Skin and Soul


Unfortunately, I grew up thinking that if I had worth, it had to do with how I looked. I wish that weren’t the case, but I believed it. But I wasn’t a cute kid, hardly one you’d look at and say, “Wow, she’s striking.” I was homely, needy, and thin. I had dark circles under my eyes. (Vestiges of that still clings to me today, so I use concealer).

Regardless of how I felt, sometime around puberty, attention came. That astounds me now, as I was gangly and terribly awkward. And I started that dance of fear, of longing for a daddy and looking for him on the face of boys my age. All I really wanted was for someone to hug me and say, “Everything will be okay.” I did not want to be kissed. Or looked at. Just held.

And yet, I needed attention. Relished it. As I grew into myself in late high school and college, the male attention continued. I spent time primping and flirting. I longed for a look, a hint of interest.

But I was so damaged back then, I couldn’t receive love. I relied on my looks to receive love, yet I couldn’t allow any man access to my heart, so terrified I was to be known, and then hurt.

Today I am loved deeply by a man who is handsome and amazing and smart and deep and spiritual. I revel in that. And yet, I still mourn losing my looks to age. How uncanny is that? I should be embracing the wisdom that comes with age, the beauty of growing a more beautiful soul (thanks to Jesus’ interaction with my life). But I think there’s still that little girl inside me, equating my worth with how I look. And as I age, I’m afraid.

Will I be loved? Will I have worth?

Dear Jesus, help me to embrace age. To be okay in my own skin. To equate worth with how You see me, not what I see in the mirror. Rejuvenate my heart today. Make my soul beautiful. Help me to see that skin is simply the outer covering to what is truly beautiful inside–You working in and through me. Forgive me for equating my worth to my own looks, for worrying about getting old. Help me today to be okay with who I am in this moment, wildly loved by You. Amen.

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