As a woman, there is no greater desire than to be affirmed in our beauty. We want to feel loved and secure and much of that centers around how we see ourselves, and how we perceive that others see us. Wrong or right, we need affirmation of our beauty. In a perfect world, we would be satisfied with God's approval and that would be all that we needed. Truly, that is the aim of most Christian women I know...to be confident that we are accepted in the Beloved, and therefore, if men don't notice us, we are ok with it.
Having said that, I don't know a single woman who is able to accomplish that goal of being completely secure in Christ and not caring what men think about our appearance. It matters so much, that we can, quite literally, have a ruined day from a snide comment or off-hand remark.
Should we let the opinions of men influence us so greatly? Probably not. Yet, so often we struggle and struggle and struggle to put our beauty in God's hands and trust Him with it. It's so hard to live on earth and not compare ourselves to others. It is so hard to be alone with no physical representations of love. Is God enough? Yes. He is. Does it always "feel" like He is? No. It does not.
From the time I was 13, my beauty has been assaulted on numerous occasions with crushing blows. For MANY years, the words spoken to me by careless boys defined my perception of myself as "ugly", "unattractive" and "undesirable". God has relentlessly pursued me during this time to affirm that HE had a plan and HE loved me as I was. He continued to put dreams in my heart that only HE could fulfill and STILL challenges me to believe them.
In the past 5 years, I have been more confident than I ever have been. God's identity for me started to take root and I began to move beyond the things that men had said about me. I made changes for the better and fell in love with my creator. I got to the place where He became my "Everything". I was content. I was blessed and enjoyed being spoiled by my Heavenly Father. The dream of an earthly companion did not go away, but it did not seem so desperately important.
In the past month, the enemy has started a fresh assault. He has attacked the person that God created me to be and has begun new lies. "You are too independent now, no man will be brave enough to pursue you." "You are too picky." "You are a coward for not wanting to meet a man who does not have the same desires for ministry." etc. etc. Somehow, assaults on my character also make me feel ugly! It's amazing how the enemy pushes buttons.
God is faithful. I have maintained that statement for so many years, it just rolls off my tongue and I don't even think about what I am saying! But, it's true. I believe that what He says is true. If HE says I am accepted. I am.
Mercy Me recently released a song called "Beautiful". Some of the words are so poignant to me at this time. "Praying that you have the heart to fight. Cuz you are more than what is hurting you tonight. For all the lies you've held inside so long...they are nothing in the shadow of the Cross. ......You're the one HE loves...enough to die. You're beautiful. You are made for so much more than all of this. You are treasured, you are sacred, you are HIS."
My prayer is that you who read this will truly search your hearts and ask God to come and heal the broken places that have come as the result of careless words. I don't think that any of us realize how deadly we can be when we speak. I am convicted to watch my tongue and to try to speak life....and only life. It is a challenge, but may I never be one who robs another of the dream God has for them because of what they believe based on my words and actions.
Hmm...that felt good to say! Lord, have your way. :)