Seven years ago, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
It hasn’t been the easiest journey, but I can say that’s it’s been the best years of my life. Read the rest of this entry »
2013 is almost over.
I realized that when I happened to take a peek at one of the papers stuck on the wall beside my desk.
Written in the middle was the word “SOAR,” a promise I asked from God about what 2013 would be like. The surrounding messages were from my colleagues, who gave me words of encouragement on what they see me to be in 2013.
Some of what they said had already come to pass. Some of it was ongoing. And still some, I haven’t seen happening yet.
It has been a pretty epic year so far, and I’m excited to what the next few weeks and months will bring. At the same time, I’m doing my best to enjoy the present and savor what God has for me right here, right now.
. . . but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
I never imagined I would write a blog about beauty. But here it is.
Growing up, I never believed that I was beautiful. Smart, yes. A good friend, maybe. Willing to have fun, you bet. But pretty, beautiful, or good-looking? Never. Because there were people around me who were beautiful anyway (like my older sister and my high school best friend).
I made up for what I thought was a lack in the looks department by doing other things. I knew I didn’t have to be noticed just to be liked by men. I had to be smart, and I had to be a friend to them.
Under that front, I was needy for attention, affection, and love.
Fast forward to my adult life, years after I received Christ. I read in the Bible how each of us was “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and how it made so little sense to me. I thought that others were beautiful, but not me. Definitely not me. For some reason that truth did not resonate with me.
But truth, the sharpest ever sword there is, always has this timeless ability to pierce the hardest of hearts.
I was beautiful. God already said it in His word. I just didn’t want to believe it.
Layer by layer of insecurity was taken away as I began to surrender piece by piece of myself to Him.
One of my more good-looking friends told me that I needed to fix myself up because I looked older and more matronly than she was—and she was already a mother to three kids. That statement, while seemingly innocent, I took great offense at. Fair enough—I refused to wear makeup or nice clothes anyway. More than that, I was carrying myself in a way not aligned with what God’s word said about me—because I was refusing to believe it, after all. My ill feelings about myself took precedence over what God said. And then that became evident in how I lived my life.
From there, I decided that I was going to start believing in the truth that I was beautiful, special, and wrought of God. That no matter what happened or what people said, I was who God said I was.
On the practical side of things, it took another group of friends to help “rehabilitate” my lack of knowledge in the beauty and fashion department. I sought help from other women who were more skilled and experienced. I would like to believe that their efforts are not in vain, and I am really grateful for their help and input.
I’m still in the process of figuring many things out and opening myself up to all these self-improvement opportunities. But one thing I know—doing all of these makeover things won’t mean much if it’s out of sheer vanity and attention. I know that I am beautiful because God made me so—and so are you.
Ladies, Jesus died on the cross for you. When you were marred by sin and shame, Jesus shed His blood so that you would be made clean. More than that, He bestowed His beauty on you. You are beautiful because He is beautiful—and He made you beautiful.
Start believing that right now.
1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
I used to spend my Saturdays alone. In my head, I thought that I deserved some well-needed downtime and rest, because I had been surrounded by people and work all week. Now, Saturdays are the only days that I knew I would have for myself, and I guarded them fiercely.
Since the month started I realize that all that changed.
I’ve been hanging out with friends more often on what I considered these “sacred” days. For each Saturday of this month alone, I ended up doing (instant) makeover trips, shopping trips, bonding dates, movie dates, dinner dates, and tonight, a totally random pigfest/bookstore run/road trip/house party/game night/singalong feast.
Take note that the people I spend time with are not people I usually hang out with.
The best part of all of these events is, most, if not all, of them were totally unplanned.
Why am I writing about this, anyway?
There is more to life than my feeling of entitlement to MY time. Easing out of my self-imposed exile wasn’t easy at first, but BEING IN THE OUTSIDE WORLD WASN’T AS BAD AS I THOUGHT IT WAS. And I have no regrets.
So this is what it feels like to break out of my selfish, quasi-introverted shell. It is more fun to be out there, be with people, know more about them, and just have fun.