I want to write about something that is really close to my heart. I am not a naturally vulnerable person. The things I share are things I feel comfortable enough to tell and I don’t share much more. I guess years of hurt have built up such a fortress inside of me. So today i’m going to shoot straight. It might be a little uncomfortable for you, very uncomfortable for me, but the freedom that comes from speaking out your heart helps and heals not only yourself, but others around you. Out of all people, I have experienced this firsthand.

I pride myself in being a pretty level headed person. I inherited my fathers traits where I can see a problem and face it objectively. I was always “one of the guys” kind of girl which I didn’t mind. I have always gotten along better with guys but my core group of friends who know me  is all girls, go figure. Anyway, with all that said, I still struggle with things most girls do, I’m just not as open with it. i think one of the most important, foundational, heart wrenching truths in any woman’s life is the need to feel beautiful. We were created for it and crave it. Its something I have battled with for most of my life. Living in today’s culture as a female is difficult with such scarred images of beauty. What we see is such a high standard for physical beauty that is not only extremely unattainable but impossible. The spirit of comparison runs rampant and without restraint in and out of young girls minds and in turn sets up a cycle of never ending disappointments.We slather makeup on our faces to attain the perfect flawless skin. We dress in the most stylish clothes and will undergo anything to get that model hair. We are constantly bombarded with images, products, procedures, companies that swear up and down the street that they have the solution for our feelings of inadequacy.

Personally, I remember it wasn’t long until I started hearing about all my kinks. My lips were too big, my forehead too small, my nose too wide, my skin too dark, and of course my all time favorite, my body shape not ideal. Now I could put up a front and tell you that these things don’t affect me because I’m in Christ. I could tell you that everyday I wake up and see myself the way my Father does. But all of that would be lies. God has done an immeasurable work in me but there are days when I wake up and don’t believe the things God says about me in the bible. And this is the same truth ridden among women of all ages across the nation.

So then where do we go from here? How do we break free from the chains of worldly beauty and embrace the person God has created us to be? I think first and foremost we have to be honest with God about how we feel. We can’t put on a smile in front of an omniscient God and expect to be healed. In order for Him to dress our wounds we have to be open to His healing. Second, we have to find beauty in ourselves not only physically but also in the way we think, the way we do things, and in our personalities. Ask God to give you eyes to see what He sees. Ask Him to convince you of your beauty through your family, friends, or people you hang around with at work. The reason you feel insufficient has nothing to do with other people. It has to do with you and God. Understand that this is a heart issue and just as any physical procedure on the heart takes time, this will too.

As for you brothers in Christ, treat every girl as if they were your sister. Don’t deride the “fat girl” in your conversations with your boys. Trust me, I have been privy to many of these conversations and its appalling how some of you talk about these women. Treat each women as if she has something special to offer because she does. You may not think your words will have an affect but they do. Words have the power to bring life and death.

I can tell you from experience that its a daily struggle. I think the days when I feel the most beautiful are the days when I stop living to be what others want me to be and start stepping into what God already has for me. That is beauty. And that’s enough for me.

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