Beauty Beyond Compare

shutterstock_121046950When you look in the mirror, what do you see? A famous quote reads Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This phrase first appeared in the 3rd century BC in Greek. Many writers like William Shakespeare and numerous others have adapted the saying. What does that really mean exactly? In looking deeper, “it reflects that the perception of beauty is subjective.” (phrases.org) In other words each person sees beauty in a different way, form or fashion. Everyone has their own idea and picture of how beauty is portrayed, revealed and relayed to them.

My hopes are that as you look into the mirror you are pleased and happy with what you see. Sadly some of you may have other opinions. You may gaze into the mirror and wish to see a different view. Someone taller, thinner, shorter, without blemishes or flaws. Less wrinkles here and there. If only you could grasp how beautiful you truly are. To capture the beauty that is deep within you. Beneath the skin. Beneath the layers of buildup and negative thoughts about yourself.

Commercials plaster tons of advertisements with hopes that you will purchase their products and be as flawless as the airbrushed models appear. Magazines are within reach at every grocery store offering the latest and greatest creams and agents for newer, fresher, younger looking skin. These things are all for topical, outer layers of the body. Not applicable for the inner beauty and the true heart that is fashioned within. That is the purest, most rare form of beauty.

All of us are in our own unique season and walk of life. No matter the age between us. One thing is in common. We all long to feel beautiful. The strings within our DNA was fashioned with this desire naturally.

To hear the words echoed in a song You are Beautiful and something sparks inside of you. Are you able to really hear the words and let them sink in, or do they just fall away? I have a close family member that everytime I say you are so beautiful, she shakes her head and says no I’m not… I repeat it over and over and ask her to look in the mirror. She has a really hard time grasping that. You know why? Sadly she has heard the negative thoughts and lies from others saying otherwise. She has a hard time receiving this truth about herself because for so many years she has believed that she is what others have told her. She really is truly beautiful inside and out. If I could say it over and over a million times again and again for her to truly grasp this concept, idea and truth about herself so that she could grab hold and really see for herself this truth about her, I would in a heartbeat. Hopefully one day, preferably soon she will receive this for herself and allow the truth to really sink in so deep and that every time she looks in the mirror she sees beauty. Not in a conceited, vain or prideful kind of way. But in a pure, true heartfelt realization that she is lovely. She is pretty. She is beautiful beyond compare. Inside and out.

She was fashioned and formed with the upmost care and precision when she was created by her Heavenly Daddy. When He looks at her, he smiles and is filled with the deepest sheer happiness knowing that He created her to display his glory and beauty upon the earth. Oh, I pray she can see this. I pray you can see this too! You beautiful one were created, crafted, chosen with the love of our Daddy and He delights in you.

The glow, radiance, life that shines and sparkles within you creates a beauty that is beyond compare.

In pregnancy there is a natural glow that can be seen upon the face and countenance as others look upon. Belly Beautiful! There is a heavenly glow about them. The life they carry within them is precious and priceless. A beauty to behold. Babies are so beautiful in every way. I seem to melt when I am near them. My heart just leaps with joy inside when they are around. In the womb, in arms, everywhere all around the world. Mommies and Babies fill the land with beauty beyond compare.

Today as you gaze at others and look at yourself, embrace the beauty that you behold. May your eyes be opened to see the true beauty within and how God created you. So uniquely. So beautifully. You are lovely. You are worthy.

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others: for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness: and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. Audrey Hepburn

Written by Salina Duffy

She

shutterstock_142613923This may sound strange, but over the past year I have begged God for a meek and feeble request that he might cause me to fall in love with myself. Not in an arrogant and self-righteous manner, but from an attitude of humility, to view myself from His gaze: by His grace. To love myself with each breath, breathing in simultaneously through one nostril awareness of who I am without Jesus: insufficient, depraved and desperate, and through the other who I am with Him: perfected, loved and redeemed. Both are significant to my existence as a follower of Christ, for me to be known accurately, and to be loved wholly.

What follows describes She— the “person” in all of us that we are ashamed of. My hope for this post is that you will find your identity in Jesus and allow Him to shape the “she” in you. Its not an overnight process, but it is a process that every believer should go through. I pray that you will see who you are without Jesus and who you are with Jesus!

She likes to think she knows who she is. Her answer is sure when she feels loved by God. Self-acceptance is relatively easy when her life is together and support systems are in place. At times, she may even claim that she is coming to love herself. When she is strong, on top, and in control, her sense of control crystalizes. But what happens when she no longer feels loved? When her sin is exposed and her failures are highlighted? What happens when her fears come true and her dreams shatter?

As the pretender, she is a compromiser to her true self: insecure in her own skin and using others for how she might win. She adapts to each evolving situation and as a result she doesn’t have a personality of her own. Her identity comes from meeting the needs of others and performing with excellence. Success to her is people liking and approving of her. Failure is being rejected.

Because of her suffocating need to please others, she cannot say no with the same confidence with which she says yes. Motivated by the fear of not living up to others expectations, she overextends herself in projects, people, and programs. Living out of her creates a compulsive desire to present a perfect image to the public so that everybody will admire her yet she will still remain unknown. Her life becomes a perpetual roller-coaster ride of delight and depression. She is preoccupied with her weight and often grieved by the scale. The reflection of her awkward body shape, her puffy hair, and her freckled face in the mirror kidnaps her attention away from the voice of Jesus. It temporarily robs her of the Truth of His Word and she then becomes obedient to the whisper of lies. The amount of time, energy and thought she devotes to acquiring and maintaining the “perfect” image is quite staggering.

She assumes the passive role in relationships, snuffs out her creative thinking, denies her real feelings, and allows herself to be intimidated by others. Preferring to be plain, she blends in– there is less of her to reject that way. She wants only to be safe, to fit in, to be accepted, to be liked. Out of the fear of rejection, she avoids direct speech; she hedges, waffles, and remains silent. She is devoted to a life in the shadows. To her, silence is safer.

She is in me, in all of us. She is a vital part of our total self, but she must be called out of hiding, be accepted and embraced. The art of gentleness towards her leads me to be gentle with others. The hatred I have towards her, the pretender in me, is actually self-hatred. However, God liberates me from self-condemnation with graciousness and an understanding of human weakness that only He can exhibit. He is the one who saves us from her— from ourselves. His name is freedom. His Word is freedom.

Jesus discloses God’s true feelings towards me in the life He lived when He dwelt among us. The understanding and compassion He offered those He encountered then, He also offers you and me.

Naturally, she will forever be in us. I wouldn’t want her to go away. She is a part of me; a part of you; however, she shouldn’t control us. She might get frazzled at times, and start to act out. But the longer we spend time in the presence of Jesus, the less adoration she will need because she will have discovered that HE is enough. In His presence, she will delight in the discovery of what is means to live by grace and not by performance. And she will truly know who she is in Him: loved, redeemed, and His righteousness.

Written by Meredith Nichols