I’ve been attending this women’s bible study the last few weeks and each week, a layer seems to be torn off of me.
Yesterday, we talked about Beauty.
I thought this would be one week where I didn’t learn much. Not because I have astronomical confidence but because beauty’s not really a big deal to me. There’s a gift I’ve gotten from having a visible disability where I’ve learned that comparing myself to other women is pointless because I will never look like other women. It’s allowed me to embrace my own beauty more readily.
And then the speaker talked about the other side of beauty. The beauty of who we are, not what we look like.
My stomach dropped. Because I don’t view myself as beautiful on the inside.
I’m a perfectionist, which means I go way harder on myself than anyone ever will. It is an active fight to give myself grace. But I was getting better, for a while anyway.
A few months ago, I found myself talking with two friends who turned the table on me by recounting every ugly thing I had done, every ugly part about me. It was one of the worst experiences I’ve been through and no surprise, I no longer have a relationship with those two people.
Their words had a lasting impact on me, because now I had proof. I was an ugly person and everyone agreed. I fell deeper into a depression, isolating myself from others and behaving as if the words I heard from people I trusted were absolute truth. I was a failure. I was not enough.
So yesterday, when the speaker talked about being beautiful as a woman, all I thought about was their words.
We were asked to pick a word that represented what we felt God was asking of us in order to embrace who He says we are. I knew exactly what my word needed to be.