Monday, April 22, 2013

Being Beautiful

'...I felt--no, not beautiful. Even on such a romantic day as this I could not persuade myself of that. I knew that my jaw was too square, my legs too long, my hands too large. But I earnestly believed--and all the books agreed--that I would look beautiful to the man who loved me.' -Corrie Ten Boom

I get to read a lot in graduate school. Did you read that right? Get to? Yes. Yes you did. While sometimes the reading is agonizing, sometimes you get to read something beautiful, insightful, challenging, eye-opening...sometimes you even learn something new. Weird, right?

The Hiding Place was my most recent conquest, and while my heart ached (and at one point, after women in a prison count the shots fired that ultimately killed 700 men one-by-one, I had throw the book across the table)...I was entranced by the beauty of the story. A story about the Holocaust. A story about death, despair and unimaginable living conditions... but it's a story about hope.

Anyway-- I'm not going to post about the Holocaust, or even really Corrie Ten Boom... but there's my plug for that book. You should read it.

I am, however, going to talk about that quote above.
I think there's a lot of freedom for us women in that quote.
Here's why: even if we might be able to convince ourselves sometimes that we're beautiful, it doesn't ever seem to last for any amount of time. It's a fleeting thought, a brief emotion, a 'truth' that we are 'supposed' to believe about ourselves and so we do everything we can to make what we think about ourselves line up with what we say we should think about ourselves. It's really quite complicated...

I know that I can leave my house in the morning feeling quite confident in my appearance and then catch a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a window an hour later and be baffled that I ever left the house wearing that. Or, how come the mirror in my bathroom lied to me? My review mirror seems to be a much more accurate reflection of all the flaws on my face.

We 'fix' the things we can fix about ourselves, and we try to fix a whole lot more things less successfully. We spend hours maintaining our image...but at the end of the day, we're sometimes left with jaws that are too square, legs that are too long, hands that are too large.

There's only so much we can 'fix' about our appearance.
So at what point do we just accept that we are who we are? At what point do we say, 'This is just what I look like and it's going to have to do.'... and at what point can we be confident in that?

'But I earnestly believed--and all the books agreed--that I would look beautiful to the man who loved me.'

It's only a little ironic that Corrie Ten Boom never got married.... but that doesn't make what she wrote any less true. And isn't there this flood of freedom that comes in that?
Maybe it's just me.
But it's a simple reminder that I can be exactly who I am and someday, somehow, for some unknown reasons... I earnestly believe that some man will choose me, that I will look beautiful to the man who chooses to love me for the rest of life (even on those 'ugly' days).

It dives in deeper than appearances, too. Sometimes, at the peak of my 'weird' moments, I think, 'I wonder if I will ever be able to act like this around my husband someday...'. Because... I can be weird.

I earnestly believe that I will look and be beautiful to the man who loves me... even in my weird moods, even with no make-up, even with grey hair, even with wrinkles, even with flabby thighs and a triple chin. It's gonna be awesome.

So, even if finding a man were the most important thing in your life... (because, it's not...)?
I hope you recognize that you don't have to be someone that you're not. You don't have to 'fix' yourself before anyone will ever think you're desirable. It'll happen. And for all those guys who seem to be passing you by right now? Just be thankful. Be thankful that God's good in this, that He's protecting you, that even when you don't understand and you feel like you're never going to be good enough, smart enough, pretty enough..... that He's got this. He has your back.

Trust Him.
And trust Him that He's going to provide someone for you who thinks you're beautiful, no matter what you look like.

And, that's actually a more beautiful thing to me than us altering ourselves and 'fixing' ourselves for men to want to be with us.

It'll happen.
Be You.
In every way.
The fullness of who you were created to be.
May we find true joy there.

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1 comment:

  1. You don't know you're beautiful - that's what makes you beautiful!