Defining Beauty

I am going to start my blog off with this thought provoking words: “We can never know who or what we are till we know at least something of what God is.”― A.W. Tozer

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Image by Sarah Hoey, source: flickr.com

A recurring theme right now is the notion of beauty. A few questions lingering in my mind over the past few weeks are as such: What does beauty  look like? How can I possibly be beautiful when all I do is fail and all I am met with is worthlessness? Will I find that I am beautiful?

So I find myself thinking about this and I am trying to wrap my head around it all. I am in a place that looks like this: My heart is like a hard coconut, tough on the exterior and hard to crack open…yet all I long for is to deeply drink the sweet milk on the inside. However getting to that place requires me to machete through the outer shell. Have you ever experienced the notion of ideas just bouncing off you? Like someone throwing a thousand bouncy balls at you and it just bounces right off…in my case these bouncy balls are words and affirmations of who I am. Yet for some reason those words just don’t stick in the core of me. Allow me to explain. So the other day my dear friend Bianca makes this comment regarding a man pursuing me one day (in case you did not notice I have major self-worth issues)… She basically said: ‘regardless of what he does or how successful he is, he would be a lucky guy to have me as his wife’. The idea of being ‘lucky’ to have me as his wife…just ripped my heart. Those words stabbed me like a thousand knives in my heart. In that single moment I realized that I have no idea how beautiful I truly am. As I type that phrase there still is a deep disconnect with the idea that I am beautiful. No matter how many times I am told that I am beautiful, I need to find this truth for myself…in order for them to sink into my soul. Sin, failure,  shame and life in general has marred my heart to the point of deep disbelief. I cannot seem to find the young confident girl that once was. I have medicated my heart with various forms of addictive habits and now the restoration process is one that burns and exposes my soul in a way that makes me ‘feel’ the pain inflicted within. I guess for a large portion of my life I have rejected the idea of feeling anything…it is easier to numb my heart than face the fear of feeling.

I am on this road of finding the woman I am designed to be. The Lord has fashioned me in the image of a woman who was made to be whole and now I need to find restoration and redemption unto seeing how beautiful I truly am. I long for the day that I find that girl that once gazed in the mirror and knew in her heart she was lovely, delightful and fully desired. Until that day I need to cling to this truth:

…I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch. The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you,… (Isaiah 62: 1-5)

Even as the Lord speaks these words over Israel, my heart takes courage in the hope of his heart towards his people…this is a reflection of how he feels about me. My heart clings to his nature. He is beautiful in nature and character; and as I gaze into who he is I am able to find hope for myself. In every broken moment and every wounded place I need to allow the Lord to wash my wounds and dress them with truth. In the thick of it all, the process is so difficult, yet I need to allow the healing to take place. My nature is to judge and walk away, yet the process of beatification is met with mercy and grace to make it through another day. He is fighting for me each step of the way…every hour, every second, each failure and each triumph…he remains consistent in love.

Life has taught me that love is conditional, that beauty is on the surface of my skin. As I have embarked on this process of being changed… I find that love is unconditional and that beauty is only found in the face of the man Jesus. God has given me the glory and beauty of his son to share in the fullness of how delightful I am to him, even when I struggle to see it. It is like his beauty if encased in a broken jar…so that I am able to discover that he is the God that looks beyond the surface of my tattered self.

For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)

I am beautiful, because he who is beautiful fights for me each day:

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. (Revelation 19-11-13)

In the moments of beauty lost I will raise my voice and cry out to the Lord of beauty and agree with the fullness of his truth. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee from my life…I will run into the arms of grace, the arms of mercy, the arms of the Lord…for there I am met with the welcoming words ‘You’re beautiful’.

As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women. (Song of Solomon 2:2)

 

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