This is something I wrote last year when I was asked to be a guest-blogger for a very lovely lady. I hope it will encourage some of you.
“Beauty Is Only Skin Deep” is a 1966 hit single recorded by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. Written by Norman Whitfield and Edward Holland, Jr., and produced by Whitfield, the song was a number three pop hit and a number one R&B hit in the United States. The song’s theme is inner beauty and its value over physical appearance. David Ruffin sings lead on this song, relating the story of a man who’s become frustrated with dating pretty women with “ugly” attitudes. He now praises his current girl, whom he does not find as physically beautiful, but feels that her personality more than makes up for it. “She may be fine on the outside/but so untrue on the inside”, is a typical lyric from the song. ( Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty_Is_Only_Skin_Deep )
OK, I know we all want to feel beautiful . Can I get a resounding Amen??? I almost hear the chorus of your voices right now & I can feel your tears & pain.
When I started this I was looking at it in the correct general direction, but I as I went on I knew I had to take it further. This because I know my story is the same as many of yours. Let me say this, True beauty starts within you first. It must.
I, for one, certainly have always wanted to feel beautiful. Since I was 12 years old, I’ve loved all things hair & makeup. I tried to daily adorn myself outwardly to look nice, to feel good about myself. But it was to no avail, because I didn’t believe in my own uniqueness, my own individuality, my own beauty. No matter how much I painted or sprayed on, how tight or how low-cut the clothing, how much I changed the outward, the inward stayed the same. The battle for my self-esteem continued on. I walked through a childhood with an alcoholic father, an over-worked, over-tired & angry (who could blame her) mother, molestation as a child, rape as a teen & subsequently 5 years of physical & emotional abuse as a young woman. These all only further drove the awful paralyzing belief home – that I wasn’t worthy of real love from anyone, and never had been. I share these intimate things to let you know I really do understand what hopeless & ugly feels like.
Fast forward many years later & at 44 today, I can honestly say I feel truly beautiful, & it started on the inside. This came from my finally getting revelation of how much God loves me & accepts me as I am. Yes, I wish I had “gotten it” earlier, but it came when I believe I needed it most & when I was finally broken enough to receive it.
It was near the end of September of 2011. You can say, on that bittersweet day, that I saw the Light. And guess where it happened? – In a WalMart parking lot, of all places. I had been sitting in my car crying & talking to my precious pastor’s wife on the phone about watching my 14-year-supposed-to-be-forever marriage crumbling before my eyes. I was so spent, so exhausted, so broken. As a result of that conversation I had an epiphany. God used her mightily in those few moments to encourage me & He spoke so sweetly to my heart that fateful day. In His Fatherly voice as only he can, He whispered deeply into my heart & said:
“Bonnie, you have believed a lie since you were a little girl, and that lie is this – that you have never been enough.”
He gave me examples starting from childhood where I had believed it, all the way up through the current day & marriage. I was doing the ugly cry by then, to say the least. But what got me, what hit me the hardest – was the truth that He spoke to me then & there that set me free of that horrible lie I had believed for so long – He said “I want you to know that you are enough, because I say you are enough.”
In that moment, my striving to be this or that, to be whoever I thought I needed to be to my husband outwardly/inwardly – & to anyone else for that matter –went flying away into the breeze, carried in His sweet Grace, Mercy & Love. Those beliefs of not feeling beautiful – struggling with my weight, skin, hair, all the things we go through – suddenly took on a whole new meaning.
Today, I now know I am beautiful because of who my Creator is & I know I’m enough for the exact same reason. I still have hope that one sweet day another special someone else will see it too.
But if that never happens for me again, I have God most of all, and my family & friends. I will be just fine no matter what.
And so will you.
I pray that each & every one of you reading this – young or old – will feel a spark inside of you. One that – with time & a change in your belief system – will ignite into a blazing fire. I pray it will embed deep into your spirit & soul just how precious, loved & accepted you already are – in the Beloved heart of God. And for that reason alone, you can begin to see your own unique beauty.