by Elisha Joyce
I’ve watched this several times now, and I cry each time. I cry because… I hear the voices.
…the voice of the girl in 5th grade that said, “Why is your forehead so big?”
…the voice of the old boyfriend that said, “You know, there are lots of girls more beautiful than you.”
…the voice of the ballet teacher that said, “Your knees are way to big to ever dance well.”
…the voice of the world telling me all my life, “You know you’ll never measure up to that… to her… to ‘something wonderful’.”
I look at the women that went through this exercise, and… I relate. I feel their weight of their heart and their self-descriptive words. I see the girl in me: Insecure, critical, self-deprecating. And that girl – oh, my heart aches for that girl that I was (and can still be).
But thankfully, the Sweetest Voice I’ve ever heard breaks through all the noise. It’s a voice unlike any other – it’s small and quiet and whispers drips of Truth into my heart.
And the Truth is this – the Truth I wish I would have known before a I allowed all those other voices a place in my soul: We are not beautiful because of what we look like; our real value is not determined by our appearance.
Beauty isn’t the exterior. It doesn’t come from fixing up our hair and putting on makeup and letting it all hang out for ‘admiration’. (1 Peter 3:3-4). No. That’s the world’s definition – the definition that keeps us women hostage and broken and vulnerable.
The Sweet Voice told me (and continues to remind me every day) beauty is borne in gentleness, in sweetness, in a laugh, and a friendly wink, and soft words that build others up and not tear them down.
Beauty is confident and strong, yet humble; it is modest and captivating, bright and gracious.
Beauty is tenderness with my babies.
Beauty is a confident, lingering kiss with my man.
Beauty is my uncontrollable laughter with my girls that brings out every wrinkle around my eyes.
Beauty is my warm arms wrapped around a sister in need.
Beauty is heavy tears shed with a friend over loss, or heartache.
Beauty is thoughtfulness and unselfish presence and compassion.
Beauty is kindness to a stranger.
Real beauty emanates from me when His Spirit emanates from me… when His brightness overtakes the darkness that struggles to keep it’s hold on me. It’s when His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control trump my human tendencies to be anything but. (Galatians 5:22-23).
Real beauty isn’t dependent on what I look like… real beauty is Him living out through me.
So, today: LET’S BE REAL BEAUTIES – REBEL BEAUTIES. Let’s remember that we can’t make this dark world more beautiful with more lipgloss – we can only make it more beautiful when the fruits of His Spirit bloom on the trees of our lives. (Psalm 90:17).