Last week while I was working out, Jesus told me something important. I have spent a lot of my time and effort fretting about fading beauty. The older I get, the more it’s bothered me. I am embarrassed to share this, as I should have this all together, right? I’ll be five decades old in a few months, and by then you’d think I’d be satisfied with who I am and how I look.
So this is what Jesus said: Why don’t you spend the effort you would spend worrying about your beauty by telling other women they are beautiful?
Yes. This! So for seven days, I followed that sage (of course!) advice. I prayed about who to send messages to, and every day the Lord was very clear. (I’m so grateful for his direction. Oh how he loves his daughters!)
I won’t share their names, but I thought I’d share what I sent. I’ll tell you what happened afterward, so keep reading to the end. (And if you’re reading these, please receive them as if they are for you.)
Just a little wee note to tell you you’re beautiful. I know I struggle daily with my own beauty, and I’m guessing you sometimes do too. And yet, when I look at you, I see a beautiful woman of God, standing strong.
You have worked hard on becoming healthy. You have pursued fitness and clean eating. You have become more and more pretty, though, because of your sacrifice, not your efforts.
I admire you, and when I think of you, I think, “Wow, she is stunning.”
It struck me when we talked just how beautiful you are. I’ve seen you endure the kind of stress that few can bear well, and you’ve done it marvelously (though I know you feel otherwise). I see God doing something profoundly lovely in you over this difficult season. And through that, I see your physical beauty shine through as well.
You may be discouraged. The pressure might feel too much. You may wake up some days feeling old and spent (I know I do). But the truth of the matter is, you are growing more and more into the beauty Christ has wrought in you, and I’m grateful to be a part of your cheering squad.
Just a quick note to tell you I think you’re beautiful. I know as women many of us struggle with ourselves, and perhaps we get better at it with age, but nonetheless, I don’t think we affirm each other in this way very much. Whenever I see your face on Facebook, I smile. And then I think of how beautiful you are. You really are stunning. It’s not simply your outward appearance, but it’s your heart. You have a good heart; you serve others well; you have great affection for your family. You have so much to offer this world, and I see you offering it with gusto. Thanks for living large.
A quick note to let you know that whenever I see your face on social media, I immediately am struck at how beautiful you are. You radiate! Perhaps I’m biased because I also have the privilege of knowing your heart, and that beautiful heart shines through your smile, but you are simply stunning.
In a world that messes with all of us (certainly me included), defining beauty on its terms, they have it all wrong. Beauty is a joyful, surrendered heart, and a radiance that comes from Christ in you, the hope of glory. Thank you for being you.
When I look at you, do you know what I see?
I see beauty.
You are absolutely gorgeous.
I know that’s hard to hear. I know that because I struggle with my own beauty as well. I see all my flaws, and pick at what needs to be fixed. I think a lot of women do that, to be honest, but often we feel we’re the only ones.
But truly, friend, you are lovely. And when you sing? The beauty magnifies. It becomes a loudspeaker of Jesus’ ability to empower a life. I love watching Jesus through you. I love watching you sing your heart to him. In that space, I almost have to hold my breath.
Please settle into the FACT of your beauty today, dear friend. Because it’s true.
I want you to know how beautiful you are. You truly, truly shine Jesus wherever you go, and every time I see you, I’m grateful for the way you demonstrate him by loving others well.
You are beautiful even as you grow older—something this world does not applaud, but I clearly see. It’s like the older we get, the more Jesus can get through, and I clearly see that in you.
I wanted to let you know that I see you as beautiful. Your heart for Christ is shining like the sun these days, and it radiates through your countenance. You are lovely. In a world that praises the young and chases after fleeting beauty, yours is the kind of beauty that lasts because it inspires me to live for the kingdom. Thank you.
If you’re like me, you struggle sometimes when you look in the mirror. But be assured, you grow more beautiful by the day because He is reflected in you.
The result was twofold:
- I was less obsessed about my “fading beauty.” Blessing others rightly took my focus off me, and made me much happier.
- Those who received my short notes were truly moved. That made me even happier.
I think I’ll keep this experiment going as God leads. And I’d like to challenge you to do the same. There are women in your life who are gorgeous, but they daily struggle with that. They’re constantly bombarded by messages that say they’re not enough and never will be. They nurse a deep insecurity about their worth because they’re growing older, and our culture does not value aging or the wisdom that comes from walking with Jesus for decades.
Would you take a moment today to pen a note for a friend who truly needs to know she’s beautiful? And if you receive a response, will you spread the joy by sharing how it made her feel in the comments section below?
Mary, you touched me so much with blessing others when you felt insecure about your looks, although I think you are beautiful! I love it when the Lord reaches inside our minds and moves us to do something so profound as you have done…and then, it softens the fears we have about ourselves. I know when I look at my friends, they are so beautiful even as we age. The love of Christ shines through them, and that is so truly beautiful. Thanks for this great article. I will be a blessing to my friend this week. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
I’m so grateful you’ve taken up the challenge! Encourage those friends!
I love that you heard this, that you followed through, and that you shared it with us. You’ve inspired me to be more vocal about the beauty I see in others.
It’s so true that it’s easier to see beauty in others, and easier to focus on our own “flaws.” When I began to recognize how my love for my friends makes me blind to their graying hair or faces succumbing to gravity, I began to try to see myself with the same soft eyes. (I don’t always succeed, though.)
I love your second paragraph, Jana. That’s beautiful.
Lovely idea. I consider you a beautiful woman who has overcome many obstacles with grace and faith and a story to tell. Thank you, Mary.
Thanks Laura. How sweet of you to say that!