"Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength...Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion." Isaiah 52:1-2
If you would have happened to be passing by a certain house on 5th Place North West in Birmingham in the early 1970's you might have caught sight of a little girl sashaying her way back and forth on the side of the street, in front of this house (only because I wasn't allowed to go any further).
You see, there was a time when I was not yet school age that I thought I was beautiful when I pretended to have extremely long hair. Each morning as I was changing into my play clothes I would pull my long nightgown up to my forehead and pull my arms out of the sleeves. I wouldn't unbutton the gown so then it would hold tight to my hairline allowing it to cascade down my back, almost touching the floor.
I would glide around my room making swishing motions with my arms as if I were the princess at the ball. I would stand in the mirror admiring my beautiful long locks (actually pink and white striped cotton/polyester blend but use your imagination with me here). I would prance down the hallway as if I were being introduced by the king in a grand ballroom. After awhile it just wasn't enough. I mean what did it matter that I had this long, flowing, beautiful hair if no one could see it? So. I took to the street (sorry, Mama.) I was so proud and felt so good about myself. No one had to tell me I was beautiful, I felt it.
I wish I could tell you that my focus stayed on the fact that I was beautiful when that gown was on my head...(maybe not) but how much easier would a girl's mind rest if the world's standard of beauty never entered our lives.
As I am approaching fifty-three this next spring I have seen a lot of different mind-sets and trends that society pushes on us to what is 'real beauty'. Over the years we are told we should be sleek and slim and other times we should show our curves, sometimes deep, dark, tan skin is in, other times pale is the new shade. About the time we cut our hair short for the new trend all of a sudden...long hair is all the rage. It is a rat race. I think we should dive head first off the hamster wheel...you coming?
Let's seek other standards of what beauty is really made of.
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Cor. 5:17)
God created each of us to be our own specific beautiful. When we were little girls we took joy in our God-given beauty until we allowed the voices of criticism from others to change our view of ourselves (what little girl doesn't think she's beautiful?). The scars that are engraved on our minds leave us with nothing but heartache when we are reminded of them (even as 'adult' girls.)
You are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). When you become a Christian, God washes away your sin and the lies you were told about your appearance, among many other things. Any baggage you carry of misplaced values that were told to you by others or even yourself, God erased. It is up to you to hear and believe the truths God has for you and pray that you will begin to see yourself the way He does. (Ecc. 3:11)
Now...shoulders back, straighten your nightgown and walk this way. Our King is waiting.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, It can be a mean world out there, words hurt and bruise and leave scars. Thank You for helping me realize my value is in what You say and not what the world says. I pray for Nate, Finley, and Logan that their spirits will be shielded from the untruths they will hear. May we rise up and shake the dust off and gather Your strength. I glorify You, O Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.