Mental Self-Immolation In a Mango Milkshake: Does God Really Think You're Beautiful?
I Have Low Self-Esteem
I have low self-esteem. I have hated my body. I have hated the texture of my hair. I hated that I was a B-cup. I hated the thickness of my arms, or my short stature. I'm making myself out to look like a regular Shrek, and maybe that's how I see myself in the mirror. I'll tell you what the world told me, and the maleficent spirits, but I will also tell you what God told me.
The Marshmellow Dough Girl Chronicles
My mother once told me that someday, I'll grow breasts big enough to hide my stomach. My father once gave me a vintage tin can full of mints for my birthday, only to remove the mints and remind me that I'm too fat to deserve those. He used to buy pastries and set them on the table, and point to me in a warning manner. "You're too fat, you can't have any." I remember a boy in my fifth grade class pulling out the chair for me, and I believed he was being a gentleman. I remember feeling particularly self-conscious that day, as I felt like a huge marshmallow. My mother had me dressed in a white, thick jogging suit on a hot, summer day. After I went to sit down, the boy pulled the chair from under me, pointed, and laughed, "Look! It's the Pillsbury dough girl!" Everyone laughed. I remember laughing, too, but inside I was in tears and wished, truly, that I could disappear forever. My mother used to force me to wear makeup, even from Pre-school. She painted a fake beauty mark on the left side of my cheek to make me more attractive, as she mentioned I was homely. She would force me to rip my own pictures up from school if I smiled in a way that was unattractive. If I failed to wear makeup, even as an adult, she pointedly tells me that I look sick. “Are you sick? You look pale and sick.”
Physical Abuse, Fatness, and Self-Hate
When I was young, until I was 17 years old, my brother was allowed to torment me. He physically abused me, and he would hit me so hard, that I saw stars. Once, I accidently picked up the phone while he was downloading the theme park to Jurassic Park. You know the scene where you first see the Brontosaurus? That song. And as you know, back 'then', the phone was connected to the internet, and if you picked up the phone, you disconnected the internet. Well, he became excruciatingly angry, grabbed the phone from my hand, and began beating me with it. He created a hole in my face where one of my bottom teeth cut through my skin, and it bled. During one episode, I called the police and my mom answered the door, and told the police that I was just crazy and had mental problems and sent them away. My brother told me that he hated fat people, and that his wish was to see me six feet under, dead, and he would applaud at my funeral. He would come to my room to lay down, hands crossed casually behind his head, comfortably, to stare at me. "Did you know you're fat? Why do you stink? Did you know you're ugly?" He would tell me. If I ignored him, it was hell for me. He would commence to cut the tips off of any plants I was growing in my little garden in my room. He would cut my clothes into shreds. He picked up the only radio I had and threw it on the ground, destroying it. He would remove the fan pull from the ceiling fan. He created a huge hole in my door when I closed it one day. He said that he wanted to torment me because I was fat, and he hates fat people.
Mental Self-Immolation In a Mango Milkshake
As I grew up, the dating world was a huge mess. It didn't help that I didn't follow God's word, and I was a worldly mess myself. I had the seed of God planted in my mind and heart, but I was also in that terrible stage of discovering identity, and of rebellion and it's a world where the demons know that you are vulnerable, especially if you feel broken about yourself. I remember a young military man wanted to watch a movie at his place. His place, however, was the barracks on the military base. I noticed there was only a bed and television. I immediately got tense. Before this, he bought a milkshake for me at the gas station. I was immensely happy, as it was mango flavored and really delicious, and I felt it was kind of him to buy me this treat. But at the Barracks, he wanted to drink alcohol and wanted me to watch a movie that had excessive nudity. He wanted me to perform an act that I was not comfortable with. When I said no, I walked out. Later, he text me with this: "I don't even like fat chicks. I shouldn't have bought you that milkshake. You definitely didn't need it." This played out in my dating life, over and over again. A police officer once invited me to his house at night. I refused and he was then blatant about what he wanted to do. I refused and texted him that I am going home. He messaged this, "I'm confused. Fat chicks always say yes." I have so many examples of this, but I'll leave you with these two, in the dating world, for now.
