Wednesday, May 1, 2013

beheld in a different Light: why every girl longs to be beautiful

There is beauty everywhere, but so often we look through the eyes of the world, and we simply miss it...or maybe dismiss this beauty because it does not seem to hold up to the standards that our society has created.  But what if we take the words of Romans 12: 1-2 seriously and we get serious about not conforming to the patterns of this world, but instead, we let our minds be transformed by the Spirit.  What if we allow God to bend and mold us, what if we allow Him to touch our eyes so that we might see again in new light, what if we prepare our hearts to be astounded by what He has created?  What if we become astounded by ourselves, not with a sense of selfish pride, but with heartbeats of gratitude?  What if we let God's Word lavish our souls with wonder and amazement?  What if we believe Him when He tells us that we are beautiful and that we are His?
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 I noticed the
change in her
eyes the moment her Daddy handed her that red rose and told her she was beautiful.

I'd told her, too, of course, as I'd zipped up her brand new dress and watched her test out a few dance moves on her bedroom floor.

I'd smiled at her in the mirror as I'd wound her fine blonde hair around the steamy silver curling wand and listened to her chatter.

We'd wondered together if the D.J. at the Father-Daughter
Dance would play her favorite song or if her classmates' daddies would groove all night like hers.

But it was his words that had added a sparkle to her baby blues; his smile that had made her cheeks glow with ruddy radiance.
A mother may instruct her daughter in beauty, but it's a father who calls it out.

When her Daddy said, "You're beautiful," Hannah had held her head a little higher. And she'd twirled like a princess in that sweet spring dress of hers.
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When her Daddy said, "You're beautiful," my daughter had believed him.

Hannah waved happy from the window of her Daddy's truck as they drove down the lane.

And from my post on the front step, I remembered how I'd felt when I'd first heard those words, too.

You're beautiful.

I wasn't wearing a fancy dress, just old pajamas covered in spit- up.

I wasn't heading to a dance, I was just heading into another day with screaming toddlers and dirty dishes.

But His words had stirred something deep within me--

“You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless... you’re a secret garden, a private and pure fountain. Body and soul, you are paradise..." -Song of songs: 4:7,12, The Message

I'd scribbled that verse in my journal and read it over and over again, trying to believe that what my Father said was true.

I'd desperately wanted to be her, the one beautiful from head to toe.

And later that week when I'd gathered with other moms like me, our babies crawling at our feet while we poured over the scriptures together, 
I'd asked my friends what they thought about those crazy words that Beth Moore had written across the first page of our week's lesson---

"Christ sees you as beautiful. I also believe this is how the enemy sees you. He just does not want you to know it. His job is to deceive us into believing we are so much less than we are. Why? Because he knows we’ll act like who we think we are.”

Some of those mamas had cried. Others had laughed.page2image16352

But, together, we had wondered if beauty is a choice rather than a hair-style; an act of faith, rather than a secret formula.

Those words had made me feel cheated and hopeful all at once.


And suddenly I was desperate to see myself through my Father's
eyes.

On the drive home from that Bible study, my baby squealing in the car seat behind me, my toddler screaming for lunch, this twenty-nine-year girl decided to believe her Father's quiet words over the
Enemy's noisy lies.


And that was the day that everything began to change.

Oh, I still had stretch marks and extra skin.

I still had hair that wouldn't grow silky long and bony legs that dangled 
skinny like a bird's.

But my Daddy said I was beautiful.
And for some crazy reason, I chose to believe Him.

Even when the mirror mocked my faith.
Even when all I could see were dark circles under my eyes and blemishes on my chin.
Even when I couldn't see what my Father claims to see.

Eleven years later, I'm still praying for courage to act like the woman that He says I am, because every day, the stakes are getting higher.
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I have three little girls watching closely; three girls who will grow into women who desperately long to be beautiful.

More than anything, I want my daughters to take their Heavenly Father at His word, because beautiful women live beautiful lives.

So, while Hannah danced the night away with my handsome man, I stayed home and prayed that the gleam of love in her Daddy's green eyes would point our daughter to the Love that will never let her down.

Because one day, my not-so-little girl will waltz out into the great big world on her own and learn those dance steps that God has created for her alone.

And when she does, I want her to know that she's beautiful. 
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A bit about Alicia
I am a lover of Jesus Christ, a seeker of abundant life, and a freelance writer and speaker. I’ve got a handful of children, a home full of laughter and a life full of noise. I’m the frequent hostess of kitchen-floor dance contests, meal time talk-a-thons and dirty laundry campaigns. I love the sound of my children’s laughter, the feeling of my husband’s hand in mine, and the smell of fresh-brewed coffee. I make my home in the Midwest where tulips bloom and neighbors smile. While my laundry baskets are NEVER empty, my soul sometimes is. When all is said and done, I don’t want my minivan to be the only thing crammed to capacity. I want a soul that’s filled to the brim, too. I want to live the life Jesus dreamed for me when he declared, "I have come that (you) may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). As I do, I hope to splatter my world with joy and leave puddles of faith in my wake.
Want to experience more of Alicia?  You can find her here at The Overflow!

4 comments :

  1. "But, together, we had wondered if beauty is a choice rather than a hair-style; an act of faith, rather than a secret formula."--good words. If we could only catch a glimpse of how God sees us, I think it would make all the difference in the world how we treated ourselves and other women.Satan uses this area to deceive us and He's so good at unfortunately.

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  2. Thanks for sharing these musings here, Jennifer. YOU, my friend, are beautiful!

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  3. oh, how wonderful to read your words here, Alicia!
    and may we all choose to believe our Daddy.

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