For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows grace and favor and glory - honor, splendor and heavenly bliss! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalms 84:11

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beautiful Like Me Project

Thanks so much to Lisa from Crazy Adventures in Parenting for posting this amazing article on self-image and to Wicked Stepmom from The Life and Times of a Wicked Stepmom for hosting this! The idea of the project is to promote self-esteme, in a country where if we find something wrong with ourselves we rush to the cosmetic surgeon for a consult.

This is SO timely for me!!! Just last night when I visited what will surly become our new church home the topic of the sermon was "Crazy Love" referring to Christ's love for us. The point that the pastor was trying to hit on this week is that as a culture it's very hard to understand how much God loves us when we have such a hard time loving ourselves. But the Bible is FULL of scripture proclaiming His love for us, in fact I've often heard it said that the Word is His love letter to us.

I wish I could share all the scripture used in last nights sermon with you, but it was a VERY scripture heavy sermon, something which I did not expect given the very contemporary "youthful" feel of the church. And since there were no sermon notes in the bulletin I'm just gonna wing it...

In Jeremiah it states that God knew us even before we were "knitted together in our mother's womb", and that before we were made He had a purpose in mind for us. This scripture is quoted a lot for a good reason, because although in context it was spoken about Jeremiah's birth/life there is reason to believe that He also feels the same way about all of us. We were made the way we are for a reason. In fact, (I don't know the references so if you do feel free to help me out here.. lol) the Bible says we are fearfully and wonderfully made! I believe that God doesn't make mistakes, and He didn't make any mistakes when he gave me brown hair instead of blonde. And He didn't make a mistake when he made my ears stick out a bit, and He didn't make any mistakes when He blessed me with two babies at once and left me with the resulting poochy stretch marked belly. All of these things were part of His plan for me, and He has similar plans for everyone on this planet. So why should I fight what He has created?

And here is the clincher, Christ died for us while we were still sinners. He didn't wait for us to get our act together, because He knew we weren't capable of that. He didn't wait for us to conform, or to finally get that nose job, or to even become self-enlightened. He knew that we were sinful creatures. And He loved us anyway!

In Romans 5:7 (check it out, I looked it up!) it says, "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (italics mine)

He knew that without His sacrifice to save us, we would have absolutely no hope. Because there is no possible way we would be able to shape up and "be good" based on our own efforts. We could not save ourselves, no matter how hard we tried, because eventually we would make mistakes and screw up. It's only by His death on the cross to cover our sins that we are redeemed. Freckles, stretch marks, cellulite and all. He died for thieves, He died for liars, He died for used car salesmen, He died for murderers (like Moses), and He died for you and me. His ultimate love saved everyone who has humbled themselves and come to Him to ask for redemption.

Anyway, all that to say, God is good. His mercy is endless. His peace is profound. And to those who seek Him, He will give you rest.

And yes, I do believe I'm beautiful. But not because I'm such a hottie. I'm flawed. I don't like my flaws, at all. I'm often unhappy with the way I look, and I sometimes wonder what others see when they look at me. And although I do try to look my best there are certain things about me that simply cannot be covered up or altered unless I pay big bucks to a surgeon. But I'll never do that. I'll never be nipped or tucked. I'll never color my grays. I'm not sure I'll ever wear make up again on a regular basis. Why? Because God made me this way, and I'm thankful for it even if it's sometimes hard for me to swallow. I'm the one and only unique me. And if that's good enough for God then it should be good enough for me.


Kristina P. said...

Beautiful post, Amy. It's so hard to see past our flaws, most of the time.

Brooke said...

jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse.

one of these days I'm gonna love myself as much as God loves me...and I'm going to be blown away!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

I think the thing that gets me the most is, we are so concerned with what others see, and we shouldn't care what others see, but we don't do that. We don't look at others and judge, because we're too busy wondering about what others think. And we also aren't staring others down thinking horrible things, are we? No! So why is it we think others are doing that to us? You know?

Always one of those things that'll get me wondering forever, back and forth I guess.

Fabulous post. We should love ourselves to show our children loving ourselves, flaws and all, is the best gift we could give ourselves.

Amy said...

Thank you so much for such a lovely post! Funny how things tie together sometimes. There is so much more to beauty than what our physical characteristic are.

Phil Steller said...

Thanks for sharing, Amy. I've been thinking a LOT about this subject matter - the "while we were still sinners" bit. It keeps coming up in my mind, but I haven't been writing on my blog much lately. Eventually I'll get back into it, and this will likely be one of my first topics.

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