How do we define our worth? Is it the fancy possessions we accumulate during our time here on Earth? Maybe it is the job that gives us the satisfaction of colleagues’ approval. Perhaps it is the worth others see in you. Is this truly our worth?
A couple of months ago, a friend asked me the question, “Are you beautiful?” She told me to be as honest, or even as vain, as I wanted to be with my response. It was serendipity that she had asked me this, as it was around the time that I had finally known the answer – had we discussed this, perhaps a year before that, my reply would have probably been jarring.
Now, at twenty-five, I am learning to embrace who I am, especially as a young woman. I don’t presume to have it all figured out – I know there is much more for me to learn, but being born in the generation that I am in, as a so-called millennial, hasn’t been easy.
We are constantly surrounded by the plague of social media, living up to a status, and so many of us have taken our lives because of it. How many more sisters must I lose for the world to be rid of the ideologies they have placed so ridiculously on the youth of today?
Our girls are growing up thinking they need to be objectified in order to feel beautiful. We peg them against each other. We cripple them before they can even comprehend it.
This question of beauty is something I’ve struggled with for most of my teenage years and into my early twenties, as I presume most women do: this pressure to be perfect and society’s definition of beautiful.
The freedom from the chains of wanting to be perfectly beautiful only really came after I turned twenty-three. The last two years of my life have been an exceptional time of growth, acceptance and realising that I am enough – not just for anyone else, but most importantly, enough for myself.
So, what brought about this feeling of calmness with who I am?
It isn’t just about beauty, and this is not just another beauty talk. This is about worth. This is about that fire that burns inside your heart, irrespective of what you look like. It is the strength you carry that you often underestimate. It is the glow you emanate when you love, and love wholeheartedly. This is about who you are.
So, I’ll let you in on my secret – it’s Christ, and Christ alone.
The greatest contribution to me learning to feel beautiful is my Christian faith. A couple years ago, I began to immerse myself in searching for scriptures that spoke about inner beauty, focusing on this, and allowing it to be my main concern. I spent hours looking up encouraging words that were like honey to my soul and medication for my mind. I recited His word diligently. I’d read out Psalms 139 daily. There came an inner peace and realisation that I’m beautiful, both inside and out – or more like my inside beauty has made me love my outside.
I have days, like any woman, where I don’t particularly feel attractive, or days where I wish I could change certain things on the outside. When I sit down and really think about it, however, I am content.
It’s been a long journey of getting to that place.
From this, I developed a relationship with Christ that has become my most significant one; a relationship where I am reminded that He has pursued me from the very beginning. It’s not because I am pretty to look at, or because others think I am worthy, but because of who I am in Him, and that is a child of God.
I told you that this wasn’t a beauty talk.
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”- 1 Peter 3:3-4