I made a discovery. Yesterday. I was standing in the entry way of Marv and Lois Penner's house and I looked in their mirror and this is what I thought . . . I'm beautiful. It was a startling discover as I have never thought that before; not like that. I thought that for the first time in the way that I was meant to think it. I am beautiful not because the world wants me to be. Or because I measure up to the world's standards of beautiful. I am beautiful because I am. It's a clear and simple statement and a clear and simple truth. I am beautiful because God created me; beautifully and wholly in love.
I had an eating disorder once. Not very long ago. I could not, would not look at myself in the mirror and accept what was there. Even if I did, it was only because that was the only choice I had. Somehow that image, that lack of acceptance of myself is gone. I look at myself now and I instead say, "Well that's nice, isn't it."
It might seem selfish; it might seem vain. You can sing that Carly Simon song to me if you want. The truth is, however, that we were meant to be accepting of ourselves in this way. God created us and we need to be accepting of what the way he has chosen to do that. We also need to respect ourselves as though the creator of the universe formed us. This means treating your body lovingly, healthily and carefully.
Ephesians five says, "for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it . . . " That verse used to make me feel mega guilty, but now I read it and feel not guilt, but opportunity. Opportunity to live up to the person God has created me to be. That's not easy. In this world it's never going to be easy. That's not exactly the point. The point is that God is bigger than the world.
So live in him.
- I love wearing bold lipstick.
- I love laughing loud.
- I love smiling my big smile which for most of my teenage years I hated because it was so big. A guy in college told me once that one day I would understand the magic of my smile and I always thought he was so full of . . .
- I love wearing sweat pants.
- I love not wearing make-up at all and still feeling pretty.
- I love dressing classy.
- I love not being skinny, even though I secretly still wish I was.
- I love not dwelling on every little thing I eat.
- I love pizza (Thank the Lord. There was a time when that love had left.)
- I love God for giving me the opportunity to remain beautiful in Him.