Wednesday, April 15

Beautiful or average??

The other day, Saturday to be exact, there was an article in the Winnipeg Free Press, written by Jen Zoratti and it was titled "Beautiful or Average? How about neither?"

The article talked about the question that Dove is asking in its latest campaign called "Choose Beautiful".  In the video - women from a few different places of the world were asked to walk through a door.  One was labelled "Beautiful" and one was labelled "Average".  I won't spoil the video campaign for you - you will have to google and watch it yourself.  However Jen in her article said "the video clip serves to reiterate a few things.  One, that impossible beauty standards upheld by the media have made us all feel woefully inadequate.  Two, that beautiful comes in many forms.  three, that being beautiful is still the most important thing a woman can be."

I have to say that the title itself caught my eye, and I read the article.  This whole concept - or thought - or quest for worth speaks deeply into the deep places of my heart.  You see - I struggled with the whole beautiful thing.  I just didn't know it.  Ya, seems strange I know.

I likely blogged about this before - but here I go again - just a little.  When God sidelined me in an amazing pastoral position in what was then my home church of 30+ years, I could not figure out why He called me (yes, very specifically called me out) of the field of Early Childhood Ed, and then I followed a very specific call IN to pastoral ministry but I kept asking God why?  He made it clear I needed to follow him on this - and I did out of obedience.  It was just a little bit into the ministry there that I realized why I believe that God had me there for 7.5 years.  He needed me to see how many women did not see themselves as beautiful in the eyes of God and looked everywhere - to everyone or everything for affirmation on their beauty and ultimately their worth.  This was not an age specific "aha" ... I heard it in the voice of a 70+ woman who wept as she talked about a loveless marriage.... to seeing it on the faces of young girls who were just beginning to feel the early twinges of love!  I realized that women are so incredibly made - by our most loving God - but we just don't see our worth.

I knew that was part of why God called me to the ministry of Women Refreshed at the Well.  However, it was a while later when while I was studying under Dr. Larry Crabb - I realized that I was like the rest - and did not see my worth.  It is a much longer story, that if I were to tell you face to face, I would be choking back tears.  You see ... I knew I was loved for sure by my dad and my husband (two of the main men in my life) however I struggled with my worth - with my beauty - and when it came as a revelation - I was totally undone in the moment and hours after.  God did such an incredible work in my heart, in my life, and continues to affirm his love for me and his absolutely delight in me as a beautiful woman of God!!

You see, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder however my "beholder" is the LORD JESUS CHRIST and as Dr. Crabb said to the women in our class - "Look to the LORD for your worth - for your beauty - and if you have husbands that affirm you in this - that is the  bonus!!"   Somehow that day that God spoke into the core of my being - He made me realize that He has created me unique and wonderfully made - and beautiful.  And in His eyes - there is no such thing as average!!
And the really cool thing is - I believe it.    With His help - this is part of my prayer here within the ministry as well - that women would seek HIM first for all they need - before looking for the affirmation/acknowledgement of the world, their significant others/their jobs etc.

Yes its hard.  Especially when for instance, you may (like me) struggle with some weight issues, or lack of confidence, or can't help but check out all the magazines to see what the world thinks women should look like/be/do/act/ etc.

Psalm 139 is my favourite Psalm and one that I read and recite parts of often.  He has created me to be fearfully and wonderfully made - and oh boy, does HE ever love me - and you.
You are not average sweet ONE - you are absolutely beautiful in the eyes of YOUR beholder - Jesus.
And that is more than enough for this gal!!

The morning we left our course -
Dr. Crabb (Larry) wrote this on the back of my name tag.
This is my reminder !

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