Friday, July 18, 2008


What is Beauty exactly?

Put yourself alone in a room with God and ask yourself this question.

I am not conventionally beautiful by the world’s standards. The opposite sex does not fall over themselves to be in my presence because of how beautiful, cute, or pretty I am. And for years I have dealt with inferiority and self esteem issues because of this fact. I have picked myself apart and criticized every flaw that I have. I have pointed out each of my deficiencies and physical abnormalities that contribute to my lack of worldly beauty.

Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."

I have come to a realization about myself. I read a book that puts into question what we consider beauty and what we consider ugly. What is our basis for thinking something exists within these boundaries. You have to think about light and darkness. Darkness doesn’t exist, but is merely the absence of light. Ugliness doesn’t exist. It is merely the absence of [conventional] beauty. I have come to terms with the fact that I won’t be a beauty queen one day or “that girl” that every guy falls over themselves to be near. If God had wanted me to live in that shallow life where beauty is my goal and something I live in daily, He would’ve created me more into the world’s standards. But he didn’t. Instead He created me in His image and because I am in His image I am flawless, beautiful, and free of the boundaries of the world’s standards of beauty.

This is not a concept that is easily grasped by people. We have been programmed that being beautiful means you have to be skinny, gorgeous, beautiful smile, perfect teeth, fashion sense, perfect makeup…but guess what. No one I have ever met meets these standards, and when we strive to step up to these standards we fall miserably short and in turn create a life of tortuous self esteem issues, because we don’t meet these standards.

I might not be the most physically appealing person, but what standards of beauty are you measuring me against? I have often felt inadequate as a woman because I did not fit into the “perfect-little-box” of what a man is looking for. But then it hit me. Would I rather be physically attractive to the men I meet and then have to “sift” my way through the sea of souls to find the one that God wants for me OR would I rather be protected until God has the one I am supposed to be with ready and at that moment God will be the one to unveil the beauty that is me to him…Personally, I would rather have my heart protect by my Father until its time for my heart to unite with another. And I would rather that my value be based upon what I am doing, and not what I look like.

It’s the heart that matters. A beautiful heart, a joyful countenance, a hopeful spirit, a peaceful presence. God does not want our beauty, he wants our hearts. If he had wanted our beauty He wouldn’t have created us to live in shells that grow old and fall apart. The world’s standards fall painfully short of what God sees in each of us…if we can open our eyes and realize this. He made me in His image, which means I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

So…today I challenge you to ask yourself, what do you consider beauty to be?

posted by Sarah W @ 11:32 AM   3 Comments

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Another year older, another year wiser (literally)

I am now officially 26. I have dreaded this age since I was 20. For some reason in my head, being 26 is the sign that you are on a slow descent to 30. That your youth and freedom is slowly stripping away and you are in fact, an adult.

The past few days leading up to this event have been less than pleasant. I have experienced what can only be described as a drought in my life - both spiritually and relationally. The friends who have surrounded me nonstop for months literally disappeared for the last two weeks. And this in combination with the dread I faced turning 26 lead to a severe depression. It culminated in a day where I got into an argument with a friend and then was sobbing my eyes out, wishing I was dead, and driving to the cemetery to just be near Shannon. I am not exaggerating when I said that I wished I were dead. I am not suicidal, but I truly wanted to just not exist. I looked back at the last few months and realized that I was an adult and that my child like nature was slowly slipping away. I felt like I was alone and that I had been abandoned by everything and everyone I held dear.

Not only did I feel this heaviness in my relationships, I have literally struggled to find commonplace with God. I felt like He was quiet and that I had been "sinning" so much that I was the one who was removing myself from His presence. My mouth has been let loose and I have not guarded the wholesomeness of my tongue. I was feeling a million miles away from God and from everyone around me...and all because I was turning 26.

God uses people in our lives to redirect paths that seem to be broken. He speaks through them when we are too deaf to clearly hear His voice. He uses these people to point us back to Him and to help us re-establish a true, genuine relationship with Christ. This person has been a influence to me, not because of the sterling life they live, but because of the challenge they have placed before me to really seek after God with everything.

So, in turning 26 and thinking about everything that has transpired in the last year, I can say with all confidence that God has indeed given me a good dose of wisdom these past five months. He has taken me to the very brink of losing everything, to the point where His hand is the only thing that keeps me suspended from certain death below. God has shown me His power and His authority. He has shown me His love in words I could never begin to say. And with one simple phrase.

I am loved.

No matter what happens now or in the future, I am loved. No matter how alone I feel, I am loved. No matter how far away from God I may be, I am loved.

My life is not perfect and it won't ever be, but I know going forward that whatever I face, I am loved. God's love never fails. God's love is not conditional. God's love is eternal. His love can sometimes bring us to a very painful process, but nonetheless, His love brought us to that place and it will bring us through that place.

I am now 26, and I feel like today when the clock struck 12:01am, I entered into a new season in my life. A season of maturity. A season of restoration. A season of hope. I can see God on the horizon, making my mountains move. I see the Son rising and my heart beginning to sing. God is going to take these broken wings that I have carried and make me fly again. So these are my committments for this year...

I am committed to you, My God and King. To do Your will, to go where You send me, to speak Your words. You are my passion and my purpose. To worship you, I live.
I am committed to my future husband. I am guarding my purity and my love closely. I know one day we'll be together and my gift to you will be my heart, my whole heart...without blemish, shame, or sadness. You will be my joy and my song.
I am committed to my friends. I hope that you will see me as a light when your sky starts to darken. I will try to be the rock for you when you feel broken. I will love you when you feel like no one else has the capacity to love.
I am committed to life. To living each day with Joy, Patience, and Beauty. To walk through this world that seems so ugly at times, but not only walk, but to Dance. To dance without fear. To dance without reservation. To dance with pure Joy. To laugh. To sing. To be free.

I think that I am starting out my 26th year of life on the right track...

posted by Sarah W @ 12:05 AM   2 Comments