Do You think I’m beautiful?

Masterpiece: 1. A work of outstanding artistry, extraordinary skill, or workmanship. 2. An artist’s or craftsman’s best piece of work.

“For we are God’s own handiwork (His workmanship). We are His masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus so we may do the good things He prepared and planed in advance for us to do.”  (Ephesians 2:10)

Do you think I’m beautiful?

If I’m really honest, deeply hidden somewhere within my soul is this question. It’s the question I sometimes ask without ever speaking it out loud.

I might package the question in different ways.

  • “Does this dress suit me?”
  • “Do you like my haircut?”
  • “Does this colour look good on me?”
  • “Does my bum look big in this?” Yes, I have actually asked this question! (More than once!)

I’m really asking, “Am I beautiful?”

Do you think I’m beautiful?

This past week on her blog, my friend Melissa Taylor shared that we are God’s workmanship. We are a masterpiece. We are a work of art. Made by the Master. We are a ‘piece’ of the Master, made in God’s image. I loved how she broke down this word. God’s. Master. Piece.

But sadly as I read over 100 comments on her blog, my heart was broken and heavy for all the girls who shared that they were going to have to work hard at believing Melissa’s message that they are God’s masterpieces. Girl after girl shared that they had never seen themselves through the eyes of Jesus. A work of art. Loved. A masterpiece. Beautiful.

And I understood. I knew how they were feeling because I’ve been there.

No-one ever called me ugly. No-one ever laughed in my face. The problem is, no-one ever noticed. And no-one ever told them me I was beautiful.

When I was in Grade 6 (I would have been about 12 years old) my mousy brown hair had finally grown to shoulder length. For some reason my Mum had always kept my hair cut in a very short bowl cut or bob cut. She must have thought it looked cute and pixie-like. It didn’t! Trust me, I’ve got the photos to prove it! Anyway, my hair had finally grown and one particular day I thought it looked beautiful because I’d worn it in two plaits (braids) during the day and when I’d come home from school I’d shaken out the plaits and lo and behold, my straight, boring, mousy hair had become wavy! (You have to remember, this was before curling wands and hair straighteners!) I felt like a Princess! I wasn’t the ugly stepsister. I was Cinderella riding my horse around the paddock without a helmet on just so I could feel the wind through my wavy, shoulder-length hair! (Yes, as you can tell, I remember this day vividly!)

Then my Dad arrived home from work. And do you know what he said to me when he saw me?

“You look like a witch with your hair like that.”

Ouch. Poof. One wave of the wand and Cinderella was gone. And I was the ugly stepsister again.

I just wanted him to tell me I was beautiful.

It took me years to finally believe that God created me in His image. An image that is both amazing AND beautiful! And somewhere along the way I learned that ‘beautiful’ is a subjective word. After all “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. What’s beautiful to one person might actually be considered ugly to the next. The question I finally asked myself is, who is my beholder? And the answer is, it’s God!

No matter how many times Tim looks at me and tells me I’m beautiful, although it makes me feel like a princess, it doesn’t validate my beauty. God validates my beauty. His Word validates my beauty. And if I am beautiful to Him then I am truly beautiful in every sense of the word.

Michelangelo is reported to have said (about his 17-foot marble sculpture of ‘David’ in Florence, Italy) “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Michelangelo chiseled and chipped away at the stone that didn’t look like David.

As I’m reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book Unglued, I am (slowly) beginning to understand that during the times when things get tough and start to hurt a bit a lot, these are the moments when God is chiseling and chipping away at areas in my life that don’t look like the way He wants me to look. It’s during the hurting times that He is removing the pieces of stone that look different to the way He originally made me. Beautiful.

__________

You Are Beautiful by Katherine T Owen, 2009

God says, “You are beautiful.”
I say, “No I’m not.”

God says, “Do you think I am a liar then?”
I say, “Of course not, You are God. You do not lie.”

God says, “Do you think I am mistaken then?”
I say, “Of course not, You are God.  You do not make mistakes.”

God says, “Do you think you know yourself better than I know you?”
I say, “Of course not, You are God. You see everything. You know me better than I know myself.”

God says, “Do you think I created something ugly and bad when I created you?”
I say, “Of course not, You are God. You create, and You see it is good.”

God says, “Do you think you are more powerful than me? Perhaps I create you beautiful, but you change yourself?”
I say, “Of course not, You are God. How can I be so powerful as to change the essence You give me?”

God says, “When you look at it, what you think about me is insulting.
You think I am a liar, or mistaken, or don’t know you well, or create bad things, or that I’m less powerful than you.”
I say, “I’ve never looked at it that way before.”

