When Krista asked me to write about a time I felt beautiful, I immediately knew what I wanted to say. Just as automatically, my defense mechanism of academia (a world I am very comfortable in and with) came flying into full force, putting up the walls and barricades to separate my heart, my emotions, and the truth. I found myself asking Did I really understand the prompt? Did I actually know what it was to feel truly beautiful? What was beauty after all? I began looking up definitions of beauty and beautiful as well as word origins and their definitions. I looked at changing social concepts of beauty. I went full on researcher. Well, a week of searching for answers and trying to ignore what I already knew went by and a second email from Krista asking if I was going to participate in the blog arrived. This time I did not make excuses and simply replied I would.
What I knew when I received Krista’s first email was this: for me, beauty and feeling beautiful is about the moment. Not the moment when various aspects come together and leave us feeling as if we have met society’s definition of beautiful but those moments when something inside of us feels different, feels recognized, feels known, feels beautiful. While I do not need the fingers on one hand to count the times in my life someone has used the word “beautiful” when talking about me, I could not count the number of moments life has presented me with in which I have been allowed to feel beautiful. I felt beautiful sitting in a hospital bed with my sister as we held and looked in awe and amazement at my newly born niece. I felt beautiful in the presence of a friend willing to hold my hand while I cried. I felt beautiful eating chocolate Pop-Tarts at 3:00am with my cousin. I felt beautiful when my dearest friend recently asked me to serve as her Maid of Honor. I felt beautiful when my 2 year old niece gently touched my face and says “I love you!”
All of these moments of beauty were made possible by a much more significant and ongoing feeling of beauty. I very clearly remember the first time I understood with both my head and my heart the beauty the Lord sees me with. In this moment I understood He did not get me by default but that He would choose me every time. To Him, I am just as beautiful inside and out when I am in pajamas laughing with a loved one in the kitchen at 3 in the morning, or a T-shirt and jeans with my niece, all dressed up standing beside my friend as she takes her vows, or even hopefully some day at my own wedding. When I was able to let go of worldly expectation of beauty and of myself, I was able to step into a much deeper definition of beauty. I was able to step into the love of a Father for His daughter. I was able to see, and feel, and know God’s definition of beauty in my life. When I let go of the world’s definition of beauty, I get to live in the beauty of the moments God has create for me and I don’t want to miss one of them.
I hope this Monday is full of beautiful moments for you!
Dianna grew up and lives in rural Missouri the oldest of three girls. Dianna is a child therapist. Dianna enjoys being an aunt and just one part of a very large, loud, loving family.