I like to go down by the river to ponder and reflect. I did so yesterday, stopping at a bench surrounding the big fountain at the park. The population down by the river is comprised of couples and families—and me. It is very beautiful, and I usually find it very funny, but yesterday evening I was feeling lonely. The loneliness goes beyond a romantic relationship—I just moved to a new state—but I read a book last week about the complementarity of men and women, the reflections I have been preparing for a Scripture packet/Bible study have been on a very relationship-y theme, I had just watched the live-action Cinderella movie that afternoon, and all of the couples in the city were walking around me. I found myself contemplating silly fears about the expiration of beauty and the possibility of never being pursued.
I started jotting things down, but did not even finish a complete thought—my discouragement was intercepted by a darling little girl. Probably under 2-years-old, blonde curls, bright blue eyes, and overalls—she was standing directly in front of me, looking up at me. I said hi and smiled at her, and she returned the biggest and best smile. She stayed with me for a while, exploring the squares on my prayer journal (because I miss math and use a graphing composition notebook), and we poked each other’s fingers. She was overjoyed (as was I). Her shoulders would go up as she scrunched her face to smile and laugh. It was truly a delight to be with her, and she taught me that beauty is timeless.
If this is something you have also found to be a struggle, your beauty has not—will not—cannot—expire(d). Your beauty comes from within—it is your spirit which enlivens the rest of you. Its beauty will not expire, but only grow more beautiful as you allow the Lord to continue purifying and molding it.
Then I started reflecting about God’s Kingdom and being a princess and such. Thinking back to Cinderella, the prince was captivated by her when he found her simply—she did not need anything to make her beautiful, but was free to be herself—which was beautiful. That is what I want, and I was feeling quite convicted about it—content
And then I looked at my list of Scripture passages to see which one I was supposed to pray with next. 1 Peter 3: 1-7. After I read the passage, I just kind of sat there. I did not know what it was going to be about beforehand, but here is an excerpt:
“... let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit … (4).”
I considered that maybe I should post some sort of reflection, but basically decided that I did not want to risk writing a post that would sound like I am whining about not being pursued—because I am NOT—so I called it a night and went to sleep. If you know me, you may be aware that I do not particularly like to sleep, and that is in part because my dreams are often not so enjoyable. Last night was no exception. I will spare the details, as they are irrelevant, but will leave it as a conviction to share this message.
Why are we so cruel to ourselves? Why are we so unaccepting of who we are? Why do we hurt ourselves more in hopes that it will “fix” us?
You are beautiful. (This applies to you, too, men!) Regardless of what has happened, no one has ruined you—even you could not destroy yourself. You are not worthless. Your life is not hopeless. You do not need to look a certain way. You do not need to act a certain way. You are lovable as who you are. By your nature, you are good. By your nature, you are loved. Nothing can change that. Give your spirit room to grow. Allow it to pour forth from you. Embrace your beauty. Accept your goodness.