Monday, June 12, 2017

Guest Post - Stop telling me I'm beautiful!

Good Morning!  Today, I have the privilege of sharing something written by a friend of mine, KyAnne Weaver.  KyAnne is a 7th grade school teacher who is passionate about Jesus, her [school] kids as well as her hubby of 30 years and her children/grandchildren!  Everything I've ever read that she has written has blown me away.  Today, I am sharing one of my favorite's!  I know you will be blessed!  

Dear Church:
Please stop telling me I'm beautiful. Yep. I said it. I managed to remain fairly unoffensive throughout the 2016 election cycle, maintaining my friendships with people from all walks of life & belief backgrounds. However, this may do me in, but it's burning a hole in, yep. Here we go.
Oh, trust me - we women like to be told we're beautiful. It makes us feel good, it makes us feel valued. Especially at your conferences, where we sing & dance & win makeovers & take home freebies like coffee mugs that say, "You're Beautiful." Good feels...valued feels...for a minute. Or hour. Or entire length of conference through half a car or church van ride home. Then, we walk back into the world. The world that gives us an absolutely unattainable standard of beauty, & throws it in our flawed faces every second of the day. The world that gives us broken relationships, tough jobs, difficult children, traffic, & cellulite. All of that & more. All at once. And it's ugly. Downright. And there is rarely any singing or dancing or remote chance of winning a spa day.
I know right now there are women absolutely freaking out. "KyAnne! We ARE beautiful! We are Warrior Princesses of God...he is our Father...we can do all things! Too many women have not been told they are beautiful! They are down & discouraged...& when we give them t-shirts that say, 'You're Beautiful,' we are empowering our sisters."
No. No, you're not. I know you mean well, but you are teasing them. You are giving small bandages for gaping wounds made from deep insecurities. For those of you who know my background, you might be saying, "Easy for you to scold. Your parents were fabulous. They supported you. Believed in you." Yep. They did. But, they did not spend a lot of time & energy telling me I was beautiful. And with that, I will now pause for your collective gasps.
But, before you hyperventilate...this is what they did tell me, repeatedly:
-I was made for a great purpose.
-God was the author of that purpose.
-I could fulfill that purpose.
-In fulfilling his purpose, I would find my own ultimate fulfillment.
-I would never realize any of this if I did not consistently walk in the fact that I am nothing outside of Christ.
Why is this boom-worthy? Because there will be days that are ugly. There will be days when I am ugly. When I have a crappy attitude, or give a rough response, or am broken out, or am 50 pounds overweight...because sometimes life makes me eat Lindor truffles. (Okay, I may be putting a little too much blame for that last one on life & Lindor.) And on those days...when I trust a gorgeous, gracious God to be exalted in my hideous mess? The results are nothing short of beautiful.
Yes, we all CAN be beautiful. But not until we have completely forgotten about ourselves. Again...gasps. And Oprah would chastise me. But, really. How about some church-sponsored events where we just talk about Jesus? Jesus only. And how we can invite more of what He's made of into our craptastic chaos. Maybe learn a little math, too. Like perfect Jesus + imperfect me = lasting loveliness.
When we keep going in the middle of brokenness, Jesus shines. And it's beautiful.
When we still can smile as our hair falls out from chemo, because Jesus sends His's beautiful.
When we give a cup of cold water.
When we ugly cry with a devastated friend...or stranger, because we have the compassion of the Father. It's beautiful.
Life certainly can get ugly.
I certainly can get ugly.
Jesus most certainly is always beautiful.
And sometimes...and if I would stop thinking so much about & of myself, it could be ALL the time...His stunning beauty rubs off on me.
Holding out & onto the only hope that gives true, never-fading beauty, KyAnne

Friends, this is so my heart!  I've struggled my entire life thinking I am so ugly...inside and out.  I have never been able to understand why my husband thinks I am the most beautiful girl in the world.  That being said, I am a masterpiece made by the Master!  (Ephesians 2:10 NLT; "10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."  Even though I will likely never be free of 'ugly,' I choose to believe that the lasting loveliness that is Perfect Jesus + imperfect me will become more evident.  I am a work in progress...we are all works in progress.  I'm learning to not let the 'ugly' that is me alone, without Jesus, determine who I am in Christ!

Thank you, KyAnne, for allowing me to share your words and your heart!  I love you!

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