Finding Beautiful

When I was younger, I was very insecure. I didn’t find myself beautiful, and didn’t believe anyone that would contradict my belief. I was constantly looking at my reflection, wishing it was another. Comparison became a habit for me. I began to look all around me, wishing I was someone else. When I was 11 years old, the insecurity peaked, and found itself at an all time high. I was feeling so down about my looks, and wanted to find something beautiful about myself. It was then that I put my heart and soul into singing. I always loved singing. I had dreamt of becoming a singer at such a young age, and the dream was still very much alive. I wanted to be recognized, known, and admired for my voice. When I was 11, I started singing again. I had stopped for a bit before, after an embarrassing performance that left me stunted. Anyway, I began singing again, and it was like I felt beautiful all over again. The way the words felt as they danced on my tongue, the way the harmonies rang in my ears, and the way it felt to share it with the world. I had remembered why music meant so much to me. As I sang on stage, I remembered my beauty all over again, and I held onto it so tightly.

 

The problem was, I searched for my beauty in music. If I wasn’t singing, my beauty escaped me. If I wasn’t performing, I didn’t feel like myself. The little nerves that would come right before I’d go on, were part of the experience that I had come to love. If I wasn’t experiencing it, somehow the beauty was forgotten. I always needed to be performing, and singing, and living life on a stage. Without it, I had nothing, I thought. Without the stage, I’d come off looking and feeling just like everyone else, remembering I was the same girl I deemed not beautiful. I had become dependent on the stage, the lights, the applause, and I couldn’t live without it. I became so dependent, that even when I would get the applause it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough to satisfy the deeper cry within me. I always longed for more. No matter how many people would tell me how much they loved the performance, there was always something missing. My beauty was founded on my ability to perform, instead of who I was beneath. I remember coming home after shows thinking, I could have done better, I could have been better, I could have tried harder. The fun that I had once had, turned into a job. I needed to be the best, I needed to be perfect, or else the beauty would leave me. I became so wrapped up in it, that there was so much fear present as I’d perform. It wasn’t to God anymore, or even other people, it was for myself. I would sing because I needed to feel something. I needed to feel that I was wanted, beautiful, and admired. Nothing else had made me feel like singing did. It was the time where I felt the most loved, treasured, and special. I had always been following Jesus, and instead of looking to him for those things, I had found it in my performance. It was shallow though. Even my best performance couldn’t heal what was going on below the surface. My soul was crying, screaming, and begging to be heard, and I would shut it up with outside applause. The applause was a quick fix to a permanent problem.

 

My desire to feel beautiful only grew. When I moved into high school, I would be attending a school where no one had no prior knowledge of who I was. This meant that I could find my beauty in something else. It meant that I could leave singing behind for just a bit, as I found something that better satisfied my craving to be known. When I entered high school, I would only share my voice with people I had become extremely comfortable with. The pressures that singing left me with, made me not want to perform anymore.It was then that I started to look for my beauty in boys. I know, what you’re thinking. It was the worst place I could have tried to find it.

 

I dated the wrong people, always. Each relationship in high school only made me feel good for a bit. In the beginning I felt beautiful, loved, chosen, you name it. But after a few weeks, I began to realize that it all would go away. I was no longer feeling beautiful, but desperately wanting to. Just as the applause was never enough, neither was the attention they were giving me. I always wanted more. More words, more time, and more love. They couldn’t satisfy my deep desire either, but I failed to realize it. I didn’t feel beautiful anymore, and it was as if I had just gone right back to where I started. Each relationship ended terribly, and with them ending up with someone else. But I would hold on so tight, at the hopes of them changing their mind and running back to me. Funny thing is, they never did. They never chose me, and they were never going to. I chose them, because I thought if I had someone that I would feel beautiful and it would satisfy the craving I had. The attention was never enough, and I always craved more. I was again left unsatisfied.

Then. - I bet you were waiting for that word right. THEN, God stepped in. 2015 came and I was dating someone and doing the same thing, looking for beauty, acceptance, and love. After we stopped dating, God spoke to me. I questioned all of my actions. Why had I been searching for beauty, love and admiration in trivial things? Why had I tried to satisfy my soul with things that would only leave it wanting more? Why had I pushed God out of the question? Right then, I had realized I had been looking in all the wrong places. The next day, I picked up my bible and began to pursue Jesus. I started reading more books about who God is, and who I am in him. I began to get more involved with my church, and I was so hungry for Jesus. Guess what? He met me. He met me just where I was at. He met me in my brokenness, and my search for beauty. I had never felt more beautiful in my entire life, then when I began to pursue Jesus with my whole heart. It changed my life around. Yes, I had believed in God my whole life, but this time I began to follow him, and put him first above everything else. I looked for my worth in music, applause, men, and yet I found it when I came fully to Jesus. I have begun to see more of my beauty wrapped up in Jesus. The world could never satisfy the desire I had to be chosen. Jesus has chosen you. Jesus has chosen me. He called me beautiful, and His. He called me wonderful, and righteous in Him. My worth is no longer in my ability to perform, but rather in the truth that I am fully, fiercely, and unconditionally loved my Him.