>Beautiful Reflections

>Every girl desires to be called beautiful. This desire, when inserted into the cultural worldview of media and advertisements, emerges as a lust for physical beauty. We are convinced when looking through the world’s mirror that satisfaction, happiness, and success are synonymous with the perfect outward appearance. When this is our focus, we can’t see beyond the glittering, blown up, digitally-altered images presented to us everywhere we go.

I know because I’ve been there. I have cried in front of the bathroom mirror because what I saw fell far short of a beauty ideal. In desperation I have attempted to recreate myself into a new image. I have spent time and effort towards this end and been jealous of other girls who seemed to already be there.

All this time I was looking in the wrong place to fulfill my desire for beauty. I was looking in the mirror of this world for affirmation and acceptance, but as a child of God, this is not where my reflection is found. Rather, I see myself clearest when I look into the Word of God and learn what my Heavenly Father says about me.

He tells me that my body is important because it is His dwelling place (1 Corinthians 6:19,20). It’s purpose is not to bring glory or power to me, but to serve as a vessel of worship for the glory of its Creator. And where God’s presence dwells, the place He transforms to draw attention to His mercy and grace, is beautiful. “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!” (Psalm 84:1).

In His Word, my Father tells me that my desire for beauty transcends the physical. It will never be met by the empty promises of this world because it is deeper, higher, and more enduring. In essence, my longing for beauty is a hunger for Christ because true meaning and life is only ever truly satisfied in Him. Only when I identify with His likeness can I discover the “something more” that I was made for. I was created to be transformed into the glorious beauty of Christ, who on earth was not considered physically attractive and yet was beauty incarnate. He is beauty in me and the closer I am to Him, the clearer I see what true beauty really is.

There is something infinitely special to a girl when her father calls her beautiful. How much greater to be pleasing to the eyes of the Father who made her. “Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him” (Psalm 45:10,11). I am learning that the way to beauty is one of total surrender — soul, mind, and body, ideals, hopes, disappointments, frustrations — all of me committed wholly to God’s restoration of beauty within me.

A godly beauty that being filled with the Holy Spirit, does not flaunt itself but in gentleness and quietness draws eyes to Jesus. A “grace-full”ness that recognizes God’s grace to me and seeks to extend that grace to others. A life dedicated to compassion, kindness, humility, and forgiveness, and adorned with love.

I want to attract others to my spirit, not my clothes. My service not my make-up. Christ’s identity, not mine. For one day I will behold Him no longer “in a mirror dimly, but then face to face” and I will know fully what I’ve only glimpsed here: He is the Fairest of them all.

~ Taken from notes from our last Bright Lights meeting on beauty ~