For many years I struggled with feeling beautiful. It started as a little kid. My friends were stick thin and I had a little more fluff to me. Looking back I was average kid size, but still--even at that early age of 9, 10, 11--I felt inadequate. It wasn't thin enough. I didn't have the right clothes. My teeth were crooked. As I grew older those things still bothered me. I wanted to be the one in fifth grade who had the boyfriend. I wasn't. I wanted to be the one in 7th and 8th grade to have a boyfriend. I didn't get one then, either.
When I finally found someone who told me I was beautiful I was willing to give everything to him--my heart, my soul, my body--only to be crushed. In highschool I looked pretty cute in my tiny cheerleading skirt, but still I didn't feel beautiful. Not really. There was always someone prettier, more talented, and who did the cheers with more gusto.
Looking back, I don't remember a time when I could say, "I look beautiful at this moment." I felt pretty good at times, but it was never enough. I'm so glad I don't have to live through those days again. I'm finally glad that I do feel beautiful.
First of all, I feel beautiful because I have a husband who tells me so--even though I weigh about 40 more pounds than when we got married and have stretch marks. My husband tells daily how beautiful I am and how thankful he is to be married to me. More than that, over the years I've grown into a deeper and deeper relationship with God. God who created me and who gave the my hair color and eye color, my face structure and even my dimples. God knew me before the creation of this world and He loves me. He created me and He thinks I'm beautiful.
Sometimes I forget this. Sometimes I get busy, going through my day. I spend too much time flipping through fashion magazines, and I feel frustrated when my jeans don't fit like I want them to. But when I spend time with God. When I get to know His heart. When I remember I'm His special creation, and when I listen to His whispers then I can hear it: "You are beautiful. You are my daughter. You are mine."