You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. (Song of Solomon 4:7)
This summer, some friends and I went to the beach to hang out and do some outreach. I distinctly remember waking up, looking in the mirror and feeling fabulous. I was rocking it...that is until we got to the beach. Suddenly, I found myself surrounded by girls in their bikinis. Girls that I felt were in much better shape than I was. I immediately began to feel self-conscious and although I started out the day feeling like a cutie, I ended up questioning whether I should go home and put a housecoat on.
Sounds kind of funny, but at some level this is a big thing we deal with as women. Let's be honest. We have the tendency to subject ourselves and others to a really unhealthy level of comparison. Left unchecked this can lead to a question of our worth, value and the individual beauty God has given us. In her book Unrivaled, Lisa Bevere states that &God loves us uniquely.& Each of us are unique, with a beauty all our own. The beauty of another women does not take away from what God has given us. We are not in competition, but too often we feel as though we are.
This summer, I learned a valuable lesson about what makes me beautiful. One day while I was away with YWAM, I decided to take a walk to Mcdonalds to eat some ice cream and work on a message. I left wearing sweats, no make-up and with my hair a mess. As I was sitting at a table, a young man, a few years younger than me, came over to ask about what I was writing about. We struck up a conversation and myself and another YWAMer, who happened to be in the Mcdonalds, began sharing about the love of God. I shared about my faith and passion for Jesus flowed from my lips and my heart. The young man's expression began to change and suddenly he was looking at me as though I was an angel that just stepped out of heaven. His shift in expression was noticeable and it was evident that he thought I was beautiful, but it was as though he was looking through me. He started talking about the words we were using to describe God and how their was something so beautiful about the way we spoke of Jesus. He actually said he couldn't understand it, but he sensed something so different about us. As he stared at me, I could tell in his head he was scrambling to figure out what was happening and what it was about us that had him so perplexed. At the end of the conversation, we were able to lead him to the Lord.
Later, as I was thinking about this, I was struck that past the sweatpants, messy hair and bare face this guy was able to see a beauty in me that had nothing to do with my outward appearance. What he saw was the heart of the Father in me. He sensed God's beautiful love pouring out of me. Through the experience, God was showing me on another level that as I express His heart, His beauty flows out of me. This is a beauty that never fades with age. It's a beauty that is unique to me, as my expression of it will be different than anyone elses. My smile, the twinkle in my eye when I speak about things I'm passionate about, my playful prankster princess side, my wild mane of messy curls, my assets and even my imperfections, all add to an individual beauty that's unique to me. But at the center of it all is a love that doesn't come from me. It comes from my Father.
Let His love flow out of you and let your unique beauty shine. You were made to shine.