Picturing a beautiful soul: A Confession

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I had some interesting interactions this week, just a few actually. But in them, I realized that I’m just not that young girl anymore. I don’t turn heads. I feel my age, particularly as my wrist and hand hurts. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I wondered when it all happened, this aging thing. And I realized that I am growing old, less beautiful in the world’s eyes.

I hate to admit this, but it bothered me. A lot. I lamented the loss of youth, the loss of young beauty, the loss of who I used to be. This realization put me in a funk, not one that I shared with anyone outwardly, but one I battled with internally for several days.

And then the Lord spoke.

Oh how He spoke.

It came after a sigh of a prayer where I prayed, “Lord, I don’t want to be so consumed by this. I don’t want to be shackled to who I once was and who I am now. I don’t want to live a life of regret, always grasping at youth. I want to be content as I grow older. Help me.”

“Picture a beautiful soul,” He said.

And I stopped.

And listened.

And tried to picture what a beautiful soul looked like.

But all I came up with was a montage of accusing photos that shout my inadequacy from the checkout line. Young skinny women, perfectly polished, not me. Though I tried, I couldn’t picture a beautiful soul. But I’m trying. I’m trying to picture something full of shekinah glory, sparkly and radiant, the center of myself.

And as I picture it, I see myself standing before Jesus, in my new body, holding my soul out to him like a diadem.

You know what? I want that diadem to be beautiful. I want the worry of my decay to be but a fleeting thought. I want to cultivate the kind of life that creates a bigger jewel in my soul, enlarging my heart, making me more like Jesus. When I see Jesus face to face, unashamed because of His sacrificial act, I want my soul to be beautiful. I want Him to see it, to be pleased with how it shines.

But I can’t do that if I constantly point back to the young, naive me, worrying about fading beauty, now can I?

Dear, dear Jesus, I want to picture a beautiful soul. Help me live for that beautiful soul, not for that which fades and fades and fades. Amen.

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