Hand-made: An exercise in discovering beauty

I’m not being arrogant when I say that I’ve gotten more compliments on my looks the past 24 hours than I have the first 27 years of my life. Nearly everyone I have talked to has said something about how they think I look beautiful. Why? Nope, not a makeover, nor a brand-new pair of jeans. Ironically, I had actually just gotten my head shaved…

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So why this drastic change in my looks? Two days ago, I had been spurred to action when one of my squadmates, Emily, had to leave to go home back to America. I felt so much compassion for her in my spirit that I wanted to shave my head to symbolize the freedom that God was going to release in her life. Cutting my hair has always felt so freeing to me, so off went my hair…

Snapshot 1 (11-18-2012 12-31 PM)

What has surprised me the most is how God has used this decision to speak to me about my identity and set me free as well. As people told me that I was beautiful, I didn’t actually believe them. But God kept sending people in my midst to tell me this, to the point where I actually thought the rest of the squad must have a conspiracy going.

That night, at our girl’s night, our squad mom Rynette shared about the beauty we have in Christ as women. She talked about how in Genesis 2, men are “formed” from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7), but women are “hand-crafted” from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:22). Truly, women are made to display Christ’s beauty! As she prayed to close out the evening, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Kelly, when people say that you are beautiful, it’s not just because of your hairstyle. You ARE beautiful – it’s how I’ve made you. Do you believe it?”

I sat there, stunned. Really, God? I realized that in my head I believed I was beautiful but somehow this didn’t translate to my heart. Throughout my upbringing, I had always been told that the most important thing was being beautiful on the inside…which is true, but over time I had come to completely disregard my outward appearance. When I really thought about it, there were are a number of things I disliked about myself: my height, broad shoulders, the large brown freckle on my cheek, and more.

Later that evening, as I discussed this with some of my friends, our squad leader Rachel said that I should ask God to show me the parts of me that He made most beautiful. What He told me rocked me!

  • God’s favorite part about me is my eyes…God made them green because when I talk to another person, it brings them life, and He put a yellow ring around my irises to symbolize God shining His light

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  • My shoulders are broad because they symbolize my fighting spirit; I’m a warrior for the Kingdom of God

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  • God has put a freckle on my right cheek to remind me that no one is perfect, so I shouldn’t try to be… This is so significant for me as I tend to be a perfectionist

And these are only a few of the many truths that set me free…I actually sat there praying for about an hour, asking God to speak to me about the way He created me, and to reveal His truth about my insecurities. I began to understand what God means when He says that we are hand-crafted, and how intentional we have been put together. Indeed, in Psalm 139 it says that God knit us together us in our mother’s womb and that every hair of ours is numbered. You are not an accident. The freckles on your cheek, the bump on your chin, your bony knees…did you know that God has a purpose for each of these things?

This time of prayer was so freeing for me, that today I want to encourage you to do the same. So if you’re reading this, grab a pencil and paper, find a quiet spot, and write down all of your greatest insecurities about your body on the left side of the paper. Then, ask God to reveal His truth about these things – why He created you that way – and write them on the right. Ask Him to tell you the parts of him that He made most beautiful.

In doing this, it will help you take your focus off of what you or others have told you about your body and replace the lies with God’s redemptive truth. I’m convinced that our biggest insecurities are things that the enemy has tried to steal from us, but as you allow God’s truth to invade in your heart, the truth will set you free…

After you try this exercise, write your reflections below – I can’t wait to hear how God speaks to you!

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