Learning how to be a strong and beautiful woman of God.
***Inside: Words from 6 Christian Writers on how to be a beautiful and strong woman of God
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From the day I brought my baby girl home from the hospital, I was determined she would beam with confidence.
I thought we were succeeding until I asked my daughter if she thought she was smart and her response shocked me.
I don’t worry about my little boy near as much as I do about my daughter.
And while that may not be fair, I can’t help it.
I know the struggles girls face in this world. Struggles of confidence, belonging, and beauty. We do it to ourselves as much as we let the world do it to us.
While my daughter is at the beginning of her journey, I hope I can instill confidence in the beauty and amazing qualities I see.
I know women of all ages who have little or no confidence.
I find myself looking in the mirror at my post-baby body to remind myself that I too am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalms 139:14)
While I wasn’t “Miss Popular” as a child, I wasn’t unpopular. I wasn’t bullied. While I did have a few hurtful friendships, for the most part, I was well-liked and had a small core group of friends who were my saving grace.
The few times I felt “ugly” included:
- The awkward time in 6th grade where my body and my hormones were trying to figure out what was going on,
- When the boy picked my friend over me
- Or the period in college when my face decided acne would finally avail me.
However, I do remember so many friends who did feel ugly.
I remember my heart being heavy because my friends felt this way. When I looked at my friends, I saw them as beautiful and funny and amazing and smart. But they couldn’t see it in themselves.
I am reminded of my friend from summer camp. Let’s call her Susie. (**name changed)
Susie was beautiful by all world standards:
- Porcelain skin with dimples in both cheeks
- Beautiful brown curls that when straightened looked like satin.
- Legs: lean and long.
She was the envy of all the other girls at camp and the crush of every single guy.
And what made it even better (or worse) was her genuine and kind heart.
But while getting to know her, I found out she felt insecure all the time.
Insecurity rears its ugly head at all of us at one time or another.
So how do we fight these incessant battles?
We can fight the battle of our insecurities and reveal the Snow White in all of us.
I am greatly encouraged by books and great writers. (Big surprise, I know!) .
I had the honor to personally email a few of my favorite writers with these very questions.
I asked the first four the following question:
If you could tell my readers one thing you have learned about inner beauty and strength, what would it be?
I have learned that inner beauty and strength are often the
of painful, hard seasons in our life. Why? Because those seasons are actually growth opportunities. result
When we hurt, we grow empathy for others. Empathy is inner beauty because it allows you to build a bridge from you to someone else. When things are hard, we also find a strength we didn’t know was there. That strength happens when God fills our gaps.
One thing I have learned about inner beauty and strength:
That a woman at peace with who she is (not competing or striving), accepting of her circumstances no matter how unpleasant they may be (patient), and genuinely grateful (in general, not for certain things or certain circumstances)–that woman is truly strong and beautiful.
She’s not afraid of others excelling or outshining her, or of the effects of aging, because she’s at peace with who God made her.
She’s not afraid of difficult circumstances because she’s learned to patiently accept what God gives. And she’s not sharp, critical, and complaining because she’s learned to be genuinely grateful for the simplest gifts in life.
To me, that’s the essence of inner beauty and strength.
Strength is not always loud. It does not always mean winning, doing, or accomplishing. Sometimes it means losing, giving up, letting go. Strength is holding on to Christ alone and trusting his way even when it’s not the way you would choose.
I grew up thinking a lot about my looks and in order to maintain that, a lot of thought went into just what I wore, how I fixed my hair, and as I got older makeup, nails, etc.
However, pride in one’s outer beauty breeds a sort of inner ugliness. There is a confidence that comes with thinking you are someone special. But, a deeper problem is the need to be the best dressed, best looking, etc. The need to make others take notice of you or make them jealous. And, an obsession to maintain that appearance. Things like spending all of your paychecks on clothes, shoes, and makeup or being uncomfortable for the sake of fashion.
I still struggle sometimes with wanting to look a certain way but the need to please the Lord always wins out. I have not arrived but I know that real beauty is found in a woman who fears the Lord. Her heart’s desire is to serve and love Him. She does not seek to make herself noticed but Him to get the glory and she knows that the most beautiful women in her life are not her competitors but her encouragers who push her to be more like Christ.
**The following are quotes from two of my favorite authors’ books.
But positive thinking and happiness are not signs of weakness. They are signs of our strength. sometimes being joyful and grateful are the hardest, strongest things we can do in hard times. Happiness can change the world, but first it has to change us. We cant give to the world what we don’t already have.
So heres the good news. You are meant to be you, but you are meant to become a better you. You are meant to change and grow in the ways you long to. That is, in fact, why you long to.
You are the only you there has ever been or ever will be. God made you you on purpose. Now. For a reason.
My friends, you were made for a reason.
You have a purpose. What we are called for will look different for each of us. But I promise you, you are beautiful and strong.
Though, We are all in different parts of our journey, the journey can be amazing, if you will let it.
Whether you are the beautiful, though insecure teenager, the woman with a post pregnancy belly, or have young daughter like myself who you are trying to teach confidence, you are beautifulGod doesn't make mistakes and he made you in his image and nothing he made can be called Ugly, my friend. Click To Tweet