I’ve written this blog in my head a dozen times, but have not had the courage to write it down and press “Publish”, until this morning. Even now, I’m nervous about how it will be received. I pray that you read it with a softened heart, open to the notion that beauty, as the world perceives it, can be as much of a burden, as it is a blessing.
She sits before me every week, make-up perfectly applied and hair “just-so.” She upitimizes what the world recognizes as “beautiful.” If you saw her on the street, it would be difficult to pass by without noticing her.
Sadly, if you knew her story, the story of the “weight of her beauty,” you would understand why she cannot claim her beauty as a gift from God. The physical, emotional, and sexual abuse she has endured since childhood has stained the lens from which she sees herself. Her beauty and innocence was stolen at a very young age, positioning her to either dismiss her beauty altogether, or use it as a buffer between herself and the world around her.
Together, we are sitting squarely in the middle of her painful story, examining her heart at every turn, reaching places which help to explain her current circumstance. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, there is great healing and discovery happening in our early morning sessions.
Naturally, being with her has caused me to reflect on how I handle my own outward beauty. Does it feel like a weight that I have to carry around, or am I using it as a gift to bless the Lord? Do I use it as a weapon to defend, or even to harm? Or is it a way to present myself as welcoming and vulnerable? Do I choose to flaunt my beauty for the world to see, while keeping my heart at a safe and selfish distance? Does my beauty attract empty attention, or provoke jealously from other women? When my husband sees me, does my beauty draw him to me and make him feel strong?
Do I truly see my beauty as more of a blessing than a burden?
Are we raising our girls to recognize and appreciate their own beauty? Does their beauty invite? Are people drawn to the light and love of Christ when they watch our family interact together? I pray this is so.