Why Am I Alive If I am a Mistake?
I tried to cover my ugliness and fatness with tattoos. I almost became addicted to the pain, and to the coverage. I only started to wear sleeveless tops, and expose my arms, when I received my first tattoo. I hated the shape of my arms, and wanted to decorate them to hide. I wanted to hide myself hate, my shame, my years of suffering and even my will to pass away from this Earth. By this point, I had been used, abused and discarded like a tissue in the wastebasket. I even received a lip ring to feel like I belonged to the world, as I felt I did not even belong to myself, and much less, to God. I felt lost, destroyed, and ugly...inside and out. Mistake after mistake, I felt that I wanted to match my life to what I felt inside, to what I truly was - a mistake.
My dad mentioned once, I was a mistake. He mentioned that the only reason he married my mom was because she became pregnant with me, and he had an obligation. I was a mistake. I was ugly. My breasts never grew to cover up my ugly tummy, as my mom told me would happen when I was eight years old. I was an abomination to the world, yet I was alive. My ex-husband, the father of my two children, told me that I was too ugly to be attractive to him anymore, which is why he turned to pornography and became addicted to it. I was ugly. Why am I here, and why was I alive?
Hope Within The Voice of Truth
In 2007, I heard a song called Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns. The song talks about evil voices telling you untruths about yourself, but it then goes on to say how God's word tells you a different story about yourself, and that God tells you to not be afraid, even when the waves of life get out of control. I cannot tell you how much hope that thread of life gave me. I felt that hope was a sliver, shimmery spider's silk that connected me to the heaves and delivered me from self-delivery to Hell. The voices of my mother, father, my ex-husband, and my brother echoed non-stop in my mind. How could I reach out to God, and how could I find a tiny light of happiness in this immense darkness? That song changed my life, and breathed new life into me. That song saved my life.
You Are God's Masterpiece In A Dark World
You are God's beauty. You are God's masterpiece. You were made in God's image. He knows how many hairs are upon your head, and that's how interested he is in you. You were hand carved, hand-formed, carefully and with Great, Great love, by God. He gave you lips so that the words you speak may be of Life. He gave you eyes to experience the sunsets and sunrises that he created, living art works of moving paint upon a God-canvas. He gave you hands to help those who need you, to create a difference in this world and in the lives of others. He gave you a face, so unique and beautiful, and a face that is unlike the 7 billion people that inhabit the Earth. A face so completely different, and a face that reflects God's unique creation, and a face that reflects God's love, unashamedly, to this dark world.
Forgettable Instagram Beauty and the Devil's Goals
It's hard to see this, I know, as we compare ourselves to the 'beauty' we are forced to see upon the media, television, magazines and Instagram. These things are made to separate us from God. These things are created so that we may feel alone, ugly, unrepairable. The goal of the Devil is to get as many people away from God as possible. If he's been tormenting you with feelings of ugliness, self-hate and self-esteem, it's because you’re a threat to him.
If you actually discovered your true self, you'd be a shining beacon in a world that needs more radiant souls, and the Devil knows this. Take comfort in that the Devil has an expiration date. The Bible says this, and God has already won that war. The Devil wants to take you with him, and it starts with small seeds of doubt and self-hate. It starts with that perfect image of a Photoshopped person on Instagram that inspires thoughts like, "I wish I looked like her." These images, and idols of beauty, will be forgotten. They are empty vessels, much like an adorned gold-addled fruit tray filled with rotting fruit or filled with nothing, offering nothing to nobody, just fruit files, or emptiness at best.
Let Your Life Show Your Beautiful Heart
God will work wonder with you, within you, and this beauty will radiate outward because it's true beauty that comes from the heart. God works from the inside of your being, and this reflects on the outside in a way that you may not be able to see, but others will feel. It becomes a presence of hope, and strength, which will also give others the will to live. When God's will is allowed to work within you, your character will reflect God's craftsmanship, and the impact of your true beauty will be forever remembered by those you positively affected and lovingly touched.
