I’d Be Beautiful If…

I’d be beautiful if. If I was taller. If I was thinner. If my hair had less gray. If my eyes were green. If my nose lost its bump. If my boobs were…if. if. if.

I look into the mirror every day hoping to like what I see. But this morning was no different than most. Instead of a supermodel, something else stared back. Layers of pudginess jiggled. Wrinkles seemed to appear overnight, but in reality they’ve been working themselves into a rut for years. And two fresh, angry, disgusting zits. Right there on my 37 year-old face.

Really?

I wish I liked what I saw. I wish the older I got, the easier it got. I wish I didn’t feel ugly.

I wish. I wish. I wish.

It was in the lunch line in sixth grade when a friend leaned over and whispered, Suck in your tummy. You’re pooching. Even now, I honestly believe she was only trying to help in the way girls sometimes do. But I’ve never been the same since that day. That day when my childhood was stripped away by the heavy requirements of womanhood.

And I’m still weighed down—burdened by my perception of beauty. Even though I know all the right answers. The answers that tell me we buy into the Photoshopped distortion of beautiful. The answers that tell me it’s a beautiful heart that counts. The answers that tell me God never creates ugly, and I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

All the right answers. Because they are. Right, I mean.

And still I struggle.

My parents have always told me I’m beautiful. My husband tells me I’m beautiful. Friends have said the same. But none of it really matters if I never believe it true of myself. We never believe it of ourselves because we allow the lie to ring louder than the truth.

The greatest lie a woman can hold onto? That she’s not beautiful. Because when a woman feels ugly, she feels unworthy.

Unworthy of a happy home. Unworthy of close relationships. Unworthy of a Savior.

Lies. Lies. Lies.

Because if the God of Heaven loved me enough, you enough, to suffer the torture of a crucifixion, well…doesn’t that make us worth something?

And so yesterday, as I was neck-deep in my wallowing and self-pity, both ugly to be sure, I heard the simple words in my heart. Jesus calling. Jesus reminding. Jesus saying.

Breathe me in.

I haven’t been, you know. Breathing Jesus in. Lately I’ve missed breathing deeply of God’s Truths. His Word. And this is never good. Because the less truth I listen to, the more lies I believe.

If I breathe in more of His glory, maybe I won’t be consumed by my own questions of beauty. Because the more I know of He who lives in me, the less that ugliness can exist in my soul, in my heart, on my face.

I remember standing on the edge of the Indian Ocean. Arms stretched out, face tipped up toward the sky, and eyes closed. Breathing. Marveling at the grandeur before me. Surrounded by magnificence. Whether or not I was pretty was the last thing on my mind.

Indian OceanIndian OceanSunset in South Africa

No.

Instead, I was filled up by the knowing. By the extraordinary artistic power of my Creator. The beauty was inescapable.

The answer to our broken self-esteems and a worldly definition of beauty? Breathing in Jesus. Inhaling deep the artist. The painter of magnificence. The designer of glory.

So simple. So true.

And so now I know. I’d be beautiful if. If I spent more time soaking in the words of Jesus and less time soaking in my own reflection.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

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15 Responses to I’d Be Beautiful If…

  1. Beautifully written. I definitely identify with this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Deanna Sessoms says:

    Something we all need to remember every day….thank you Heather!

  3. Bonni Warren says:

    Thank you for another beautiful blog. And one I definitely need. Often. Love you friend!

  4. Kel Chil says:

    your heart spoke to mine. thank you for writing!

  5. Mary T says:

    As I approach another birthday, one I consider a big one(after the double 5′s as I like to call it), I notice a few more wrinkles and yes aged eyes, eyes filled with more wisdom than the day before. I look in the mirror and smile, I am still smiling back, still thanking God for another day to serve Him, another chance to make a divine appointment and offer Him my obedience…another day that will be filled with stumbling and getting back up, but most of all another day to love Him with all my heart, soul and strength! What could be better than that? God bless you and may you continue to see your own beauty through the eyes of a loving Father God!

  6. Elizabeth Steele says:

    Thank you Gurl!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I love, love, LOVE your blogs!

  8. Charlene says:

    Did you write this just for me?? Beautiful reminder that we are ALL beautiful and worthy.

  9. Ruth Packard says:

    Thank you, Heather, for such a beautiful post! I was in my 20s when my mother told me she never had to worry about me during my teen years because I wasn’t pretty enough for the boys to bother. I remember where I was standing when she said that over 40 years ago. I remember having to make an effort to catch my breath. I remember not wanting her to see me cry. That one sentence nearly destroyed my self esteem. But how grateful I was to hear the healing words of Jesus in my heart. And I continue to breathe…

  10. Cathy says:

    So true. You have wrote this perfectly. Thank you.
    I find this as well. When I am reading my Bible the last thing I am thinking is what “I” look like.
    I would rather be “in” the Lord then “in” myself.
    He always brings good even if I don’t realize it at the time.
    Just thoughts :)

  11. Cheri says:

    Touching!!!! It always amazes me how many women feel these pains. All of us who look in the mirror and see those things others are not focused on. Ohhhh the agony we cause ourselves because of others words. My word wasn’t pudge…mine was skinny… Xoxo

  12. Myra Johnson says:

    Beauty or the sound of my voice or the way I walk or how my hair looks or how much I talk or the way I laugh or how old I am—-these are things all wrapped up in rejection that I have felt and battled. Thank you for writing about truth and reminding us. God does not make fun of us or reject us.

  13. Marti Pieper says:

    Truth. I just finished an entire book about not listening to the wrong voices. Thanks for reflecting His!

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