Friday, November 6, 2015

Beautiful beyond compare

It's November. The days are darker, the nights are longer, and perhaps that's why I'm a little bit more introspective. Or maybe it's not introspective. Maybe it's just who I am burbling to the surface. It's me staring into the mirror and discovering there are wrinkles upon wrinkles on my face and the gray hairs which I expected to make my straight, fine hair more full are just gray. Just gray overtaking me. I don't know what it is, but I've been thinking about how I look. HOW I LOOK. And that's a giant leap through the looking glass back into years I'm glad to be past.
But some days here I am. And I admit to them. Here I am.

So I take out a blog post I wrote 4 years ago to remind myself of truth.
It's also Random Journal-Link-up day, so it's rather serendipitous that I'm thinking of an old post today. Rather like, "Yes, these are the words meant to be shared right now, for me, and for whomever else."
Please follow this Link to Dawn's wonderful blog to see all the other offerings.

Now, to my post, from May, 2011

A few nights ago, a friend sat in our living room staring at a wedding picture of Beve and me.  She said, "He was really good-looking.  Well, he still is, even older with gray hair."  Then she paused.  "Isn't it interesting how often really good-looking people tend to marry people so much less attractive than themselves?"
Ed note: here are a couple of pictures from our wedding day since I'm not sure which one she meant.

Last night, as I stood in the shower, I started laughing about this comment.  I mean, belly-laughing until tears were mixing with the water from the shower.  It isn't the first time I've been around this block, you see.  Not by a long shot.  Almost from the first moment of our engagement, I heard comments about how handsome Beve is.  (And, actually, the guy I dated in college (in an informal dorm vote) was voted the best-looking guy in that small college.)  So I'm no stranger to being in relationships with very handsome men.  And to the often strange looks I've gotten by some in this world who don't get it, who just plain don't get why that man would be with someone like me.  I've had cashiers in stores tell me to my face that Beve is the best-looking man they've ever seen, Nordstrom employees say he should model for them, friends tell me they could drown in his blue eyes or have a crush on him (go ahead, imagine my eyes rolling--at least inside--when you hear these comments). My point is, the list is long.

And along with those comments about him have come those about me and my relative place in the looks department. "You and I," an older friend once told me, "have to be content with the fact that we are not attractive women and can't do anything about it, while our husbands are."  Oddly, though I love and respect her husband, I've never thought him all that good-looking.  But I'm very glad she does.  Another friend has told me, "At least you married up and gave your kids a chance, looks-wise."  "It must be hard to be married to the best-looking person around, looking as you do?" is something else I've heard.

Yep, I've grown accustomed to these things over the long course of our life together.  And yet.  About 95% of the time, I never think about Beve's looks at all.  No more than I think of mine.  I mean, I think of them.  Sometimes he doesn't put his clothes together very well: like rust cords with green shirt.  Seriously?  So to put it in a grammatically-poor sentence, I like him to be looking good rather than good looking.  And he feels the same way.  Though it may be hard to believe, I don't think he's ever noticed his own looks.  That just isn't important to him.  We are equally yoked, because God meant us to be, even on the outside.  No matter how tall he is, how smart I am, how handsome or not either of us are.  God does this.  And that's what counts.

And to my Beve, I'm beautiful.  The first time in my life I really felt beautiful was with him.  Truly.   He made me believe it.  Then he made me know it doesn't matter.  That's one truth.  And the second truth is that when my children were little they thought I was pretty simply because I was Mommy.  I was their definition of beauty, because they loved me.  That's another truth.

But the over-arching truth is that I am who I am.  This external self as well as the internal one is created in God's image.  For His purpose.  Perhaps by the world's standards there are others whose features are more pleasing.  And I'm okay with that.  This body, this face, this whole me is who He made me to be.  And I'm beautiful beyond compare.  To Him.

So no matter what the world might say about me, I'm comfortable in my own skin.

What about you? How do you feel about the face and body you have been given by God?  Are you comfortable in your own skin?


Kristina said...

Wow, that is so crazy people said those things to you! "Uh...thanks," right?? Good grief!

Dawn Paoletta said...

Wo, wow, wow. I am speechless. You are equally yoked and I love your plain, honest words which magnify the truth. I think you have mastered what many desire, to be free from the constraints, demands, expectations and illusions of this temporal realm. BUT wow.

What culture magnifies, God does not... I struggled when I was young with so much of self image stuff. Then again, when I was older and still doing so...
I think at 50, I can finally say, I finally have fully accepted the physical perimeters he has designed for me. The nose, the feet, all. I see better now, myself and others. For that I am grateful. I love the insights and wisdom he has given you.