11 || The Little Imperfections
Ugh! That photo of me running a 5K – the one with the shadows angled just so across my face to make my already formidable jaw look like Jay Leno’s well-known chin on steroids. My lips were pursed tight and sweat ran down my face in the effort expended while running for the first time in 5 years. The pained expression in my eyes as I pushed through the pain to cross that finish line might clue you in to the fact that I was completely oblivious to the photographer standing there, waiting to capture our victorious finishes.
Untile I saw it, tagged on Facebook, there I was. I had been photographed as I truly am in natural life. I had no chance to pose my face, fix my hair, perfect my makeup, or find the ideal angle to hide any unwanted fab or soften my jaw. For me, that revelation was disheartening to say the least.
The unflattering photo caught me up in a whirlwind of negative thoughts and emotions about myself. It led me to question my self-worth, my sense of feeling beautiful, and what others thought of me. I wondered why my husband even found me attractive. Such a fine looking man as himself could have had any woman he wanted, why did he choose one like me? The ugly feeling left me feeling insecure, and when insecurity creeps into a marriage, so does conflict.
Unwarranted accusations and strife followed, but were quickly snuffed out. I was being ridiculous, and I knew it. I let a snapshot in time define who I was as a woman, and deep down, I knew that was not true. My husband does find me beautiful. He knows me for who I am and loves me – every part of me, unflattering or not. My beauty is not made with my perfectly coiffed hair, well-manicured hands, or expertly applied makeup. Rather, it is made up of my inner confidence, my smile, my family, my work, my life, and my love shining through me.
As silly as this incident was, it got me thinking. How often might we do the same thing with God? Do we let little snippets of ourselves define us? Do we focus on our small imperfections only to have them consume us and our identity? Do we end up finding ourselves so unattractive that we turn around and wonder how God could love us, forgive us, or accept us? Do we then turn those insecurities into untrue accusations against a God who just wants us to know our real worth and understand how beautiful He finds us – inside and out? After all, He made us, He knows us, He died for us, He waits for us, and He walks with us – isn’t this proof enough of our value?
Our beauty in God’s eyes is not made up of presenting our most acceptable selves to Him. Our beauty comes from covering ourselves with Him and letting Him shine through us. The fact is that we are worthy, we are loved, we are redeemed, and we have a purpose. We can live in the power of that and truly be beautiful because of Him.