Beauty is Fleeting; Our Identity is Not

beauty, identity, beautiful
Proverbs 31 is speaking truth to me today. As I wrestle with body image issues and the constant lies from the enemy trying to attack my thought life, this verse speaks loudly.
My heart goes out to all the girls and women out there fighting this same battle- the battle of loving ourselves for who we are. There’s a fine line between loving ourselves the way He made us and thinking so highly of ourselves so as to be arrogant and conceited. Loving ourselves does not mean putting our value above others or constantly putting ourselves out there to get affirmation from others. There is a distorted view of confidence going around that says the more skin we show, the more seductive pictures of ourselves we post, and the more attention we get, the more confident we are. And that breaks my heart. I say this from experience- the more we do those things, the more we are just crying for help, for change. We have trouble loving who we are inside so we blast our outside to the world to try and get some affirmation that we’re of worth. Because we believe that IS our only worth, our appearance. Girls, that is simply not true.You are so beautiful.
Your beauty extends beyond the color of your hair, the blemishes on your skin, the number on the scale, the alignment of your teeth and the cup size you wear. If I could just take the eyes of the Father, the one who created you PERFECTLY and without error, and give them to you, you would see how He sees you, how you truly look. You would see that none of the things you think matter. And I’m speaking to myself too! It’s all a clever ruse of the enemy to get you to feel inadequate and unworthy, constantly throwing in your face this false view of beauty in the media. It’s all around us, unavoidable. Even if we shield ourselves from watching or reading certain things, we’re still susceptible to the seduction in our peripherals that quietly and subliminally tells us what is beautiful and what is not. The magazines we glance at in the checkout lane, the movie posters we pass, the commercials we watch, the stores we shop at… It’s everywhere and I’m so sorry.

If you could see how He sees you…
Well, you would know without a doubt that you are BEAUTIFUL and WORTHY and absolutely INCREDIBLE. He made you so uniquely and intricately, weaving together the perfect combination of DNA. The things that you think matter – the extra weight, crooked teeth, stretch marks, and such – don’t define you. We have to know who we are in Christ, and by that I mean know who He made us to be, to know our worth.

If every mirror was shattered,
every social media site taken down, we would still know we’re beautiful because our beauty is found in our soul, our identity in Christ, and not our appearance.

I am all for making health a priority and working towards bettering ourselves physically. I’m doing Weight Watchers, I’ve had braces, I sometimes love working out, I even own my own independent Skincare business- those are all great things! But when it becomes an obsession, when I stand in the mirror naked and feel disgusted at the tiger stripes across my belly and thighs – the marks that came from carrying my beautiful son, I might add – and criticize myself for having gained so much weight since my late teen years, that’s when I have to stop and think about things a bit. Who am I really? Am I defined by those unsightly marks or rolls? No. I am Ashlee Charpentier. Blessed wife, mama, and darling daughter of the king! I was made in His perfect and beautiful image. No one has to convince me that that’s who I am. I know that I know that I know, to my very core.

It used to take a lot more convincing to know that I am beautiful.
Valued. Special. I didn’t know my worth or my identity and that resulted in so much pain and emptiness. I am so thankful for Christ’s redeeming love and grace for setting me free from so many chains, including the chain of needing to be loved and affirmed by others.

And guess what? He loves you so much that He wants to set you free as well! Take a moment and reflect on the Father, realize that He is pursuing you passionately and lovingly. Let Him embrace you. Surrender… And be transformed by the renewing of your mind. So you can see yourself and others the way He does, you can love unconditionally, be eternally joy-filled, and have unwavering peace.

Thank you, Papa, for the nature of who You are! Thank you for loving me, for creating me for love, and for giving me the only identity that matters…

Feeling God move on your heart? Please don’t hesitate to send me a message if you have anything you need to talk to someone about. I would love to be there for you!

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