful. Even as I stood there focusing on every flaw, my husband stood there admiring my every move.
This is very similar to my relationship with God. His word tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. He calls me beautiful and beloved. Yet, I can hear those words over and over again and still turn to the mirror to pick out my imperfections. Just like my husband’s words, I let God’s words go in one ear and out the other. I view myself through a mirror of self-hate rather than God’s mirror.
I come to God and say, “But look at these imperfections in my heart. Look at the ugly.”
He looks at me and says, “Look at all the beauty I created.”
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them..” Genesis 1:27(NIV)
It can be a difficult thing to break a life-long habit of self-destruction and self-hate. Words that were said to me at a young age continue to repeat in my head to this day. Things like “You’ll be as big as a house and never find a husband if you keep eating those cookies” constantly remind me that my body weight and physical appearance need to take priority. Those feelings were heightened when my chronic illness made me gain significant weight. My outer appearance determined whether I was worthy of love from others.
However, God’s word tells me otherwise.
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you..” Song of Solomon 4:7 (ESV)
You see, from the moment I was created, God began a work in me – molding me perfectly into a unique creation. He continues to mold and shape me each and everyday, making me more beautiful than the day before. His definition of beauty stretches further than just the surface.
Instead of viewing ourselves through a distorted mirror molded by our own opinions or the opinions of others, we must see ourselves through God’s lens. You are a daughter of the most high King and possess all the beauty and grace of a princess.
I would encourage you to meditate on what God’s word says of each of us.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalms 139:13-14