Beautiful - My Story
We all long to feel beautiful and somehow those 9 letters are the epitome of worth to most women around the world. Have you ever thought about how important—in essence—the word beautiful is? This word either empowers or destroys. How do I know this? Because I’ve been there, we probably all have and if we are honest we base our level of beauty and worth by what culture says. Today we have social media, magazines, commercials etc. to thank for “idols” that, clearly and visually, state how little our hearts and passions matter. Because to the world we are how we look and the definition of who we are depends on it. But friends….”beautiful” really isn’t an adjective that supports the noun. Being beautiful is a verb.
Beauty by social standard has destroyed the woman’s heart and I am a victim.
Yes, I finally said it. I have been a victim of society and the media when it comes to feeling beautiful, but not until recently did I realize how deep these influences have affected my heart. For so many years I have tried to pretend I knew what it felt like to love myself, to feel completely confident and pretty—but I was so very wrong. My standards of beauty have been skewed by the world and the devil. He is always seeking to destroy. I have struggled with my weight and outer body image my whole life, but didn’t address it. Instead, I allowed the devil to capitalize on my insecurities; but worse, was the denial that covered them.
I neglected the aching in my heart to feel beautiful and shoved my insecurity to the depths of my soul, hoping no one would ever find it.
But Jesus did. He found & revealed them. Jesus dug out my deepest insecurities and put them on display. Ultimately, he showed me what I failed to realize: that my struggle with being beautiful was keeping me from being the truest version he created. I had been lying to myself for years, but no more!
Being pre-diabetic since high school, I have never really been healthy. Losing weight was hard, no matter how healthy I ate. Returning from my first year of college heavier and more in denial than ever I was headed for type 2 diabetes, which is hereditary. I knew that I had to make a change, but I just felt trapped in these chains of self-pity, guilt and frustration. I started baby steps, took the advice of my dear friend Claire and started approaching exercise in a totally different way. As an act of worship. It was during one of my runs in early May that I finally surrendered my burden of self-image to Jesus. I surrendered the lies from Satan and culture. My chains were broken and I was set free through Jesus.
Being broken is not fun, and I am slowly beginning to be made “WHOLE” in the Lord. For so many years I had failed to understand that my body is a temple and when I neglect it, I neglect my relationship with Jesus. Following Him means I must also honor my body; for if I do not I am dishonoring the Holy Spirit whom dwells within me. I’m learning that only when I surrender my flesh can I begin to be shaped into something new. The new that is revealed through God’s glory and grace.
I love the message version of 1 Corinthians 6:19 & 20 which says;
“Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.”
As I close, I can admit that for so long I let my insecurities and society define me as unworthy of being a beautiful creation. But through the convictions, trials and triumph I can hear the Creator whisper to me, saying:
“Beloved, you are my masterpiece.”
Choose to live life as a beautiful verb because we are not called to let others define our worth. We are called to live as he has defined us: beloved.
Written by Taler Ray