So what if I am beautiful?

Can you begin to hate a word? Like cringe every time you see it or hear it? Has that ever happened to you? Because it had happened to me.

See, I had begun to hate a word. I hated what this word had come to define in culture. What the world had taught women about this word. What the mere mention of it demanded when it was uttered.

I hated the word “beautiful.” And I had begun to honestly hate beauty.

…and apparently in 2019 I was struggling with it, too; since I had to convince myself it was OK just to say it (this was found on my camera roll from March of that year).

Its meaning had become twisted to me, and in an effort to find the girl that still lived inside this body, I had many conversations about my own beauty. My own self-worth. The things that made me feel unworthy. Even made me a target as a young girl of bullies, and even later of the adult kind.

Some of those conversations sounded something like this: “They are jealous. You are gorgeous. Skinny. You have great style. Women are jealous. And men want you.” That was the general consensus. And I hated it. I didn’t want to be beautiful. I wanted to be anything but that.

I didn’t want people to look at me and only see a face. Only see a body. Decide to either hate it, or worship it in some twisted way. I wanted people to see the woman beyond those things. The things under the surface that are me-that I believed truly measure beauty. I wanted them to see my heart. My integrity. My spirit. My compassion. My drive.

And it became this deep desire of mine to want others to know that beauty is not the skin you are in. It’s not the body you clothe, or the clothes you wear. It’s not your hair. Your weight. Your shoes. It’s none of these things. That’s what the human eye sees, and the eyes make all kinds of unnecessary judgments.

Beauty is under the surface. It’s how you love others. Care for them. Share in the burdens and struggles of others. It’s how you show kindness to those who have been unkind. It’s how you carry yourself and keep going in the face of adversity.

It’s the spirit that lives inside of you.

That is beauty, and from this day forward, I (you) will be seen for that standard of “beautiful!”

The following is an excerpt from my first self-published devotional. The 30 day devotional takes readers on a journey through various myths of beauty, some lies we believe about measuring up, and who God says we truly are. You can purchase your Kindle or paperback edition by following the link HERE!

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