Becoming Beautiful

I know what I must do, yet I do not do it. Every day is a struggle; a constant battle between flesh and spirit. Each morning I must choose myself or Jesus, and far too often I choose myself. I focus on my clothes, my hair, my size, and the things I own. I’m worried with how I feel about myself. I’ve always thought I’m not concerned with what others think of me, but I know those thoughts are there. I worry about who is looking at me from time to time. I wonder if I am presenting myself as the best me I can be. But the truth is, I’m not. I can have my room perfectly organized, my bed made every morning, and I can take my daily vitamins and pills on time. But these are the things I do, not who I am.

Growing up, I had several young women in my life that I looked up to. They seemed to be equipped in poise and grace; soft spoken, and always positive. (I am quite the opposite; clumsy, disorderly, and rather loud.) The one thing that seemed to stand out about each person was the way they reflected God. To be around them, to talk to them, you could feel the compassion and love overflowing within them. I admired these girls so much. But I found myself striving to be them, rather than build my relationship with God like them.

I wanted to be beautiful, just as the girls I admired were. I was so focused on styling my hair similar to theirs, or mimicking the things they did that I missed the most simple things.

Their beauty was not solely in their looks; their beauty was a result of their relationship with God. Compassion, grace, forgiveness, love, and joy, these were some of the traits each girl possessed that made them beautiful. I’ve forgotten that beauty is not solely physical, despite how often it is preached.

In order to be beautiful, I must forget my ideas about beauty. I can spend as much time as I want working on my mental and physical organization, but if I am not spiritually aligned with God, there’s no point. In fact, all that I do, if I am not following God, then there’s no point.

If it is so simple to know the difference between good and evil, why then am I still living for my flesh? Why do I continuously allow myself to ignore God and the path He has for me?

Whenever I have a bad week I end up in church to make myself feel better, to fool myself into thinking that surely now I will spend more time talking to God. But then I stop prioritizing Him and go back to focusing on me. Me. Me. Me. I feel as if I am but a toddler; everything is about me. The minute something does not go the way I want is when I throw a fit, crying to God, telling Him to fix it.

How often do I truly think about extending grace, showing compassion, or simply being joyous? How often do I go out of my way for someone else without expecting something in return?

For me to be beautiful, I have to realize it’s not about me. If I am to be happy, I have to place my happiness in someone who will not let me down. If I wish to extend grace, I must accept the grace extended to me first. God is waiting to give me these blessings so in turn I may bless others, but I am still convinced I can do things by myself. Who am I to be independent? Who am I to deny God’s right to love me? How can I sit here and be okay with telling God that I simply do not feel like taking the time to talk to Him? Has He not created this vast universe? Should He not be the One who has the right to ignore me?

Imagine if God gave me the same time and attention I give Him- I’m fairly certain I would not last a day.

If I know exactly what I am doing wrong, why am I not correcting myself?

I am continuously allowing flesh to rule. My body is a temple, but I forget Who the temple has been made to honor. I am not to strive to be beautiful inside and out in order to show how amazing I made myself be. I am here to point others to God’s amazing grace, love, and forgiveness. I am here to accept these as well, and create a relationship with the One who created me. It all starts with allowing myself to be vulnerable with God. I must make the conscious choice to allow God to be the guiding point in my life. I have to wake up each morning and say, “here I am Lord, do Your work.”

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