Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Beauty Challenged

This last week I was challenged by an ugly offender-chicken pox-which stole away something I highly esteem, my "beauty". The scabs and sores on my face completely changed my appearance and I was horrified at my own looks. I could barely make myself glance in the mirror, as it scared me to see such a condition. I was a beastly sight...and there was nothing I could do about it.

Saturday, before the concert.
Only a week before.

I've had pretty good "self-esteem" as some would call it, because I've learned to accept my face, hair, and body the way God created it. I have watched many girls fall, hard, because they loathe what God has given them and have succumbed to the deadly game of comparison. I've seen it, and haven't wanted that for my life. Yes, I have not been without my struggles, but God has allowed me to praise Him for what He has fearfully and wonderfully made.

But this week was hard.

Last Saturday I put on minimal make-up and tried to fix my hair in preparation for our concert in the evening. I couldn't believe I was actually going into public looking like I did. I kept praying, "Lord Jesus, I know I'm not very beautiful right now, so please let Your beauty shine through me."

At the church, I felt SO self-conscious. It seemed like everyone was watching me, thinking, "What's the matter with her?" Of course, this probably wasn't true, but my thinking was filtered by scabs and sores. It was difficult to stay focused on the Lord and His beauty.

When Dad announced during the concert that I had chicken pox, I wanted to fall through a hole in the floor. Now they all knew. They'd be afraid of me. But it wasn't so (mostly). I had a good time talking with people (those who were brave enough!) after the concert. When I shared my struggles about my appearance with a sweet lady, she sympathized with me and said something like, "Oh if you're this beautiful with chicken pox, you must be very pretty!" That was kind of her!

But it was tough. Looking later at the church bathroom mirror, the red sores and large scabs with red, infected eyes were a scarey sight. I kept asking, "God, why?" I know true beauty comes from within, from a heart of character and faith, but I do appreciate my normally clear complection!

What an humbling experience. It is amazing how something we place our worth in (like beauty) can be stripped away like that, and there is nothing we can do. Beauty, health, wealth, fame, friends, family, can all disappear, but the grace of our God will always remain. When I am "unbeautiful" on the outside, God is making me beautiful on the inside. When I am "unhealthy" on the outside, God is making healthy on the inside. When I am friendless, He is my constant Friend. When my wealth is gone, He is my riches. He is all I need, and in Him is true worth.

I know this has been a great heart beautifer. God has taken the purifying soap of trial and the "make-up" of His Word to beautify my heart. It takes the hard times to make us soft.

Anyway, I am doing SO much better, and my face is recovering. I won't be the same, may have scars for the rest of my life, but I have learned A LOT. True beauty isn't skin deep; it's what God has done that makes us truly beautiful.

A friend sent a Dayspring card that was so uplifting that I'd like to share it with you.

Hey sweetie, I am thinking of you and praying for you.
I know God is working in your life, his hand is upon you, and his healing touch
will sooth you. You are beautiful, Taylor, and it resonates from you where ever
you go. You are fearfully, wonderfully, and beautifully made. And I am so
incredibly blessed to have you as a friend. Over the years, I have seen God
working in your life to make you into his beautiful daughter, a woman after his
own heart. Because of His marvelous work, he has made you beautiful!

Lacheln,
Taylor

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