Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Unfading Beauty

“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” -  1 Peter 3:4

Honesty hour, guys.

Lately I've been struggling with my appearance, a lot, and I hate it. I've always known that my appearance isn't perfect, and I was more than okay with that, but I used to be really confident in myself. In high school I was pretty active, and while I wasn't supermodel skinny, I felt so much better when I was in shape. When I came to college and didn't have that team support, my fitness failed. I can count the number of times I've been to the school gym on one hand (not a fan of gyms...) and can never find a consistent running buddy to go run outside, and am too scared to run alone- the world is scary, folks.

So, I've done nothing.

And I wouldn't say that I've gained a lot of weight, which I'm really thankful for, but I don't feel the same. In addition to my body not being in sports shape, my hair has suddenly started to get thinner, my teeth need to be fixed from an orthodontic issue that leaves me wearing a bottom retainer all the time, and my skin keeps breaking out.

I don't like that. And I feel like I'm always in a constant cycle between trying to figure out how to fix myself, and completely giving up because I feel like nothing can even be done.

I really dislike that I'm hating on myself, because I know that God made me to be beautiful.

But I'm struggling.

And then I see this Bible verse today...

"You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within..." which I've always known, and just find it so hard to do lately. God made me the way that I look and thinks that I'm beautiful, and that's all that matters. And as long as my heart is beautiful and good, the outside of me can look terrible and He'll still love me, and I'll try hard to still love me.

"...the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit..." probably doesn't describe someone who complains, despite the great life they've been given. I know, God. I know.

"...which is so precious to God." No matter what, I'm precious to God. No matter what.

This whole article over at Praying Today really helped me. If you're struggling with how you look I really suggest that you sit down, and really read it. And believe it.
  • Pray about the negative thoughts you're having.
    • God, I'm sorry that I'm thinking negatively and not praising you for the beautiful creation you've made in me. I'm capable of so much and should focus on those things instead of focusing on what I wish I looked like, or what perfection is to me.
  • Be thankful for what you have over complaining about what you don't have.
    • Even though my hair might not be the thickest, it could be thinner, it's long, and I love the color of it.
    • Even though I'm not in the best shape, next year I'll be living in a different area with roommates who will have similar schedules and can work out with me to get healthier.
    • Even though my face keeps breaking out and I don't like that, I can focus on being better about taking care of my skin and eating right.
    • Even though my teeth aren't how I'd like them to be, I can look into options that will make me happier, and be thankful that I still have reason to smile.
  • Focus on functionality.
    • I can walk. I can run. I can smile. I can laugh. I am overall, happy.
  • You control your thoughts.
    • "The level of perfection in your mind was ultimately created by you..." - Ugh.
    • "...chances are you are your own worst enemy..." Me, or Satan. Good thoughts do not come from God.
    • "...but you are also in control of your thoughts." God, help me to think positively.
Edit to add: I wasn't going to post this. I was going to delete it today. But I came across this post from Fabulous in First and I just had to add it, and I knew that I had to post this.

""Until our hearts find complete security and significance in God's unconditional love, we will never be satisfied. Those of us who struggle with insecurity and find ourselves in the shadow of doubt often get there because we are seeking our validation in people's opinions, our worth in accomplishments, and our identity in excessive commitments.Until God's love is enough, nothing else will be. We were made for love that isn't measured by our latest accomplishment, but marked by God's measureless grace. "

 I don't believe in coincidences when it comes to the Lord. He always provides us with what we need at just the right time.  And this would be the perfect time for me. As I feel pulled in a million directions at the end of the school year, I need to realize that I am enough. My efforts, no matter how big or small, are enough.  You ALL are enough.  We aren't measured by a list on a website, or the beauty of an anchor chart.   We are all enough in his eyes.  God doesn't make mistakes y'all, his love for us is unconditional and that needs to be enough."

I hope you have a great week, know that you are loved.

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