Saturday evening I sort of peaced out of all the different things I was invited to do, and headed for "alone time" ... (with people around of course haha) I went to Barnes and Noble and walked around until I found a book that struck my fancy, and then I burrowed away and read for about an hour in a half. Anyway, the book I chose was called "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?" and it's by Angela Thomas, I picked this book up without realizing I had heard this woman speak at a conference a little over a year ago, and I LOVED her...
So, onto the things I read about and am sorta thinking/mulling over now...
The entire purpose of the book is to mesh the desire to be found physically beautiful, intelligent, funny, witty, competent, with our desire for Jesus.. We want to be noticed, enchanting, desirable etc..etc.. Girls want to be all of these things physically and as an entire person. The thing that I really liked about her approach was that she not once pointed to needing "more God and less of these feelings and desires.." Instead, she points out how much we were created to feel and want these things, and how it IS ok, we just have to allow God to be the first in fulfilling these things in our life.
But, through the course of all of it, she so very openly talks about our desire for a boy to find these qualities in us. For us to have something tangible to see all of this fulfilled.. but then points to the problems if we allow a boy to be the one who solely fills this void. She walks down a logical path of thinking when the "swooning feelings" go away, and you have been married for a while, and he no longer picks up his socks etc..etc.. and suddenly if you are not careful you look to some other guy thinking "surely HE is perfect...." instead of allowing God to fill that hurt and void that your man was never meant to fill.
She spent a long time talking about the hurt in not being found beautiful. She talked about how half the hurt comes from what is NOT said instead. For example, when a guy says "Your friend is really pretty." He means NOTHING but to comment on another girl's beauty, but what he did not say about your own beauty means you were not noticed, and it leaves hurts, leaves a wound, a sting, some sort of mark on your heart. And, instead of acknowledging this or even our need and desire for this, we rationalize it as being ok, because we are dependable, the loyal friend, funny, smart, successful... But, when it all boils down to it, none of that matters, it still hurts.
She talked about a lot of aspects of being beautiful, so I thought I would include a couple quotes that I felt really described my feelings.. currently, previously... at some point I felt or feel this way...
"I've spent most of my life trying to deny the way God made me. Afraid to be strong for fear of being prideful... Afraid to admit I'm a woman who longs to be desired, rescued, and longs to be called beautiful."
"When no one notices, we learn to pretend that it doesn't matter. But, Lord knows, it matters."
Once she began transitioning into the core of the issue, the very center of what we are truly desiring above even a boy finding us beautiful, she said this:
"Oh, God, do YOU think I'm beautiful?"
She points out that at the core, we struggle with questions like these, and on some level believe that maybe not even God sees these things, or worse... what if he does and he begins to stop seeing me as beautiful and desirable? What if he stops noticing me because of all the mess?
"God, do you see me flawed? Do you see me struggle? Do you see the unmet desires of my heart? Do you see me trying to manipulate and control? Do you see me yearn for things I can't have? Do you see me in all the mess and STILL think I'm beautiful?"
God's responds to our broken thoughts...
"I knew the truth when you felt misunderstood." That in all of it he knows, sees, hears, and beyond all of that CARES when we are hurting.
She points out that one of the big things we have to understand is "There is a desperate loneliness that settles on the heart not heard. Lonely for companionship, lonely for expression, lonely for affirmation." And, in the midst of that, we ask once again...
"Do you think I'm beautiful? Do you notice me? Do you hear me? Will you rescue me?.... Do you REALLY love me?"
God always responds to these, He lovingly talks and speaks to each question in our hearts if we allow Him to. He created us knowing these things, and He uses them to continually draw our hearts to Him.
Then, she explains that we were created to give our hearts away to a boy, and that we were created to NEED their strength and that we are supposed to fall head over heels for a boy. This idea seems basic, but honestly.. the idea of giving my heart away, leaning on his strength, and falling head over heels in love with someone who could decide later I am not worth it.. Very much scares me. If I am being TOTALLY honest... my heart definitely cries out: what if he changes his mind and decides I'm not beautiful anymore? What if I fall apart at some point and he decides it is more than he bargained for?... What if he thought I had it together more than I do? What if my weakness drags him down? What if I can't support him the way he needs? Is he settling for ok when he could have had amazing? I mean I can point to dozens of women who are much more beautiful than I am both physically and personality wise.... So, what if?....
But, if I am going to pay attention to any of the things she was talking about, I have to realize a couple things...
1. Jesus created me to fill these areas with himself... which does not mean I suddenly no longer desire these things from a boy.. it just means he is the first and primary source of contentment in these areas.
2. None of these things mean my world will fall apart.
3. My future is not my own to worry about, that is not my job.
So, this is me admitting that I too share these feelings. I am "capable," "successful," "intelligent," "witty," "charming," "dependable," etc..etc.. and yet I still wonder, "Do you think I'm beautiful? Do you notice me? Do you hear me? Will you rescue me? Do you REALLY love me?"
These things constantly draw me back to the arms of my Sweet Savior Jesus.