Most of us don’t think we’re beautiful. In fact, a recent poll revealed that 96% of women globally would never use the word beautiful to describe themselves.[i]
Even women who know they are made in the image of God.
Women like you and me.
Beautiful? No…instead we feel not enough. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not strong enough. Not spiritual enough.
I know. What I see is not beauty but the world of ugly within.
I say, “I’ll pray!” and I don’t.
I forget about the suffering in the world, even after I’ve seen suffering up close and personal. And then I go ahead and buy another purse, pair of shoes, trinket for my home.
I wake up in the middle of the night and worry.
I think I’m better than others when my life goes well, even though I know full well that I’m not.
I eat too many Doritos. I drink too much wine. I watch too many episodes of The Bachelor (and The Bachelorette).
I assume I’m the only one.
The only lonely one.
The only depressed one.
The only one who doesn’t know the answers. The only one who feels like a failure.
I don’t like my body.
I like some people more than others—a lot more than others. I pretend to be interested when I’m not.
I’m jealous when someone’s life goes better than mine.
I want to just stay in bed on some days.
I’m ugly. At least there are plenty of ugly parts of me. “Beautiful?” HA.
Some words I read a while back from Brennan Manning’s classic book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, seep up into my thoughts. Manning reported a 1677 prophecy to a thirty-four-year-old widow in Lynn, Massachusetts. God’s words to her way back then—and maybe to us in this moment? “More pleasing to Me than all your prayers, works, and penances is that you would believe I love you.”
I may think ugly thoughts and feel ugly feelings and do ugly things, but to God, I am filled with beauty and therefore beauty full. He holds out three words and calls me to receive them, knowing that when I see myself the way he sees me, I will be free to be who he made me to be and to live the life he made me to live.
Hello, Beauty Full.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who pushes away God’s pronouncement of personal value. Likely you do too. Likely you embrace the ugly and discard the beauty in yourself. And likely you feel incredibly inadequate, stuck, and even alone.
Here’s what we need to know in order to live the lives we were made to live: God loves us. He sees us through Jesus: beauty full. He wants us to see ourselves the way he sees us. We struggle with embracing such a thing. But the truth is, when we don’t embrace how God sees us, we don’t embrace God. We miss out on the very lives he created us to enjoy—and died to make sure we could experience. When we do embrace how God sees us—beauty full—we are freed to live loved, and in so doing, we love God back.
Three words reveal how God sees us – through Jesus – and how he invites us to see ourselves.
Hello. Beauty. Full.
Yes, I am.
And yes, you are too.
Elisa Morgan is a much-requested speaker and the author of The Beauty of Broken, She Did What She Could and the newly released Hello, Beauty Full. For twenty years, Elisa served as CEO of MOPS International. Currently she is the co-host of the syndicated radio program, Discover the Word (discovertheword.org). Married for over three decades to Evan, she is the mother of two grown and married children and two grandsons. Her Rottweilers, Wilson and Darla, love to take her on walks in the open space behind her house.
Click HERE to order Hello, Beauty Full: http://www.elisamorgan.com/#!hello-beauty-full/co78
Click HERE to check out the Seven Video Teachings by Elisa that you can use in your small group: http://www.elisamorgan.com/#!hello-beauty-full/co78
[i] “Dove Real Beauty Sketches,” Dove, http://realbeautysketches. dove.us.