Monday, March 3, 2014

prayers that can make you beautiful

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
-2 Corinthians 14:16-18

When I was eleven years old, I frequently pressed my face up close to the mirror in the bathroom, intently examining my eyes, cheeks, nose, and chin. I was like a reverse archaeologist, searching for evidence of future beauty in my face.

Junior high came and (thank the Almighty) it ended. I passed through high school and college, and eventually married, had babies, turned thirty. Then thirty-five came and the thought of my forty-year-old self became a reality.

At some point, I stopped pressing my face up close to the mirror like I did when I was younger. Along the way, in the midst of baby weight drama, cross-country moves, bad haircuts, I began to choose to live and write that beauty is as beauty believes. 

I turn 38 this week. As you get older, your age comes to be defined by what you choose to believe about it. Americans worship youth, and it's tempting to dread the ever-increasing number attached to your life.

I choose to wear mine like a badge of glory. God's goodness has increased exponentially to me as the calendar pages flipped along. Aging is full of joy when you cling to Christ.

Looking in the mirror today, I see that in many ways I am outwardly wasting away. An abundance of fine lines are forming around my mouth. My skin is slackening ever so slightly. My face is changing with the passing of years.

Every cosmetic commercial and ad says that this is the beginning of the end of my youth and beauty- unless I buy their miracle products. But by faith, there's more for us than that.

Today I find my reflection dazzling with beauty because there is a new prayer in my heart, and every time my lips utter it, I find peace and joy in new measure.

"Fill me with Your beauty, Lord."

I don't want to look like a Hollywood star, a perfect model, or Princess Kate on the cover of People. Yes, the world is full of beautiful women. But I don't just want to look beautiful; I want to pour beauty out into the world

I really only want to be as beautiful as God chooses to make me. If this face is good enough for Him, then it's good enough for me, too.

No lotion can renew me. There is not a serum that promises that the best days are still awaiting me just beyond this life. And if there was a potion that could actually turn back the hands of time and make me twenty-five again, I would pour it right down the drain.

Because I want more than eternal youth. I want to be who God has called me to be. For now, that is a thirty-eight year old woman who reads the lines on her face and finds there is a beautiful ballad of God's faithfulness written there. 

His beauty truly outshines us all, and He gives it to all who press themselves close to Him and seek His face. And that's a miracle worth praying for.


One thing I ask from the Lord,

    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
-Psalm 27:4


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