You see, there are precious few pictures of me past the age of, I dunno, ten years old that I actually like to look at. Let alone show people. Let alone post online for the whole world to see.
Yes, I know. I know that I am beautiful because that is how God made me. I know that. I just have a lot of trouble believing it sometimes. I wish that wasn't true. I really wish I was confident in every area of my life and this wasn't a struggle for me. But it is.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about that. This week I have tried on a TON of clothes. A ton of clothes that looked really cute on the rack...and then not so cute on me. As I tried on outfit after outfit and looked in the mirror time after time I tried to see myself as other people see me. I tried to see myself as confident and pretty. I tried to, but I couldn't. I have someone in my life now that sees me. Someone that sees the real me. I wish I could see the real me. Which sounds confusing, I know. I guess what I am trying to say is that I wish I could look in the mirror and see the woman who is confident and bubbly and happy, the woman that I am. But somehow, put a mirror in front of me and that all *poof* goes away. It's just the way it goes. Like, how do you change that anyways? Any pointers?
Okay, so all that is not quite what I was planning on writing about when I started this. I have been led to this topic tonight because I stumbled on some posts about modesty today. The posts I found talked about how our choices as women when we choose the clothes we wear need to be all about how we see ourselves without concern for the people, namely the men, around us. The posts were all about how we can wear whatever we want, modest or not, and not have to worry about what it says about us. Well, as I am sure you can figure out...I disagree with that idea.
In my mind, clothes are kind of like the cover of our book. Anything can be written on our pages. It can be great. It can be hilarious. It can be sad. It can be inspiring. It can be anything. ANYTHING! But see, our books need a cover so people have even a small indication of what is inside of us. Or an indication of what we want people to think is inside of us.
I think that as a Christian I should be held to a higher standard of modesty. The Lord lives inside of me and I feel like that needs to be taken in to consideration when I think about how I represent myself. When I represent myself I am representing my Lord because He is a part of my life. All areas of my life...every single area of my life...needs to reflect that.
The blogs on modesty that I read tonight were written by Christian women who were, in my opinion, missing the point of modesty. Their point was that they should be able to wear whatever they want because they shouldn't be held responsible for how men saw them. It wasn't their fault that men could potentially be lusting after them because of their appearance. That is true, to a point.
As a Christian, I would never want to be a stumbling block for others. That is something I have taken in to account as I have developed my stand in this area. BUT the main issue, in my mind, is that I am supposed to be a representation of the Lord. I want my life, all areas of my life, to reflect that. I want people to look at me and see a woman who loves the Lord. That is the beauty I want to emulate. I want to glow with love for Him. I don't want the clothes I wear to take away from that glow.
I am not gonna say that I don't like being told I am beautiful. It is one of my most favorite things to hear. When I hear those words spoken genuinely to me it is a reminder that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. That is such an encouragement to me because so often the enemy goes after me in that regard. Like I said before, I wish this wasn't a struggle for me. But, c'est mon vie. Someday I hope to see myself through the eyes of those who see me as me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I have faith that I will make it to the point in my walk with the Lord where my reflection in the mirror will tell me that.
I guess my point in talking about this all today is to tell you that YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have been sculpted by a God who loves you and sees you as beautiful. You do not need to conform to the status quot to be beautiful. Beauty is how God created you and has nothing to do with the clothes you put on. A person with confidence could be beautiful in a gunny sack. Not that you will see me sporting a gunny sack but you get my point, I hope. True confidence comes from inside and the beauty that comes from confidence kind of bubbles up and flows out. That beauty, that true beauty, comes from understanding that we are made in God's image. It comes from understanding His love for us. It reflects the joy that He gives us. He intends us to be a reflection of Him. Yes, we are very much an imperfect reflection...but God's beauty is beyond comprehension. Even a smidgen of His beauty is better than anything we could imagine. That is the beauty He sees when He looks at us.
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.