Forever His Princess magazine asked me to write a piece on “The Beauty Within” for their summer issue. This is a magazine published by a young woman in our church, under the leadership of her parents. It is geared toward 12-15 year old girls and is a beautiful magazine! You can purchase a subscription at their website here – and they also have a facebook page here. The summer issue has already been sent to their readers, so Elisa Knicely (the editor) gave me permission to post this piece here at the Shoe.
The Beauty That Never Grows Old
I once saw some pictures of elderly people standing before a mirror. And when they looked in the mirror, their reflection was as they used to be in their younger days. Handsome. Gorgeous. Stalwart. Dazzling smiles. Beautiful cheekbones. It was sad to think the world does not see the beauty that can be inside of us every day – no matter how old we get.
This beauty thing has been a journey for me. I used to want to be beautiful and popular in my teen years, because what girl doesn’t? Then I got married and started having kids – and there were days I was glad to simply get my hair put up before they all woke up for the day.
But each of us are on a journey . . . and this is what my journey has taught me about beauty.
True beauty transforms even the oldest person when they have a radiance within.
Nothing But The Blood
I grew up a preacher’s kid and when I was nine years old, I accepted Christ as my Savior. Sometimes it is hard, when we have grown up in good homes and have not committed any huge crimes, to understand the full reality of our sinfulness – and the redemption of the blood of Jesus. But as you get older, this becomes more clear. I remember one time when I faced a circumstance that looked insurmountable to me – with temptation lining its pathway. In tears, I fell before my God and pled with Him to not take His Spirit from me.
I cannot describe to you exactly what happened next. But it felt like God was saying, “Everything you can hold up to me is nothing but filthy rags. Not your goodness. Not your kindness. Not the wholesome home or great church. I see you through nothing . . . except the blood of Jesus, My Son.” I did not actually hear those words, but it was an incredible feeling to know God had removed all those other things that sat upon the throne of my heart. He had tossed them aside like toy dolls and took His rightful place as King of my life.
He will give this to you, too. Just ask Him.
Accepting This Me
Part of this beauty thing gets so muddled because of our horizontal viewpoint. We look around us and compare ourselves with other girls or women. And we say, “But I can’t do that as well as her!” Maybe you consider yourself not gifted or able to do any special talent for the King. There is one thing every person can do, but I will get to that later.
For now, I have one word of advice on comparing yourself with others: don’t. Just simply don’t go there. God is not pleased, in fact He highly cautions us against this and says it is not wise. 2 Corinthians 10:12
Instead, look at yourself through the eyes of the Maker. He breathed life into you. He believes you have a special purpose to fulfill in His kingdom. He loved you enough to die for you. It doesn’t get better than that!
Learn to accept yourself with all your strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and quirkiness. We all have them. Learn to cultivate the person He wants you to be – not for selfish reasons or fame, but simply to serve Him with.
The Surrendered Heart
Once you realize deep within your soul that God sees you through the blood of Jesus, then everything else becomes secondary. He wants us to let go of every weight that holds us down – so that we can fly like the wind. I have found that I had to let go of my dreams that I wanted for my life. My husband. My kids.
I begged God to take out every bit of self within me. And though it was painful at times, the end result of being His – and only His – felt so good, that I will not go back. I still have to ask Him over and over to keep the selfishness out of my heart, because it keeps creeping in.
He wants you. And only you. Not your dreams of being the beauty queen. Not even your dreams of becoming a wife and mother. He wants to know you are willing to lay down every single thing in your life – for Him.
Only then can He use you in the fullest extent that He has planned for you. And what awesome plans they are!
Who Would You Have Me Serve?
Some of you may be able to sing like an angel. Some of you may have the face of an angel – smooth skin and all. Some of you may have the ability to draw anything and everything you see. Some of you may wish you had all this.
I am going to share with you another lesson I have learned: a girl or woman can have beauty and extraordinary gifts, but if she has a selfish or complaining spirit, that beauty is jaded. Shallow. It is not as beautiful as it first appeared.
Do you know who will be the most beautiful person you will ever meet? It is someone who serves her King by serving those around her with a joyful heart.
Everyone applauds the singer or great actor –
but they love the person who is willing to serve them with a smile that comes straight from their soul.
This seems backwards to the world’s view of beauty. But it is God’s view. Luke 9:48
So if you are one of those girls who, like me, never could claim to be beautiful or an artist – let alone a beautiful artist – there is one thing you can do and do it well. You can serve. You can wake up each day and ask the Lord who He would have you serve today. You can walk into the grocery store, look into someone’s eyes, and send your smile straight into their heart. You can tell your mother to take the evening off, and then proceed to make supper while singing in the kitchen.
Anybody can love. Anybody can serve. And you can do it with all you have in you.
For The King Only
As a servant, some of the time your efforts will go unnoticed. But I am going to let you in on a little secret that helps during those times.
One Sunday morning, I was making breakfast in the kitchen. Now my husband had wanted us to start making milk kefir and this is something that has to be strained fairly often, blended with honey, and refrigerated. This was not my idea of a fun time! However, I was learning to be a servant. So I made the kefir even though I didn’t feel like doing it, and I probably even had a bad attitude. Thankfully, I was alone in the kitchen so nobody noticed. As I strained and blended, I began to beg God to change my attitude since I knew it was a stinky one.
Just as I put the kefir in the refrigerator, the thought hit me that my husband wouldn’t even notice that I had done it for him. Again. He wasn’t there to see me do it and men generally don’t notice some things! I almost yelled to him in the living room that his kefir was now in the refrigerator – to which he would have to acknowledge that I had made it for him.
But something stopped me. Though it would be an innocent remark, it would still be a self-serving one.
Instead, I was struck with this thought: God had seen me do it for my husband. My King had been watching my struggle in the kitchen. He knew my selfish heart, but also my desire to be the true servant He wanted me to be.
Since He was the one I was serving anyway, nobody else even needed to know. The King had seen and that was enough.
If you live like this, you will never run out of joy in serving others. For you are no longer serving people, but the Baby in the manger. The Lamb and Lion of Judah. The Great I AM. The King of kings and Lord of lords.
And I can honestly tell you . . . you will find that to be not only enough, but more than you can imagine.
And you will begin to understand that this kind of beauty will never grow old.