Where Can We Find More About Beauty In The Bible?
Where can we find more about beauty in the Bible? This is important. I'll share some Scriptures here, but part of spiritual growth is taking this information, opening up the Bible, and soaking in the Word.
*Ephesians 2:20 says that we are all a masterpiece of God.
*Proverbs 31:25 mentions that a woman who is clothed with dignity and strength can enjoy life.
*Isaiah 62: 3 says that you are a crown of splendor in God's hand, and a royal gem to Him, a gem that adorns God.
*Proverbs 31:26 says that when a woman opens her mouth, she speaks wisdom, and that kindness is forever on her tongue, and that this makes her attractive.
*Psalm 34:5 says that those who look upon God are immediately radiant, and that they will never feel, or be, ashamed.
*Psalms 139: 13 through 14 thanks God for making all the delicate parts of the body, even all the inner parts we don't usually give thanks for. The psalm thanks God for knitting us so carefully and lovingly in our mother's womb, and for making us so complex.
*Psalm 46: 5 mentions that if God is within the woman, she will never fall, and that God will be there to help her.
*First Peter 2:29 reminds us that we are a chosen generation, a special people, that call marvelous light into the darkness.
*First Samuel 16:17 is especially encouraging, as it mentions that God told Samuel to not consider someone's height, or stature. He reminded Samuel not to look with the eyes of a regular man, as a man see's the outward appearance. By stark contrast, God looks at the heart.
*Proverbs 31:10 reminds us that a woman whose heart is beautiful is worth more than rubies.
*Genesis 1:27 reminds you that you were made in the image of God. You.
*Psalm 144 is wonderful because it's a song to God, from David, in the Bible. He mentions that God will deliver us from those who tell lies, and those who are deceitful. He says that with God, our son will be like plants that all well-nurtured, and our daughters adorn palaces like carved pillars.
Outward Beauty and Charm Can be Deceptive
The Bible warns men, a lot, about women who can lie, deceit and trick you with their beauty. That means that God is aware of how many beautiful women can use this outward power to cause downfall of great men. King Solomon would attach himself with beautiful women who worshipped false Gods. Samson because blinded by the beauty if Delilah. Proverbs 5:3 says that the lips of a woman that is considered forbidden drip honey, and that her words are smoother than oil. There are many examples of this in the Bible, and usually the woman who were harlots, prostitutes or women of a 'dark nature' were beautiful, but they drew people away from God. Even in today's image of skewed, photo shopped beauty, we see how men and women are led away from God and into temptation. It gets to the point where reality itself isn't satisfying because the images seem more real and more beautiful than life itself, and this temptation turns to an insatiable lust, and this lust turns into addictions that lead to terrible acts that drive a canyon between us and God.
What Makes a Woman Beautiful In the Eyes of God?
What makes a woman beautiful in the eyes of God? We can go to Proverbs 31 to see what kind of woman, or wife, make a beautiful, noble person who is attractive. Her worth, as mentioned earlier, is more worthy than any ruby. She is someone that one can confide in, and is full of value. She is someone who brings good to those around her all the days of her life, and avoids doing harm. She works eagerly with her hands, and uses a special skill set to create new things. She likes to learn new things, discover, and bring about a wealth of knowledge. She knows how to obtain food for her family, or how to plant and harvest and how to keep food bountiful within the home. In other words, she is resourceful with food and has a plan on how to feed her family and is, therefore, responsible and mature. She provides for her family, even late at night, when it's dark. She's there for them, dependable and comforting, and even gives to those who are needy and not part of the immediate family. She's smart and is careful when making a big purchase. She has savings and isn't careless with money spending on frivolous things. She saves for special projects and things that can benefits her family or the community.
