“What if you have a genuine and captivating beauty that is marred only by your striving?”
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul
“The original, shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us end up hardly living out of it at all. Instead we live out all the other selves, which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world’s weather”
― Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets
“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
– 1 Peter 3:4 ESV
It hasn’t ceased to amaze me since starting this blogging project the depth of how disfigured we ALL see ourselves and the beauty God has given us. Mind blowing for to me to hear self loathing from the lips of women who I would define as having the mind, body and beauty of some sort of glimmering goddess… coupled with a heart just as golden. We can see it so plainly in each other, but when we are in front of a mirror we are stung by the familiar disappointment of not measuring up. Each of us plagued by whatever standard it is we are seeking. I used to think this was only something that my chubby “kind” and I experienced. Like the lovely and super well dressed of the world were exempt. Now I know better.
What if for one wild moment we set aside all the striving?
What if we set aside the masks?
The endless effort and exhaustion in trying?
What if we embraced that hidden person of the heart that God sees?
What if we did, and we were as kind and encouraging to her as we are to our best friends and sisters?
Seeing the best in her, despite her flaws?
What would happen if we could make a truce with ourselves and live in peace?
Freeing up our minds and hearts to love deeper and serve well because we are no longer chained to trying to somehow make ourselves acceptable?
Knowing that that fight has already been fought and won…believing in and resting in our rescue.
What if all of these faults we see could be seen instead as marks of our humanity?
Defects and all…
Pimples and moles.
Round bellies and dimpled thighs.
Hairs, skin and freckles.
Fat and bones.
Fingers and toes.
Full smiles despite how we feel about our teeth.
Loud and hearty laughs and strong opinions despite putting people off.
Standing up for justice as you see it when everyone else disagrees.
Staying silent despite the roars of the crowd because it is right.
Gifts and talents that would be uncovered or recovered and put to proper use.
Beautiful life lived fully.