God says, “Do you listen to other people more than you listen to me?”
I say, feeling ashamed, “Yes Lord. But I thought they were talking for You.”

God gives me a look of sadness and frustration that His people do not always speak His words.

God says, “You are beautiful.”
I say…, and I don’t know what to say. My head, full of contradictory information, feels like it will burst.

And I know God is telling me something I really don’t want to know.
It goes against what I’ve been taught.
I don’t want to know that everything I’ve been taught is wrong.

I reply, saying,
“Yes God, I am beautiful.”
I am crying, and I am confused.
And I feel God will punish me for my pride.
Yet it is God who pushes and pushes me to see this as the truth.

God holds me in His love and lets me cry.
“Thank you,” He says. “Thank you for listening.”

__________

Nicki (to God): Do You think I’m beautiful?

God (to Nicki): Yes, I do.

(And He thinks you’re beautiful too.)

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17 thoughts on “Do You think I’m beautiful?

  1. Nicki, very powerful. My heart broke for that little girl you used to be. Fathers, earthly fathers, often disappoint and disillusion their little girls and it is so sad the amount of harm done by words said without thinking.

    I want to thank you for sharing Katherine’s poem. It truly hit home and brought tears to my eyes.

    Blessings and love,
    Catherine

  2. I have always hated myself no matter how time I tried to believe what God or other people said like I am worthy or loved instead of I wish you were never born or every time my dad bashed me I believed it was my fault and that God would hurt me too. I have a lot of trouble loving me.

    1. Doreen I am so sorry to hear you say that. I am also sorry you were hurt physically and emotionally from such a young age. All I can say and promise is that God will never ever hurt you or let you down the way people sometimes do. When you can completely trust God you will be able to view yourself through His eyes. I pray that one day you will see yourself the way He sees you. Beautiful. He does not lie. He does not make ugly. He loves you Doreen.

  3. Nicki, thank u for this beautiful blog post. I can so relate to it, for I too went through something similar as a child. On those days we aren’t feeling so beautiful, we only need to climb up in Jesus’ lap and let him reassure us. Because we are His creation!! How we can be anything but? Besides, I don’t like knowing I’ve insulted God when I put myself down! Thank u for ur honesty. Big Love!

  4. Wow Nicki! You ARE beautiful!!!! Thank your for sharing. Too many of us can relate to your story. Thank you for sharing the poem. I am going to print it out and share it with the girls at the school I work at.

  5. Thanks for your story and poem that followed. I plan to share the poem with my 12 year-old (almost 13!) who acts like she doesn’t care to be beautiful but I believe wants to hear it. I have a tendency to pile on some comments to her that probably aren’t helpful (can you pleeeze brush your hair??, did you not wear deodorant??, you didn’t wash your hair right!!) – arggh, I realize part of it is the tween years but I know she struggles with being “invisible” at school or not feeling very close to friends and prefers being by herself a lot. The Unglued study is a great one for me and I’m actually letting her in on some of it so that she can begin to understand just how much I really do love her and don’t want my negativity (raw emotions) to push her away more than sometimes I feel I already have. My father always had beautiful things to say about me – my mom was often more critical and I often felt compared to my siblings. I thought I wouldn’t be that way in my own home but it seems similar at times. I need to be reminded of my own beauty in Gods eyes as well and renew my mind with truth and not lies!!

    1. Elsa, you are describing me and my daughter! How often I wish I could say less harsh and judgmental things to her out the heat of my raw emotions. It sounds like you and I are both on a journey towards discovering that we ARE beautiful in His sight, and to also make sure we let our daughters know that too.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and share your thoughts on my blog. (I’m going to post that poem on MY daughter’s wall right now!)
      God bless.

  6. Thank you for sharing your experience with your father. I also had an earthly father who said many hurtful things to me. His words stayed with me for a very long time and often hindered my relationships with others and especially how I felt about myself. I now know that what our heavenly Father thinks about us is so much more powerful than what any one person thinks.

    God bless you,
    Tina

    1. Tina, don’t you wish you could tell every little girl out there that although her earthly Daddy might love her, he might still say hurtful things – often without meaning to. And don’t you wish you could tell every little girl that no matter how hurt she might be by her earthly Daddy, the words of our Heavenly Daddy are SO much more powerful. And they are always true.
      Imagine if every little girl knew the truth that would set her free.
      Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and to make a comment. It really blesses me.

  7. The title of your blog reminded me of an excellent book by Angela Thomas…Do You Think I’m Beautiful? After reading her book, I was able to see myself with different eyes. I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles in this area.

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