The Eternal your God is standing right here among you,
“You are the ugly twin.”
No one ever said it.
They didn’t have to.
I KNEW it to be true.
Somewhere between farm girls with easy-to-manage short haircuts and our senior year of high school my twin had morphed into the beautiful homecoming queen.
And I was still an awkward, homely country girl with front teeth that crossed and no money for braces.
It should have helped that I was that same senior class’ valedictorian and the MVP for both sports that I played. The many accolades that rained down in that June of 1992 should have been enough to make me feel worthy. Valued. Important. Loved. Secure. Even beautiful.
But somehow it was never enough.
I was never enough.
Striving to be the best in everything only left me empty and focused on the things where I was not at the top. For me, as a conflicted eighteen year-old, that was the area of physical beauty. It was this dull throbbing ache inside that left me empty more times than I can count.
I’m guessing you have been there too.
What woman hasn’t?
Whether supermodel or stay-at-home mom or corporate executive or beloved grandmother, as women we long to be beautiful.
To know that we are beautiful.
To know we are priceless treasures uniquely created by the hand of a Master Creator.
The journey to an identity secure in our true beauty is even more intricate than our DNA. My own story as an identical twin certainly attests to that. And the substance of a self-knowledge secure in its worth goes far, far beyond the physical.
It is as unique as the personal relationship where we continually embrace a Savior who left the glory and beauty of Heaven for the muck of an ugly, fallen earth to live and die for us. It is wrought often with much pain as the tentacles of the lies of our Enemy, our flesh, and our world are removed one thought at a time. And it is as hope-filled as the promise that One Day we will forever and ever perfectly know the exquisite beauty He placed in us before time began.
I wish I could tell you that the desperately insecure eighteen year-old left me long ago. But I can’t. She still rears her ugly head more often than I would ever want to admit. But I can tell you through much prayer, grace and learning to receive the wild, relentless love of God, the lie that brands me ugly has lost its hold.
And I can also tell you that the Lord has redeemed those deeply dissonant days and used them to profoundly shape my calling. Through the pain of coming-of-age, and how the kindness, goodness, faithfulness and abounding love of God met me, a deep compassion was born in me to reach out to young people. Especially young women with tattered self-images and no source of hope.
If you are such a woman, I invite you to know the Perfect Love of God that will wrap your shredded, wounded, warped reflection in His healing arms. He longs to make you whole and His and to silence every doubt and every lie with the eternal harmonious song that declares your true beauty.
And if you are a woman who knows this beauty, I ask you to use it to touch the oh-so-many who look in the mirror and only see ugly.
Abby is a small-town loving, big city adventurer. She and her husband have worked with high school students most of their lives! Since their internship in Budapest, Hungary in 2005-2006, they have been working with the ministry of CRU. In May of this year, they moved to Hungary answering God's call to work long-term with the students of Central and Eastern Europe. Abby loves to laugh, especially at herself, has a passion for God and making Him known and is ever learning how to do that with three small children, ages 5, 3 and one month. She wouldn't trade the journey for anything! She blogs regularly at Fan the Flame.
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