A beautiful woman of God has arms are strong, she works vigorously and she keeps active. She uses her physical strength to help others. She is knowledgeable about money, and helps with the family's finances and her lamp, her light, does not go out just because it's night outside. She can be trusted, and she is prudent. She can use certain tools, with her hands, in the correct way to create new, beautiful and interesting things. She is generous and helps those who are in great need. She is not selfish at all, but loving and giving and completely selfless. She takes pleasure in helping others. She protects her family from the elements, and she is calm when everyone else is anxious and afraid. She provides sufficient clothing for the family to make sure that they are weather-ready. 'She makes sure that everyone has a place to sleep, and that her home is a reflection of her inner self, and even decorated with nice colors. She wears things that speak of her respectful nature. The bible mentions that she wears purple, and at that time, purple was a color fit for royalty, and a color a queen would wear. In other words, she wouldn't wear something that a street-walker or 'woman of the night' would wear. Purple was a very expensive color to make, so as a woman of God, you are worthy of dressing in a way that reflects your inner, respectable, beauty.
Interestingly, 1st Timothy 2:9 and 1st Peter 3:3 both talk about how woman should dress and decorate themselves in a way that is respectable modest and shows self-control. They don't have to wear the finest pearls, or best gold, or severely expensive things, or have outlandish hairstyles, to be beautiful or worthy of love. Peter even goes on to say that your true beauty, or adorning, are hidden within your heart, and this beauty breathes a gentle spirit that is precious in the eyes of God. Isaiah 61:10 mentions that God has, and will, clothe you with the clothes of salvation and righteousness. A beautiful woman of honor wears dignity and strength, and therefore has laugh and a smile that bring her happiness. When she speaks, its wisdom. Her tongue shares faithful instructions to those who will listen. She's not lazy, and watches over all the events over her household.
Even though we may not be all these things at this very second, they are good things to work towards. It's good to learn more things. It's good to pick up a few hobbies, or learn new skills. It's good to wear modest clothing that is flattering and that shows respect for yourself. We learned in these passages that God breathes a gentle, quiet spirit into your being and that this makes you precious in His Eyes. He's not interested in how expensive your makeup is, or how many followers you have. He's not interested in your best selfie, or even in your less-flattering angles. He's interested in you, your heart, what beautiful things your hands can do and what marvelous things your mind can achieve in this world, in His name.
Empty, Outward Vanity and Beauty Has a Terrible Price
What does God think about women who are beautiful, empty vessels, just vying to gain attention and trying to lure men, and women, into temptation and self-hate? Isaiah 3:16-24 mentions that women that are haughty, self-righteous, walking with necks stretched out, glancing maliciously with their eyes, flirtingly, swaying their hips, ornaments jingling loudly on their ankles to get attention, will be punished. This is what the Bible says about these kinds of women: “The Lord then will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald." It goes on to say that God will take away all that is considered their 'finery'. This includes the excessive bracelets, headbands, necklaces, earrings, veils, sashes, perfumes, charms, rings, nose rings, cloaks, capes, mirrors, purses, tiaras, shawls. It God goes to say the following: Instead of fragrance there will be a stink; instead of a sash, a binding chain or rope; instead of a head of beautiful hair, there will be baldness; instead of fine clothing, there will be only sackcloth; and instead of beauty, there will be branding.
Beauty is Fleeting, but God's Love is Forever
Let's turn our focus on inner beauty, as this is what God sees, and this is what he cares about. How are you using your inner beauty to influence the world? How are you using your inner beauty to reflect God's love to the world, and how are you using that inner beauty to make a difference in your family, friends and community around you? Psalm 31 ends, beautifully, with this: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."
Beauty fades, but a woman who loves God is worth more than rubies. What will your hands do, from this day on? What you have done in the past, what I have done, and who we were, is gone. The old is new, and if you pray this to God, you will be a new creation:
Dear Lord, I have made many mistakes in my life. I ask for your forgiveness. I want to be a new creation, and I want to be more like Jesus. Please help me to be someone new, to be someone who loves myself and to recognize myself as royalty. Please let me see that I am a princess of the King of Kings, and that I am beautiful. Thank you for your blessings, and please forgive my past. I am ready to be a new creation. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
© 2019 Reformed Eve