a pearl, a flower garden, the ocean, the sunset on a warm summer night, an overlook of mountains on a cold snowy day, fires in the night, the feeling when the sun hits your face and you close your eyes and feel the rays touching your skin
all of these are very natural beauties of this world. and that’s how God intended them. that’s how he romances us. but there are some things we tend to overlook that have this same beauty. things we don’t tend to think about and say “wow that’s beautiful”.
the feeling of hot cocoa and a wool blanket in the winter, squinty eyes and a big smile when someone belly laughs, stretch marks, freckles, the feeling of a kiss on the cheek from your favorite person, time with friends that tend to run much longer than expected, the love handles you hate, the warmth of a hug from just who you needed one from, scars, birthmarks of all sizes, cellulite, crying in someone’s arms, cuts and bruises, confidence
this is also beauty and there are so many other things I could’ve listed! but this beauty is a different kind of beauty. it’s more of a wholeness type of beauty. an acceptance type of beauty. the grace type of beauty.
our Father, too, made these. These feelings of warmth and joy are from Him. He created us to have a cup runneth over mentality! but that is a different time, different devotional.
This particular one is focused on how I see me. How you see you.
How beautiful do you think you are?
Get real with yourself. Be vulnerable and real. How do you truly see yourself when you look in the mirror?
If you’re anything like me, I have good days and bad days. Some days, I’m ready to conquer the world! Other days, I feel like every outfit I put on is hideous (like the Grinch). On those days, I hate pictures; I honestly just hate going out! I feel like I’m not presentable and not even worth looking at.
My goodness if that isn’t the devil!! He is such a depressor! Something I’ve learned is that no matter what I look like on the outside- it’s what’s on the inside that matters.
Reading the second list of beautiful things may make you question why I even put half of them. Maybe the ones about the stretch marks, freckles, scars, birthmarks, and cellulite. That can’t be beauty. Right?
If you truly believe that, you will never be happy with yourself. No matter who you think it towards, whether it be yourself or others, that mentality is poisonous. You see, I struggled with that mentality until.. well.. maybe a few months ago? weeks ago?
I was the kid in 3rd grade that wanted the extra ice cream cup that the skinny kid didn’t want. Food is good. What can I say?
Basically, unlike the skinny kids, when I ate, I gained weight. Still do. Lol..
So, as I went through my elementary school years and middle school years, I began to believe that I wasn’t beautiful because I had a bigger tummy than the pretty girls. I thought that the reason all the cool guys wouldn’t like me is because I was big. Why would a skinny guy ever like a girl who was fat?
It’s truly a messed up mentality, and it’s even sadder than it seems to be the main focus of society today. And skinny girls aren’t exempt. The hourglass figure is the new figure of the world, and I know there are the women with higher metabolisms that pray to put on weight just to get that look.
Has our world really come to that? We praise the figure rather than the heart? We cheapen beauty to just signify outward appearance rather than inward beauty. It is truly strange and very sad.
Ladies, let me tell you
No matter what size you are, you are Beautiful.
I’m so sorry if no one has told you that lately. You are worth more than the looks you get when you walk in restaurants. More than the insults from men that have cheapened the meaning of your true beauty. More than the scoffs of others when you get seconds or thirds. More than the tears you’ve cried praying for the perfect body.
You deserve more than to feel like you are anything less than perfect in His eyes.
You see, the Lord thinks quite the opposite of you. He doesn’t see you as waste. He doesn’t see you as the comeback girl after a breakup. He’s never thought anything negative of you despite what that devil has told you repeatedly.
God cannot hate you.
I remember writing journal entries that only had three words in it: I hate myself.
I remember nights where I would cry myself to sleep- the kind of cry that makes your stomach kind of convulse and pull back inside your body.
I remember days when I was very pulled back from my friends, and they would constantly try to bring me out of my shell but I just wouldn’t come out.
“I’m okay. I’m fine. Nothing’s wrong.”
