Sunday, March 24, 2013

His Grace in Reminding Me Who I am

A few weeks ago, I engaged in pure vanity:  I asked a friend to take a headshot of me for a professional directory because the picture taken by the professional organization did not meet my expectations.  It didn't even fit all my hair in the frame.  For a gal with big Texas hair, that's not acceptable.

As I posed for different shots, a process that makes me uneasy and feels completely unnatural and awkward, I realized that there was/is such a heart struggle in this process.  The struggle in my heart is one of trying to believe what God's Word says--that He calls me His Beloved--versus the screams and shouts of today's culture that beauty is such a high and unachievable "standard" that I will never measure up to. 

One of the speakers at a retreat that I attended this past weekend shared other good reminders about true beauty:

**We are God's masterpiece, created in His image.

**Our value in Him never changes.

**Refuse to define yourself by others' views.

**Refuse to believe personal labels you've attached to your soul, as well as any designer labels that you think will bring you value when you wear them.

**Lasso your rogue cravings. {The mental picture of this makes me smile.}

**Real beauty comes from understanding God's love.

**Humility is the beginning of beauty.

All of these thoughts stem from the Truth of His Word:

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4

"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" 1 Samuel 16:7

"Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out." Romans 12:2 (MSG)

"How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!  I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!" Psalm 139:17-18 (NLT)

I'm grateful that the Lord has provided a definition of "beauty" that is not centered on how much we can buy to make our outer selves prettier but on how He changes our heart the more and more we spend time with Him.  The kind of beauty we are given by Him does not fade and cannot be taken away.

I pray that I would rest in that definition and reject anything contrary that the world imposes.

1 comment:

Krista Sanders said...

Alyssa, thank you. You are radiant, friend. When I see you, I see the brightness of Christ. Lovely in EVERY way. I am thinking about your words a lot lately because of Julia-- in her 11 year old year. Thank you for sharing.