For some time now, months to be exact, I’ve felt a great burden write something geared directly to females that struggle with their perception of self-worth, their understanding of what true beauty really is, and grasping how God sees them. I have wrestled with it so much, in fact, and have felt such an urgency to write on the topic that I’ve sat for hours upon hours to no avail in front of a computer…not finding the words to say, but instead have found me setting in a complete state of speechless weeping.
As a female, I know all too well what it feels like to not know exactly how I could ever be beautiful thanks to popular periodicals and other forms of media, all throwing out an image of “perfection” that is completely unobtainable. I’ve fallen under the spell of “I must be perfect,” and I’ve also done some pretty dumb things to try and obtain the unobtainable. I’ve been on more diets than I care to count because I couldn’t stand looking at myself in the mirror. I have stayed home from school too many days because I didn’t want to face the “perfected” crowd in the halls and I have made excuses and became secluded and callused to my surroundings because I felt ignored. I, Meagan, have been there. I’ve felt imperfect and fell victim to too many things. I’ve felt victimized and tried to be a photoshopped version of someone I thought I wanted to be.
HOW GOD SEES US
….A photoshopped version of someone I thought I wanted to be. I’m just as shocked that I just typed that as you are, trust me this isn’t something that I like to admit; it forces me into exposing my insecurities and letting people into my thought processes. I grew up knowing that God made me, loved me, and wanted me near, but it was in my early twenties that I grasped what the following verse truly means.“The Lord has declared today that you are his people, his own special treasure, just as he promised, and that you must obey all his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 26:18)
– His – belonging to or associated with Him
– Treasure – a precious object; to keep carefully.
When you were a kid, did you have one of those ballerina jewelry boxes? One of those that when you wound up the box and opened it the little ballerina twirled in place? So did I. I had four, and they were all different, each played their song, and yet each of the ballerinas danced for me when the lid opened. I like to think that God sees us as I saw my four little ballerina jewelry boxes. We are all different (different creeds, colors, body shapes, sizes) and we each play our little song and we each dance for Him. I used to get so excited and would turn all of them on at the same time and enjoy my ballerinas dancing to their song. God does that with us. He creates us and sits there waiting for us to be comfortable enough in our skin. He watches us, and he calls us His and treasures every moment we spend in His presence.
WHAT TRUE BEAUTY IS
On the cover of every magazine we see these perfect specimens of Olympus-like beauty and in every popular song we hear these objectified versions of what some guy thinks a “woman” is and does. Every female has these images thrown at them whether they want it all or not. It is like an undeserved slap in the face and a death threat punch straight to the heart of the Father. So with all the false images of beauty, what is beauty? Is it the girl that wears a size four dress? Is it the girl that commands the room with her scantily clad body? Or is it something else?
The truth of it all is that we are all beautiful. Our “imperfections” make us unique. Our differences make us special. Our humanity makes us His. Beauty is in the eyes of “the Beholder,” the Father, and he sees us as intricate works of art. We are beautiful works of art and we, you and I, are His treasure; His beloved ballerinas dancing to our tune and moving in our unique way.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY WE SHOULD VIEW US AS
When we think of beauty, we think of something that is pleasing aesthetically or in some other sense. All our lives we have been taught that “beauty is only skin deep,” but as a freelance photographer I would much rather photograph someone who’s beauty radiates from within than just the superficial bronzed beauties with makeup covering every blemish. These girls, the ones shown in all the magazines are radiating a false sense of beauty. Not to say they aren’t beautiful, but the images we see are so heavily photoshopped versions of what they are. I have been asked on more than one occasion by women to skim a few pounds of the sides or rid them of some “abnormality,” but when those things are done the woman God created gets stripped away to something less than what He sees as beautiful. The ladies become man-made beauties and that – that is a travesty.
“God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us”…So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; man and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:26-27
The Bible tells us that we were made in His image, see above, and if He made us all in His image, then that must mean that we are just the way He intended us to be like Him. If you and I can’t find a way to see ourselves as beautiful, then we are practically giving God that same death threat punch straight to the heart that I mentioned earlier. We should view ourselves as His beautiful creation, made in His image because we are crafted by the ultimate creative being and should consider ourselves as such.
So, the next time you feel like less than God’s treasure remember this scripture:
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescued those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18)
You are beautifully created in the perfected image of God by the skilled hands of the Father who created the universe. He hears your cries, knows your concerns, and He is there to hold you in His arms. He desires for you to respect yourself and to see yourself as He sees you, His un-photoshopped beautiful you.