I originally posted this as part of a social media challenge I saw on Instagram. However, with 55+ Facebook comments, 70+ Instagram likes, and 230+ Facebook likes, I knew I had to share this with you. I hope you are blessed.
I meant to post this yesterday and with a different picture, but I fell asleep. I woke up this morning, sat outside, worshipped God, and this is what came of it….
#MyBody is beautiful. However, I wouldn’t have made so boldly this statement 5 to 10 years ago. I had to learn with time to see me as God sees me, “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Growing up, I never had a problem with self-esteem. I always thought highly of myself and exuded confidence. My issue was “image-esteem.” High school was high school. I was surrounded by girls with their name-brand fashions, their fancy hairstyles, and their boyfriends. This made me question if my inner beauty was enough in comparison to their outer aesthetics. We’re told true beauty comes from within, but you SEE me before you know me.
In college, my image-esteem got worse…much worse. I was in a number of high profile organizations on campus. This made me feel like I was always being watched, mocked, critiqued, and criticised. Sometimes I would even miss class or fake sick, just because I didn’t feel “pretty”” that day. In my mind, avoiding being seen would limit my chances of being judged.
When I moved for graduate school, I was determined to make a new me. I wanted the inner AND the outer beauty. I started wearing makeup, doing different things with my hair, buying fancy clothes…the same things I saw people doing in high school and in college; but it wasn’t enough. Instead of feeling “beautiful” like I had hoped, I just felt tired…tired of putting up appearances, tired of practicing an image that wasn’t my own.
In the last two years, my relationship with God has really grown. I have a yearning for Him, I desire to please Him, and I have connected with my purpose in life. Now, if I’m dressed up, I see beauty. If I’m laid back, I still see beauty. Because when I look in the mirror, I see God, for He made me in His image. (How’s that for an image-esteem boost)! I see God smiling at back me through my eyes, my nose, my ears, my arms, my legs…everything! Oh, and of course, I see Him smiling in my smile. 🙂 None of those outer garments and temporary things could do what God has done for me. When I see me, I see my anointing, and it is this that makes me beautiful.
Photo: Jeremy Howard Photography @jeremyhowardphotography
Aesthetics: Nina Flanagan @eyedofaces
True Beauty: God 🙂