Lined up one by one on the white marbly vanity rest the miniature bottles of beauty: hot pink, cajun shrimp red, tyin the knot metallic grey, emerald city turquiose, purple pulse, red hot tamale, and blue me away.
Once she makes her selection, the chosen color is lifted and the top is swirled around and around until it is released from its air tight home. The familiar fumes of fresh acrylic paint waft through the air. With much care and precision, the tiny brush paints its color on her nail bed. Beautiful. Opps. Strayed off. Cleaned up. Each nail receives its facelift of brightness and shine.
When all ten complete their beauty treatment, she admires her work. Well done. Doesn’t that look lovely. Now, she is lovely. Beautiful. Grown-up. She picks up a bottle of baby shampoo and advertises it to the reflection in the most professional way. Like Vanna White. Like in a commercial. Yes, she is like a movie star. Her sparkly fingernails tell her she is.
I am what I look like is one of the most natural and speedy mistaken identities that I put on. My fact of being is derived from how my nails gleam, my hair is flat ironed, my make-up is applied, my features are arranged.
Then, I wait. I wait for the affirmation from you. From my husband. From my family. From the stranger who smiles back. Because I believe I am what I look like and who I believe myself to be now falls on your shoulders.
It can get ugly fast: when I don’t receive affirmation from you, I don’t feel beautiful. Therefore, I assume I am not. Because you would compliment beauty, right? All of my attempts are negated because I failed to be beautiful to you. It’s deep: Who I am is how I look.
But, that is simply and clearly and loudly NOT TRUE. 1 Corinthians 15:10 says “I am what I am by God’s grace over me.” Your beauty is not found on your skin. Your beauty is grown from your character and living in the full potential of who you were created to be. Who I am is how God made me. Who I am is anchored in His love.
God loves you. There is oodles of beauty there. Let’s go find it.
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