Caution: This post is about to get real. For some of you, hold tight, this might make you uncomfortable for a little bit, but read to the end. That’s where it gets really good.
That’s what Jesus wanted to tell me last night. Yeah, to the average person, that sounds a little crazy, but I will tell you why it is not.
I am part of a community group through my church that is currently reading and discussing Zack Neese’s book How to Worship a King. This is only my second time in my 27 years on earth (the first time was only this past Fall) that I have ever been a part of a “Bible study” – I put that in quotes because, in this case, we aren’t necessarily studying the Word of God, but rather the worship of God, although, really, you can’t have one without the other. God has been working diligently in my life to bring me closer to Him. However, it seems as though every time something big happens something else happens to diminish the Joy and revelation that I felt. On Sunday, I asked God for guidance on something that I just didn’t have an answer for and I heard a resounding NO. That was huge for me. To really feel God’s presence and KNOW that my prayer had been answered.
So, last night, as we were discussing the second chapter of our book, I listened to my peers referencing scripture, other books of relevance, podcasts/sermons that they were listening to and I started to think, “why don’t you know all this stuff?” “How come you can’t quote scripture?” “Why aren’t you good enough?” “You need to read more.”
These thoughts started to take hold of my attention. Soon that was all I could think about. I was beating myself up for not being on the exact same journey as everyone else. I knew what was happening and how ridiculous it was, but I just couldn’t fight feeling that way.
I knew I needed to intercede, so when it came time for prayer requests, I made sure, as hard as it was, to share my thoughts. I couldn’t leave there without some comfort. As my friend started to pray for me, the first words out of her mouth were, “Father, I just want Becky to know how beautiful she is.” Now, at first, I heard that and thought, “Oh, that’s nice” But, then another friend told me that he felt God wanted to tell me that I am beautiful. Beautiful? Why that word? It seemed totally unrelated to what my concerns had been. What did that mean?
I went home and kept thinking about it, looking at myself in the mirror, asking if I thought I was beautiful or not because I thought He meant physical beauty. I mean, yes, almost everyday I look at my body and nitpick. I see my belly protruding, I see the love handles that could be flatter, I see the stretch marks that I think shouldn’t be there, I see the keratosis pilaris on my legs that has embarassed me since I was a child, I see the abnormal curvature of my spine that makes me look like a hunchback and I see the dark circles under my eyes that just never go away, even with makeup on. I could keep going, but, honestly, that wasn’t what He meant. Not completely.
The word ‘beauty’ means “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.” Now the word ‘exalt’ means to elevate by praise or in estimation : glorify.
So, beauty, in this case, is the quality of a person that pleasurably exalts/glorifies the spirit.
Yes. I am so full of Beauty. I am. I pleasurably exalt/glorify the Holy Spirit. I desire to be more and more beautiful in the eyes of God every single day. God just wanted to remind of that.
So, no more comparing myself to others. I don’t need it. God loves me for me (and you for you).