It is early in the morning and I am sitting on my couch with my sweet dog. We have already taken my husband to work, had a cup of joe, and gone for a walk. I live in an area where there is such beauty and a strong sense of historical preservation. Surrounded by Victorian homes it is awe inspiring to see their granduer. It got me thinking how these edifices have withstood time. Some show their age more than others, but in the quiet of the morning they all look beautiful and flawless. But as the sun rises, their age begins to show.

Honestly, that is how I feel today. In the quiet of the morning I feel beautiful. It feels safe, the sun has not risen and it is hard to see the cracks and the chipping paint. Like the houses, in the shadows of the street lamps I stand tall, unaffected by time and abuse. I wear a mask of strength and peace.

But I know I cannot stop the sun from rising and the world from seeing the bags around my eyes or fine lines from years of stress and pain. Then I will feel exposed. Laid bare for all the world to see and that is a place I have never wanted to be. I have spent years blaming my “unattractiveness” as the reason my husband has chosen pornography over me. I even had a counselor once suggest that if I just lost a little weight, my husband wouldn’t feel compelled to use his fantasy life. I have scrutinized my hair color, eye color, stretch marks, surgical scars all with shame. Shame begat helplessness, begat more shame, a spiraling downward into a place where all I could feel and see was despair.

Twice today I have been drawn to 1 Peter 3:3-4.

3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

As I reflected on these verses I was blessed with this overwhelming sense of YES I AM BEAUTIFUL! God in the quiet of the morning said, “my precious daughter you are of great worth in MY eyes.” And I feel peace.

 

 

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