Monday, August 18, 2014

Look Good Naked?

I’d be a liar if I told you I hadn’t felt the pressure to want to look the best I’ve ever looked in my entire life on my wedding day.

The last seven and a half months have been wracked with some concern about losing weight, having even tan lines, whiter teeth, hairless arms, luscious hair (and gray-less hair), toned arms, and an abtastic stomach (for the first time in my entire life). Sometimes the goals actually feel realistic.

Because folks… I’m about to be naked. In front of the man I love. I can sometimes convince myself that the moment he sees me, he’ll go running to the court for an annulment. “I didn’t know you looked like that under all those clothes…”, he’d say.

I’ve been told it’s the LGN (“Look Good Naked”) regime that most brides follow. I get why it's a thing. Not only is this one of the biggest choices one can make on this earth, but I’m immediately jumping into the most intimate, vulnerable, and physical expressions of love that exists. Of course I want to look good.

Months ago, I assured myself that as we got closer to the wedding I’d really start to be more strict about this whole LGN thing. I’d start eating better, exercising more, lifting weights, going tanning, and even brushing my hair…because, in addition to my future husband thinking I’m hot, there’s also this unsaid desire to knock the socks off the rest of the viewing world as well (only, not so much naked).

Think that I’m beautiful… my heart pleas.

As we’ve gotten closer to the wedding, I can’t seem to make myself want to do too much about my steady list of physical imperfections.  I eat….mostly whatever I want. I haven’t exercised much (still trying to catch up on exhaustion from a crazy-busy summer)…and I’m certainly not lifting weights. Tanning costs money and brushing my hair is just taxing. Gross.

And yet, before me is a man who, every day, tells me I’m beautiful. No matter how long the list of things about me that I want to fix gets, he finds something about me desirable. No matter how many times I push him away in disgust over his clearly delusional blindness, he pulls me in tighter…insisting on this truth.

You are beautiful.

Somewhere in me, I know he means and believes it. Somewhere in me, I know that his words extend past any physical sort of beauty that I might possess. Somewhere in me, I know that he sees something in me that I often fail to see in myself. Somewhere in me, I know that no matter how troll-ish I might fear I look like on the outside…his love for me is rooted in something deeper and more meaningful than flawless skin, a six pack of abs, a perfectly straight smile and constantly smooth legs (I ain’t ever gonna have those…).

Truthfully, I don’t know if I’ll ever “Look Good Naked”… at least, not the way that I’d want to look naked. But, I think it’ll be sufficient—even if I never get around to tanning, brushing, lifting, dieting (at least not the full extent of it).

Because I’m not marrying a man who chooses me based on that. If I were, he would have left long ago. And I hope my every confidence in being vulnerable and intimate comes from a deeper source of knowing that Someone (like, the Creator of the universe) has called me daughter. That He has called me precious and beautiful… that He has reminded me again and again how worth it I am to Him. It's, yet again, a reminder of the Gospel... and a reminder that I'm loved and chosen despite my imperfections. 

The physical beauty will fade.
I don’t need my heart’s pleas to be responded to.
I just need a little reminder of eternity and what actually matters in this world.

Shame on me if I ever let the things of this world, the temporary and fleeting things, begin to matter more than the Lord, what He has done for me, and who He has created me to be. Shame on me if I ever let them be the things that define me or speak worth into me.

I have every confidence that on my wedding night, I’ll look exactly the way that I am-I don’t have to hide, I don't have to try and be someone or something that I'm not...and I know that he will think that it is good.

That is enough for me.

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