The Truth of Beauty

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“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30 ESV).

Why can’t most people appreciate their bodies? Have you considered this question before?

 “Please look and see how beautiful you are, Paige,” someone held up the mirror before my face. Looking at the reflection in the mirror, I saw a face staring back at me. Disgusted, I looked away and thought, ‘How could anyone think that I am beautiful?’ This did not make sense.

At the age of sixteen, I received a trach and ventilator, and I have had trouble looking at myself ever since. Why would God allow this to happen—to change my appearance so drastically?

Though I struggle with my appearance, God has graciously taught me over the years to appreciate who I am, because I was made in His image. My beauty is not defined by whether or not I have a trach or am confident in a wheelchair. Beauty is so much more than the outward appearance or others’ views and opinions.

Often, I have heard countless girls and women complain about how they look and what they do not like about their bodies. Their hair is too thin, or they have a pimple or a pudgy face.

These complaints have brought this verse to mind: “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’” (Rom. 9:20 ESV). We are all uniquely beautiful.

Sometimes I wonder why people are the way they are. But, I may never know. Some people have experienced trauma, whether verbal, emotional, physical or otherwise, and this trauma has affected them deeply.

Yet, those affected by trauma may not even realize it, and if they do, they may keep their experiences hidden. Traumatic experiences distort our self-image, cause us to mistreat others and have a skewed view of relationships between ourselves and others.

These experiences also cause us to look for love for the wrong reasons or from the wrong people. We try to attract others by our appearance, not remembering that what is on the inside, who we are at our core, is of the most value. Attraction based upon mere appearance will fade, just like everything else on this earth. It is all part of sin—fleeting.

Some individuals struggle with weight and overeating, and others do not eat much at all. Both issues frequently stem from emotions, like stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression and anger.

If you could pull out your heart while it still beat, what would it look like? Now, this may be a graphic comparison, but, really, think about it.

What is your heart made of? Who are you at your core? Do you exemplify the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)?

We must look past people’s outer shell to know who they truly are, and we must treasure our inner selves above how we look. Try to appreciate your individuality and how you have been made. No matter how tough it may seem, it is worth it.

Wonderful, beautiful is what You see
When You look at me
You're turning the tattered fabric of my life into
A perfect tapestry
I just wanna be me

But You see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
'Cause You see the real me

And You love me just as I am

Wonderful, beautiful is what You see
When You look at me

The Real Me—Natalie Grant