Is it a person? A place? A kind of appearance? Is it something you strive for? Is it something everyone has? Can it be measured?
If I could identify the main the thing I talk about with young girls - it is beauty. More often than not, we talk about it, because they believe theirs to be either hanging in the balance between someone's opinion or their performance, or to be non-existent altogether. In most circles, conversation about beauty has become a disaster. A defining word for many people. Whittled down to a mere compliment for the favored. A temporary state based on best effort. A thing that has been placed in the eyes of the beholder. We are not strangers to it. The struggle to see ourselves as beautiful.
But how has the definition of it become so convoluted, so subjective, so small? Why have we given it away to those who never knew its origins and do not believe it for themselves? Beauty now lives in the hands of the critics. The feeds of our Instagram accounts. The voices of those just passing through. It lives anywhere but in you.
We often believe this. We often feel like this. Even those of us who try and root our definition of beauty in truths often slip into believing it only lasts based on our goods, what we bring to the table, who sees, and who says so. I often believe that my beauty is contingent on how many people recognize it, and on how it holds up against those I compare myself to.
I'm here to remind us all of what real beauty is. Well, to remind us of where real beauty comes from.
We are beautiful because of what lives inside of us. Our beauty is imperishable, incomparable, and precious, because of Who lives inside of us. It is not what we do. It is not based on who sees. It is not a standard of perfection. It has never been and will never be a size. It is not mere sex appeal, or whether or not you are desired.
Beauty is in the very thread work of who you are.
It is not just what people see. It is how they feel when they are around you. It is the words that come out of your mouth. It is your thought life. It is how you champion your doubts with light. It is how you see others. It is how you believe in your life's purpose, and carry it on good days and bad.
Beauty is the inner work and outer proof of a Christ-centered existence.
If you don't believe me, take a break from Instagram. Look away from the mirror. Spend as much time as you do online in your Word. Begin identifying where your dead roots lie, and plant yourself somewhere else. Feed your SOUL, not just your eyes. Treasure your body, and be thoughtful of those who see it. Protect your heart, and don't let a stranger's life or another's words tell you who you should be. It is time, friend. To take beauty back. To remember where it comes from, and to believe that with Christ, we will never lose it.
It is only when we prioritize the TRUTH on inward beauty, that we will be able to have a healthy mindset on outward beauty. Over the last few years, I have done some really hard "heart" work to believe in what God says FIRST. Out of this has come a new love for the body, face, heart, and life I have been given.
Because of what I know lives in the unseen parts of me, I can now love what I see.
Know today, that you are wildly, and completely beautiful. Take some time to let that truth sink in, and tune out the noise that would tell you otherwise.
As a sort of creative outlet for me, and hopefully, as a tool for you - I have made some self-love/beauty Instagram-sized images that promote these truths. I hope you save them, post them, and remember them. These are difficult times we are living in, but light will always break through, and beauty will always be ours. If you do decide to post, please hashtag them #BeautyTruthfully so that I can see! I love you all.
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments! I'd love to chat about your perspective on beauty.