Where Does Beauty Come From? Struggling with Our Body Image and Chronic Illness

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139: 14)

“It’s hard to feel beautiful when I have so many physical problems!”

There, I said it. I didn’t want to admit that, but it’s something I struggle with every second of the day. I tend to think back to when I was thinner, healthier, and prettier. I compare myself to every woman I meet. Although, just because someone is picture-perfect on the outside doesn’t mean he or she is beautiful on the inside, or that things are going great.

God says in His Word that He doesn’t look at the outward appearance like man does; He looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Our character, values, intelligence, and relationship with God are what make us beautiful. Scripture reminds us that, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).

I know these verses by memory. I know these verses in my heart. So why is it so hard to accept that I’m beautiful just the way I am – physical limitations and all? I guess it’s because I take man’s opinion more than I trust God’s truth. This was hard to admit as well.

I know that whatever God creates is beautiful and exactly the way it’s supposed to be. When I stop and think about the people I find most beautiful, its people who are God-honoring, self-sacrificing, kind, compassionate, and patient. That’s the kind of woman I strive to be. I don’t base my friendships on how thin someone is or how attractive they are – I base my friendships on who they are as a person.

I am beautiful not because of what I have done or what I look like; I am beautiful because God made me beautiful and in His image. What a marvelous concept! Maybe you’re down on yourself today. Stop and meditate on God’s Word and thank Him for being the master artist that He is!

Prayer: Dear God, knowing that you made me with perfect hands is humbling. May your love overflow from my heart and may your beauty continue to shine in my life. Amen.

About the author
Bridget Gazlay resides in the beautiful West Michigan. She struggles with Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, IBS, arthritis and migraines. She works full time but writes and designs fabric cards on the side. Bridget’s prayer is that readers who come across her writing or fabric cards would see that she allows, “God’s creation to be my inspiration.” You can reach Bridget at: quiltforhim@yahoo.com or http://www.pfccreations.com.