Hi, Friends! Laura here, I am excited to bring you another post in the Real Beauty Series! If you’re new to the series, the Real Beauty Series exists to share the stories of strong women in my life – their joys, their struggles, and how they came to appreciate their bodies. It’s an opportunity to talk candidly about what has been hard for us and how each of us has learned to walk through it.
Katie / The Real Beauty Series
I recently had the privilege of assisting a young lady with activities of daily living. (I will refer to her as Suzy) Once a week, Suzy and I would spend time together cooking, cleaning, studying the Bible, and accomplishing a bedtime routine. When we first met, Suzy was incredibly shy and scarcely spoke. I tried everything possible to encourage and affirm her, hoping she would open up. I found myself at week 4 with no progress, feeling very discouraged.
At this point in Katie Landis history, I had just heard a message given by Abi Stumvoll. Her talk focused on empowering and encouraging young Christian women. She advised her audience to start saying truths to themselves in the mirror every day such as “I am beautiful and have a purpose!” EVEN if you don’t believe it, because eventually, you will. I started doing this and oh man did/does it help!! (BTW, Abi is hilarious and I would HIGHLY recommend listening to some of her talks if you haven’t already)
On this particular night of bedtime routine, I noticed Suzy look up at herself in the mirror. Instantly, Abi’s advice came to me. I pointed to the mirror and had Suzy repeat after me “My name is Suzy and I’m beautiful and have a purpose” And she did. She seriously said it. Word for word, clear as day. And not only did she say it, but she believed it. I knew by her smile. It spread ear to ear. I was incredibly moved by the simplicity of what just took place. During the remaining time together, I witnessed Suzy’s confidence skyrocket as she continued to speak simple truths to herself about her identity in Christ.
I tell you this semi-long story because I know that we can be like Suzy and need reminders of our beauty and purpose. Especially me – I am a recovered bulimic for almost 3 years and my mental healing sometimes lags, which is so discouraging some days. But in recent weeks, I have learned that God is more concerned about working on my internal condition than my external situation. So even though it can feel like I am living in bondage to my thoughts God is working on my heart. That way when my external situations feel out of control, my stability is found in Christ. Paul’s letter to the Philippians is a great example of this.
Affirmation comes from my creator.
In response, I am continuously striving to find affirmation comes from my creator. The easiest way for me to do that is by reading scripture, and since I know that the bible is God-breathed, (2nd Timothy 3:16) I can trust what it says about my identity. I envision God standing by me at a mirror looking at my reflection and saying “Before (you) were born, I chose you and called you by my marvelous grace” (Galatians 1:15) He then continues by saying “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what I have prepared for you…” (1st Corinthians 2:9) It ends with me having a slap-happy smile spread across my face. (I mean, why wouldn’t I?! These truths are directly from God; the Lord of Lords, King of Kings!!!!)
And here is the sweetest part about it. I didn’t do anything to earn God’s affirmation of myself. In fact, nobody does- nobody can! And you know what else is awesome?! He feels this way about the entire world. So that means YOU’RE INCLUDED! (John 3:16-17) God looks at your cute little face, squeezes it (like your Grandma does), draws you close and says “I love you so much” over and over and over again until you can’t take it anymore.
My prayer for us moving forward is that we tap into the FULLNESS of God’s love and embrace what he has prepared for us – because He who began a good work in you will complete it!!! (Philippians 1:6)
Friend, let’s not keep this to ourselves. I challenge you to tell someone they are beautiful and have purpose – see what happens! Maybe you’re the one who needs to receive it. I’d love to hear about it 🙂
Katie spent her childhood in a small Montana town and is now a senior at Montana State University (Go Cats!) studying nursing. She is passionate about helping young women connect and grow in all realms of their life – spiritually, physically, and emotionally. When she’s not involved with church or busy with nursing clinicals, Katie loves to cook, drink coffee and meet new friends.