I remember the first time I felt I was ugly.
I was walking home
from school, and was teased by my fellow classmates about my crooked
teeth. They laughed and I grinned and I acted like it didn't devastate me.
I became obsessed with having braces. Surely, when my teeth were straightened out, I reasoned, THEN I would be beautiful.
an odd thing happened. After my braces came off, I realized my nose was
too big. My breasts were too small. My pores were much too large. My hair was irritatingly curly. In
general, I looked not one bit like any of the girls I thought were beautiful.
And oh, how I wanted to be beautiful!
began looking at magazines and movie stars, and even at my friends, in a
whole new way. I didn't just admire their beauty, I ached inside
wishing I had it too. Why couldn't I have that figure? Why didn't God give me eyelashes like hers? Why can't I have a cute button nose like that??
Beauty is hard to see for what it really is when instead of giving joy, it makes you feel like dying.
odd thing has happened since I was a teenage girl. I have had two
daughters. Though I freely admit to being unashamedly and ridiculously biased, I can honestly say they are gorgeous. Those two sweet girls are truly stunning. I look at them and my heart
just aches. But in a whole different way. It throbs with love.
I have taken a long look at myself in the mirror. And I realize I too am Someone's daughter. I too am beautiful.
now have silvery streaks that accent my form, places where I was once so
full of love my body had to stretch far and wide to hold it all in.
These marks bring memories of the babies I have carried beneath my
I have curves I never had as a teenager. I was once told,
by a nurse, that I had good birthing hips. I wasn't sure how to feel
about that at the time. Now, after nine babies, I am thankful for them.
parts of my body are falling apart, wearing down, or painful from
disease. I still have a big nose. Strangely, I am comfortable here, in
this body. I don't fear rejection.
My husband and my sons and my
sweet older daughter look at me, eyes filled with love, and tell me I
am beautiful. And the miracle of it all is that I can hear the truth in
I am so much more than my body. I can now look
upon a lovely face or form and admire it without feeling ripped off. I
can appreciate true beauty and reject the fads and fashions that
substitute for it.
I have found gentleness, joy, hope,
contentment, and love- these things are the most beautiful of all.
These are the things I now long after, that I wish to make my own. These
are the adornments of my choice. These are the things I depend on now
to make me lovely.
And the greatest of these is love.