Sometimes beauty takes you by surprise. You would expect to encounter it in an ocean sunset or on a Colorado peak, but not necessarily in the everyday. As winter turns to spring, the drive to work becomes less obscure and more luminous. The sunrise greets me with its glorious colors, kissing high-rises and painting silhouettes out of church spires. Shades of pink and purple and orange give way to a cloudless blue and it takes my breath away. What awe-inspiring beauty!
I suspect I appreciate the earth’s beauty so much because I often fail to see it in myself. As one who has struggled with obesity my whole life, frequently teased because of it as a child and squeamish in front of mirrors and cameras as an adult, I seek it outside of myself. I love drives through the countryside, trips to the beach, hikes through the woods and nature scenes. I even discovered a series on Netflix called Extraordinary Homes that captures intense beauty in every episode. The owners seek out the most exotic, unconventional, and picturesque locations to build their abodes. Most of them wealthy, but too busy to enjoy life in their everyday atmospheres, desiring an escape.
And perhaps that’s what I am trying to do. Escape. Escape from the reality of my ever growing and ever aging physique. Sometimes I just want to know why. Why do I struggle to find clothes that even fit, while others can shop anywhere and look gorgeous? Why do I want to look away every time I see a picture of myself? Why am I jealous instead of more supportive of those around me who have lost weight?
I recently found myself reminding him of the need for a healthy self-love. “I hope you reach the point one day where you feel you are not just putting up with yourself but that you see yourself as a child of God with true dignity and learn to love yourself.” Whoa! Look who’s talking, lady! Let’s work on practicing what you preach!
I have read books on true beauty, inner beauty, the beauty of God’s children, and they all help for a while, until I fall into a slump again. I begin to believe the Hollywood lie of size 4 beauty. I stare at the “big girls” all around me, compare myself to them and criticize them in my thoughts. “My tummy’s not THAT big,” “I don’t jiggle THAT much,” “My arms aren’t THAT fat” “At least I can WALK around the store and don’t need a motorized cart!” So much ugliness floating around my brain…
And then on days like today, the beauty of the sunrise hits me like a slap across the face, and I am reminded of the Creator of ALL beauty. Only HE could create something so phenomenal it takes your breathe away. And that is precisely why I am beautiful, why we are ALL beautiful, because we are HIS creation. Not because we are a size 4 or a muscle-bound 6’5”, but because He created us and God, by His very nature, only creates beautiful things. When we think we are ugly or anything other than beautiful, we are believing the lies of the evil one, allowing ourselves to be entrapped in his snare.
Each and every one of you is BEAUTIFUL and I hope you will tell those you encounter today just how beautiful they are, cuz I guarantee they need to hear it!