"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You're Beautiful

As I sit here and listen to MercyMe's "Beautiful" lyrics, I am acutely reminded of how much of the world's thinking has infiltrated our society.  I'm reminded of the countless number of young girls who are struggling with body image issues because they don't feel beautiful--who believe the lie that you must have a certain look to be considered beautiful--who follow the images of Hollywood instead of the images of Esther, Ruth, Deborah and Mary--who look to others for their beauty instead of to their inner self.  I am reminded of who I once was and who I am now.

"Days will come when you don't have the strength;
When all you hear is, "You're not worth anything."
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart, they'd see too much.

You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.
You are made for so much more than all of this.
You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His.
You're beautiful.

Praying that you have the heart to fight
Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you've held inside so long,
They are nothing in the shadow of the cross.

You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.
You are made for so much more than all of this.
You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His.
You're beautiful.

Before you ever took a breath;;
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed,
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above,
You're the one He madly loves-----enough to die.

You're beautiful.
You're beautiful in His eyes."

Wow!  How many people actually believe this song?  Actually walk that walk that this song speaks of?  Actually believe it so much that they can walk confidently down the street and not be defined by their appearance, their shoe size, the size of their nose, the height of their body, the mismatching of their imperfect eyes or ears or feet?    I recently heard a friend smirk, "Women will never be equal to men until they can confidently walk down a street, with a bald head and huge belly, and consider themselves good looking."  Ha.  Isn't that the truth?  How many people, women especially, truly believe that they are truly beautiful? Not just on the inside, but on the outside, too.    Isn't that what so many of us crave and want.  To be both beautiful on the inside AND on the outside.

Sure, most of our mothers told us we were beautiful, but did we really feel so?  I don't think so.  Those high school cheerleaders that worked so hard on their body image.  Did they feel beautiful?  The hometown football heroes, who reveled in their football victories.  Did they feel beautiful or did they have to win to make themselves feel so?  Did they realize that they are all, we are all, the ones He madly loves?

Ah....to be madly loved.  Who really has that?  I can't say that I know too many people who do.  I remember feeling madly loved when I first fell in love.  It was totally awesome, surreal, and breathtaking and beautiful.  But, unfortunately, sometimes that only lasts for so long.  I may madly love someone, but I may not feel madly loved by anyone......except the Lord.  Thank God for the Lord.  For when I mess up and can't figure a way out.  I am still madly loved.  When I fall apart under the stress of it all.  I am madly loved.  When my boyfriend leaves,  I am still madly loved.  When my puppy dies, when life doesn't turn out the way that I think it should or I thought it would, when my bestest friend in the entire world ditches me, when I lose my job, when I'm bullied....yes, I am still madly loved.

I don't think I thoroughly recognized and internalized this concept during my high school and college years.  I was bullied beyond belief, and didn't feel madly loved at all.  I didn't even feel liked.  It wasn't until after college, when I began to remember that He died for me, as if I were the only one on this planet, and then I sort of remembered that He madly loved me.  I may not have felt it, but somewhere in my inner core, I knew it.  I knew that eventually everything would be ok because I was madly loved.  Just like when I was diagnosed with cancer, I knew everything was going to be ok, because I was madly loved and madly in love.

When I feel madly loved, I am happy; I am esctatic, love struck.  I can hear the birds chirping even when they are only thinking of chirping; I can smell the flowers in January; I can hear the water rush in 10 degrees below zero; I can picture myself in Maui in January; I can envision complete health when battling cancer; I can do almost anything that I want to....all because I feel madly loved.  No wonder the Lord wants us to remember that.  He wants us to experience that 'falling in love' feeling.  Just like the words in Jason Gray's song, "More Like Falling in Love," beginning a relationship with Jesus has gotta be...

"More like falling in love
Than something to believe in.
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance.
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now.
Its like I'm falling, Ohhhh
Its like I'm falling in love."

Remember,  your very first love?  I do.  I not only felt beautiful, but I felt madly loved.  May you feel truly beautiful, inside and out, and madly and passionately loved today and every day.

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