Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beauty War Battle Number....

Little did I know that I was going to need the truth in yesterday's post so much today.  One of the messes I've struggled with throughout my life is feeling ugly.  Getting glasses, less than complimentary comments from others, and getting Bell's Palsy all contributed to my Beauty War.  I've struggled with feeling beautiful the majority of my life.  The battle would rage at different times... and haircut could trigger a beauty battle in 5 seconds flat.  And today, after getting a haircut, I was back in my Beauty War again.  Yep, it took no time at all for the tears to fall and for my anger to rise up as I looked at my hair and thought about how much I hated it.  Each mirror I walked by confirmed my fear... that my hair looked awful.  And mind you, my tears were flowing in public.  I quickly realized I needed to head home.

As I was driving in the car, the tears were pouring down my face.  There was a lot of pressure on this haircut because I have a vacation coming up and wanted to look and feel beautiful during the trip.  And as the tears rolled down my cheeks, I knew that I was believing lies from Satan and needed to fight back with God's truth.

You see, I won my Beauty War in the past by repeating biblical truths about beauty to myself in the mirror twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed. Yep, you heard me right.  For weeks, I was talking to myself in the mirror twice a day.  And here’s what I recited to myself:
1 Timothy 4:4 says For everything God created is good.  I am beautiful to look at, shapely, magnificent (or exceptionally beautiful); good, excellent in my nature and characteristics. 
Genesis 1:26-27 says 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness… 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them. Being made in God’s image means that I resemble, or reflect God1. I’m made in God’s image and that makes me beautiful!

Psalm 139:13-14 says 13For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  I was created with great reverence and heart-felt interest and respect and I am uniquely marvelous.
Zephaniah 3:17 says The Lord your God is with you; He is might to save.   He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.  The Creator of the Universe delights in my beauty and rejoices over me with singing.  What He thinks about me is more important than what anyone else thinks about me. 
And guess what?  Talking to myself in the mirror really did help me so much.  There’s something about repeating God’s truth while looking at my reflection that helped it sink in.  And God’s truth also exposed Satan’s lies.  This simple daily practice helped me write truth on my mind and my heart. 
So, while in the car, I started reciting some of the scriptures that I wrote on my heart in the past.  It didn't change my  haircut... but it did help me remember that God doesn't look at the outward appearance to define beauty, instead He looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).  The scriptures reminded me that I'm beautiful no matter what my haircut looks like.  But I have to confess that when I look in the mirror right now, I'm struggling to see the beauty myself. 
And isn't it just like God to do something surprising.  I had to stop at a bookstore on my way home, so I tried to compose myself before walking into the store.  And what do you know, as soon as I walk in the door, I see a friend from my mom's group at church.  She knows a bit of my story and as I walked up, I started crying again.  She asked me what's wrong and I explained.  She was quick to assure me that it wasn't as bad as I thought and that she thinks I'm beautiful regardless... and she also reinforced that who I am on the inside is what really makes me beautiful.  It was no accident that she was at the bookstore to provide me with truth and encouraging words.  I love how God knows just what we need and provides it during our toughest times.
My encounter with her, combined with prayers and encouraging words from my hubby and best friend helped me remember that I need to refocus my thoughts.  I need to put the Philippians 4:8 funnel into place.  I need to think about what's true, right, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.  My hair is ugly and I hate it should not make it into my heart... because those are the lies Satan wants me to believe.
I'm so thankful that I recognize these ugly lies now so I don't go too far down the pity party path.  It's easy to do, for sure.  In order to avoid the pity party, I tried to reframe my thinking a bit.  Some thoughts I used to replace the lies are:  This experience makes me thankful for good haircuts.  I'm thankful my hair will grow back.  I'm thankful to have hair.  Baby steps, I know, but it's moving my thoughts in the right direction, and that's what counts.
When I got home, I played around with my hair a bit and reached the conclusion that it is not quite as bad as I initially thought. Looks like it's time to start reciting scriptures to myself in the mirror again.  I'm fighting back, and I hope that you will fight back with God's truth too.  Don't believe the lies.  You have the power of God's Word to defeat Satan's lies.  Start by filling your mind with truth.  Read the Bible.  Look up scriptures about your struggle.  Say James 4:7 out loud, with your finger pointing, "Satan, I resist you!  In the name of Jesus Christ you have to flee from me!"  And know that God loves you every single moment... when you believe the truth and when the lies fill your head, God loves you completely and unconditionally all the time.  Let's resist Satan together and show him that he doesn't stand a chance... whether it's a Beauty War, Insecurity War, Intelligence War, or __________________ War.  I'm cheering for you!

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