Those were the phrases that ultimately dug an even deeper hole of depression for myself. I let the devil tell me my problems were none of importance. My cries for help were not heard. I sounded stupid when I talked. Everyone thought I was desperate for attention. My friends thought I was annoying.
All lies from the devil.
You must see his lies for what they are: LIES.
It’s funny that in most devotionals I find myself pushing the same point: The devil is a liar.
In most cases, the reason we struggle is because we believe what the father of lies tells us. Whether it’s that we’re not good enough, smart enough, talented enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, fat enough, tall enough, short enough- Its always that we’re not enough.
Let’s pause for a second.
The Father says you are ENOUGH.
There is not a sparrow that falls out of the sky without your Father knowing it. The very hairs on your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Matthew 10:30-31
You are made in His image. Genesis 9:6
You are worth me sending my son to die on the cross. John 3:16
I know the plans I have for you, and I have made them good and prosperous. Jeremiah 29:11
I am willing to continue to be faithful when your faith is failing because you are worth more than to be given up on. 2 Timothy 2:13
I am with you always, and I will never leave you. Deuteronomy 31:6
You are worth fighting for. Exodus 14:14
I will be your strength. With me, you will soar high on wings like eagles. You will run and not grow weary because I will be with you. Isaiah 40:31
There are so many promises in the Bible that you MUST hold onto. Adjust your focus, and fix your eyes on Him. He is faithful to see you through whatever you’re dealing with.
Okay, pressing play again.
It seems like an elementary task to defeat this battle you’re going through, but in reality, it’s actually much harder. I understand that fully. It took me a year and a half to truly let the Lord fight my battles, but it doesn’t have to take long for you. It just takes a truckload of surrender and trust. The reason it took me a year and a half is because I dealt with a plethora of trust issues.
You may be curious as to what trust issues I could have developed. In truth, there’s not many moments I can pinpoint to give blame to.
To sum it all up, there were many instances that began to stack up in the pile of reasons I dealt with insecurity, self-worth, anxiety, fear, and depression.
I was scared of someone loving and leaving me. I was scared of vulnerability on any level. I was afraid of how people saw me, so I hid my body. I was afraid of who I was naturally: that my flamboyant personality was annoying and turned others away from becoming close to me. I was afraid of what people said about me.
Notice “was”. I wish I could say they all went away at the same time. For depression, God and I defeated that over a year ago. For anxiety, probably half a year ago. For insecurity, maybe a few months ago. But here’s the thing: the devil will ALWAYS fight you. I still find myself fighting against these strongholds on some occasions. BUT, I now know something I didn’t before. I stand in complete victory over every one of these strongholds that once held me captive. And that same victory is for YOU.
The first step to victory is believing that you are already living IN victory. It’s the hardest concept to grasp: that the victory is yours even when you feel like hiding in your bedroom crying. But it is!!!
Ultimately, that victory traces back to the cross. Your victory was won when the nails were driven in Jesus’ hands. The only thing holding you back is whether you claim that victory for yourself.
The day I decided to stand in victory, the devil still continued his fighting which confused me. I thought that it would all disappear, but no. I had one of the hardest weeks of my life standing in that victory, but after I began to see the attacks for what they were, the struggles began to subside.
Now, there are a few things you must know. You HAVE to claim it out loud. The devil NEEDS to know that you are fighting for your victory. He will fight harder, but you will always win. You must declare your trust and surrender in the Lord almost constantly. “I trust you, Father.” “I surrender my life.” Those need to be prayers that are frequently prayed to the Lord on a daily basis. You are more than what you struggle with. We are MORE than conquerors in Christ!!! Dive into His word. Uplift yourself when you feel a wave of depression or insecurity coming on. But most importantly, know who He says YOU are.
Fight for your life with Abba, and you will never fail.
After weeks of standing in victory, I had true freedom over my strongholds. He restored my heart, my joy, my peace, and my security.
As much as I hate running, Running to Him was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. 😉
Stand in that victory, warrior princess. You are worth it all to Him who gives you strength to fight your battles. Be strong! You are brave.
But most importantly,
You are loved for who you are.
Your sister warrior princess,