My heart blazed with gladness when she shared that milestone, her eyes alight with the grace of discovery: “I’ve decided this is just me– this is the way I look. No matter how hard I try, I’ll never look like those girls and that’s okay.” And she was beautiful, all joy and love and wholeness shining out like colors of a rainbow. She made it to the place that it took me years longer to get to, where all of us women need to reach in our faith journey…the place where we submit to the Maker and find a Home in Him where we are beautiful and loved….the place where we lay down the world’s standard and look for His instead.
I know another girl, ten years younger in her journey and on the verge of faltering. She looks at the photographs of the ones named Beautiful and listens to the whispers that if she were better life would be all right again… just stretch further, try harder, grasp control of that elusive something that others seem to have so easily…but no matter how hard she tries it will never be enough because all this was meant to fade anyway. I pray she makes it through in one piece and finds peace in who she is, one of these days.
Wanting to be beautiful and wanting to be loved– aren’t they the two roaring needs in any women’s heart? Eve was made to be cherished, to be admired, protected, and valued “far more precious than jewels”….but she kept thinking that she could find something better on her own, till she reached out her hand and tried. We are still trying hard, only we’ve forgotten what it is we really need and how to get there. It’s not about the outsides at all. It’s not about us measuring up at all. And that’s the milestone of discovery that each of us needs to reach. “Jesus said ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.'” (Matthew 11:28) Just lay down all that wanting-Me-to-be-more and rest in Who He is.
Because when you know the Maker and surrender to being loved and part of His plans, you begin to discover who He made you to be and there is an eternal beauty that He is forming, shining out more and more every day. We need to speak Truth for each other, as women– to remind each other that there is a Maker who formed us with care, loves us beyond words. That we were made to live beyond this world with its standards of beauty and that real beauty is found in reflecting the love and grace of the King. That there is a difference between striving for perfection and being good stewards of what we’ve been given.
When the Maker looks at us He sees His own beautiful workmanship and immense potential…“created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which [He] prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) And He delights in the blazing colors of our differences. “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become— because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.” —C.S. Lewis
“You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you” (Cyndi Lauper, True Colors)