If creation sings your praises, so will I. -Hillsong UNITED
I decided during my quiet time this week to do something a little different. Instead of my usual front porch sitting, I took my show on the road. I loaded up my Bible, my journal, and my pen, and headed to the lake in my local neighborhood in which I am blessed to live.
And, I just sat. Taking in all the beauty that surrounded me during that time. The big huge boulder that supported and anchored my back as I sat in the grass along the bank. The fireflies that danced and skimmed the waters surface. The water that rippled with the blowing winds, and the sun’s rays. The stray bird that flew through the air.
As I sat there, I realized that I needed to make sure that I spent more time doing this. Just sitting. Appreciating the beauty that surrounded me daily.
And, then I thought of something else.
What if I applied this to the body I was in? Saw beauty in it, and all that it has to offer? Walked into a room, not feeling uncomfortable, naked, and exposed? But, feeling like I belonged…because my Heavenly Father always sees beauty there?
This need to feel comfortable in my own skin. To see beauty where God sees it. To accept my quirks as gifts from Him, comes from the transformation I have witnessed in the last several weeks in my daughter.
My preteen, who still adorns her head with silly headbands, and professes she doesn’t care what others think, has now gained a certain slouch of shame when she witnesses the all to common changes that she is seeing in her body. And, I know. I know she has witnessed this from me. Even heard many words of shame as I critique my body, my supposed personality flaws, my errors. Yes, modesty is key. Integrity. Righteousness. These are something for which we should strive. However, perfection doesn’t exist, and our personalities are usually given to us for a reason. Furthermore, being a woman should never be something of which we are ashamed.
Then there is my son. Neurologically different because of his autism. A condition that makes him look no different, but yet keeps his belly in knots with anxiety. In addition, he is also a bit socially awkward…sometimes saying and doing the wrong thing, at the absolute wrong time. Who now has a sister who will wrestle with her self-esteem. He will hear her negative self-talk. See her be uncomfortable in her skin, and begin to believe it may be alright to talk to women this way. To allow women to feel this way.
And what comes next, is the doubt she begins to feel when she hears someone tell her mom, “You sure are sassy!” She hears she needs to tone her spunk, her “go get em” attitude down a bit.
When she hears me lament about some part of my physical makeup that I don’t like. My tooth that’s crooked. My too curly hair I only started to make peace with, that is just like hers. She will in turn start to wonder if she is flawed as well.
When he becomes more aware of his differences (because as he gets older, they do become more apparent), will he continue to shrug off the kids that call him “nerd,” or “weird?” Will he be bothered by the fact that he truly is uncomfortable, because he doesn’t know how to interact in the space he is in? And, if I can’t see beauty in me. If she can’t see beauty in the skin she is in, he will in turn learn this is the norm.
Her spirit is diminished more and more, and the belief that she is truly fearfully and wonderfully made becomes overshadowed by the critiques and expectations of the world.
She forgets to see God’s beauty in the space she is in. In the body she occupies. In the personality He has given her.
He feels different because he is wired differently. Thinks differently. Is sometimes awkward. Often comes off as rude. Wonders why God made him this way, and forgets that He too…was made in His image. Autism, and all.
We are all messy, unique, quirky, weird, sassy, beautiful, funny, and glorious. In the space we are in. But, somewhere along the way, we will hear a different message.
I hear…she hears…he hears…we hear…You don’t measure up. You don’t fit in. You need to change.
If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made….so will I.
Because the tree just stands majestic. It may drop its leaves in silence when the time is right, but in due time, it buds again.
The flower isn’t told not to bloom. That its colors are too bold. Its fragrance too sweet. Its petals and design too quirky.
The bird isn’t told to sing a new song. That the one it chirps is too loud, not their style, or doesn’t sound quite right. It belts out its tune anyway.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. Psalm 139:13-14
That girl. That boy. This woman. You. Will walk into a room and feel comfortable in the space we are in. Not slouching. Standing tall and majestic. Not feeling awkward, or weird, or different. But, like an exotic flower that blooms boldly. Like a bird, singing a song, that may not be someone else’s style. It may be out of tune, and too loud.
But, if creation can sing praise for what God has made…then, so will I.
So will I.