Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Captivating Beauty /// Guest Post

   Were I to compile a list of the flaws I see when I look in the mirror it would be as long as your arm. Girls and women of all ages are much the same, depressed and disillusioned by the unattainable dream of being beautiful. The mirror is unkind and cameras never lie, and when I step out into the world I am beset by images of slim, pretty, perfect models and even real girls who look like that. I begin to believe that people won't like someone as repugnant as myself, who has bad hair days and doesn't wear makeup yet, a girl with over-sized features who looks to be about thirteen years old. Underweight, overweight, ungraceful, uncaptivating.

Bethany Dillon captures our heart's cry perfectly in her song “Beautiful”:

“I want to be beautiful / Make you stand in awe / Look inside my heart / and be amazed / I want to hear you say / Who I am is quite enough / Just want to be worthy of love / And beautiful"

   Just want to be worthy of love! Just want to be noticed, pursued, adored. That is what we long for, so we follow the incongruous rules and search high and low for beauty. Tooth whitening, hair dye, manicures and pedicures, dieting, high heels, clothing that shrinks or pads in the right places. Some employ desperate measures: surgeries, anorexia, permanent make-up, creams, pills, powders. An endless race; for the older we get, the more weight and wrinkles we contract and the harder it is to lose them.

   How many tears have been shed in desolation and longing? Longing for Kiera Knightley's figure or Taylor Swift's hair, for well-coordinated clothes or smooth, acne-free skin. Health is endangered by attempts to be thin. And it only gets worse as the years go by. Is this inner longing from our Creator? Was it meant to be this way?

Yes and no.

God did not set this impossible standard for physical perfection. He created us in His image, each one of us unique and beautiful in His eyes. How many times have you heard this? Sometimes it just doesn't penetrate, and we have to repeat the well-known words again and again before our emotions catch on. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14, NIV) But there, whether we realize it all the time or not, lies the key to true beauty. “I praise you,” the psalmist says; or as it is in the King James Version, “I will praise you.” Your creations are wonderful! This works simply because it turns our focus from ourselves to our wonderful Creator. Step aside from the world's stereotypes and patterns: let your mind be transformed by God.

Read how Bethany Dillon ends her song:

“You make me beautiful / You make me stand in awe / You step inside my heart, and I am amazed / I love to hear You say / Who I am is quite enough / You make me worthy of love and beautiful”

   Let God step inside your heart and set you free from the lies you have believed. Instead of pursuing an unreasonable goal, pursue righteousness and you will find true beauty, a beauty that makes you captivating.

XOXOX, Anna Allison 

All text  Typeface, written in 2009 | Images © 2011 Hislightphotography

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