Most women long to feel beautiful.
But every time I work harder on my outside than my inside I'm left wanting, feeling like I look lesser-than. I have tons of selfies and headshots to prove my obsession with trying to create the perfect photo that makes me feel and look beautiful. I bet you do too.
Sadly, it never works. Time and again I've walked away from my iPhone camera or the other end of a photographer's lens feeling let down, ugly, and sad.
What is it that makes us so critical of ourselves friends? Why do we embrace the world's standard of beauty? Drink it down like a smooth Starbuck's coffee believing the lie that what's on the outside defines us, while what's on the inside doesn't matter?
I think it's because I see the real me—the one with no make-up, crazy bed-head, and clothes that are a little larger around the middle than I'd like them to be. I see the first blue vein on my leg, and those laugh lines around my eyes (seriously, I'm not calling them crow's feet), and I know the number (35) that just keeps going up every March 22nd. I know how many grey hairs I pull out every time I fix my hair, and taking care of these precious boys God gave me leaves me slap worn out...and looking it in the mirror more each day.
I see these things...
But God sees something different.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
And as I drove to the campus of my beloved Virginia Tech for some recent headshots, a necessity as I move forward in this writing career, I knew something inside of me had to change if I wanted the outside to follow suit.
What if I could allow myself to truly feel the fullness of that great love that went to the cross to save me? To bask in the light of the Son who died to show me (and you) how truly lovely I am to Him? How worth His gaze? And that deep, abiding love, what if it could be enough to help me bypass all the things that I see when I look at a photo, so that you see Him?
I thought about the purpose of my writing—to glorify God and make Him known—and realized that my headshots should follow suit. I confessed my desire to make the photos all about me—the perfect hair, make-up and clothes—and instead, asked God to let His beauty inside of me bubble up and spill out.
And you might think it silly, but my prayer was for people to look at me and see Him, that His beauty would fill up the places in me that the world, and time, and babies have changed over the years, so that there was more of Him and less of me.
I think it worked.
Focus on the love of Jesus friends, and how worthy you are of beauty because of His great passion for you. The world (& you) will take notice.
Many, many thanks to my friend, and talented photographer, Mary Stafford, of Merry Studios for making me feel at ease, and helping this homeschool mama (who doesn't always feel so beautiful anymore) feel beautiful.