How do you determine beauty? Is it a “once beautiful, always beautiful” idea, or is it a moment-by-moment quality? When you look at the trees around you (ok- you have to do this somewhere not in Corpus!), do the golden fall leaves represent beauty in your eyes? What about in the winter, when the leaves have fallen and the trunk remains standing amidst an an ocean of snow? Is that tree still beautiful?
In my eyes, nature is beautiful, no matter what. There is something captivating about sitting back and watching nature unfold. Every stage is beautiful in its own way. In the spring, beauty shines through the flowers blooming and the baby animals prancing. In the summer, beauty sits on the waves of the ocean and the laughter of children free from school. In the fall, beauty resides in the pumpkin pie smells, the colored leaves, and the cool winds. In the winter, beauty spreads across the untouched snow and the cozy blanket at your feet.
There is beauty in every season.
Beauty, in my eyes, hasn’t always been unchanging. Rather, beauty was dead-bolted to a certain image or place in my life. When people would tell me that God created me beautiful, I would think, “Yeah, ok. Maybe when He created me, but a lot has changed since then!” I thought there was this “perfect me” that God had created and until I got back to that size and shape (whatever is was!), God would not see me as beautiful.
I thought He would see me as just “ok”.
I walked around with this idea in my mind for a long time. I thought God had created me with this “perfect” body that had to eat this “perfect” way, and until I got to that place of perfection in His eyes, I would not be beautiful.
The problem was- I had no idea how God had created me. Where was the one place He saw me as beautiful? How would I know when I got there? How would I know if I was close? Would I go my whole life just missing that place of beauty? The questions taunted me. I walked around feeling like I would never measure up, like God would never look at me and call me “beautiful”.
Here’s what I’ve learned: beauty is unchanging. There is no place of “beauty”. God did not create you with this one shot, hit-or-miss type of beauty. He created you beautiful. Period. As in any size, any weight, bare face or made up face. When He looks at you, He sees beauty. Total beauty. Captivating beauty. Unchanging beauty.
Beauty is not a formula. If you lose this many pounds and go to the gym this many times, you won’t be any more beautiful than you were that many pounds ago. Your weight can go up and down. Your face can go with or without make-up. The size of your pants can expand or shrink. This fact remains true no matter what: You are beautiful. Whether you think you need to lose weight or not: You are beautiful. Whether you see beauty in the mirror or not: You are beautiful. Whether you eat healthy or not: You are beautiful.
Beauty is unchanging. God’s words are unchanging (see James 1:17). Beauty is not contingent on a place of perfection. God created you beautiful; therefore, you are beautiful.
No matter what.
Today’s challenge is different than most. Today I challenge you (and me!) to rest in the fact that you are beautiful. It doesn’t matter what other people may say. It doesn’t matter that you don’t meet society’s definition of beauty. It doesn’t matter if you are 100 pounds overweight or 10 pounds underweight. You are beautiful.
Rest in that because it’s the truth.
Verse: “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!” (Song of Songs 1:15a)