Song of the Month: Jamie Grace- Every bit of wonderful
Recently, the huge twitterer that I am, I noticed I had a new follower. A. Real. Life. New follower! Now I have a grand total of 72. Just call me Big Stuff. So I checked out my lovely Mr./Ms. shaunsm41922812, who my husband insists is a Bot sent out from China, and guess what?
Every one of the people s/he was following was called Andrea Jones. 50 Shades of Andrea Jones in fact. All shapes, colors and sizes…but unfortunately for me, way too many with much better butts. I know this how? Cause, well, I saw all the Andrea Joneses out there. And Ladies, You have very nice everythings…
But just so we don’t misunderstand each other here, this is me…
Note: I’m fully clothed…and don’t dust much…and have a fab. fashion sense.
And unless you’ve put a ring on it, or you use water torture methods on me, that’s it. That’s all. And thank your lucky stars for that, because a little know fact about THIS Andrea Jones, is that my super power is the ability to blind people while in bathing suit.
But let’s talk about reality.
The reality is, every woman has a beauty far outreaching her profile picture. The colors she puts in her hair are only highlights to who she is, expressions of something she likes. Maybe just a bit of fun. What she wears is only one dimension of her in that particular moment, dare I say second, in time. The next moment she may feel differently and trade her high heels for sweat pants and flip flops. Like Sting so aptly crooned, “My baby can be all four seasons in one day”. In one picture she feels beautiful. In another, she knows she’s ugly. And no matter how many times others tell her differently, at some point in the day, she will find a flaw in herself.
Still, we all know women are beautiful. Yes its true. All of you with home computers,TV, or eyes, know this. Genesis depicts us as the crescendo of all God’s creation…His ultimate“Ta-da” (Jazz hands) moment…When Adam, who had quietly been naming everything while picking gluten free products from his teeth, suddenly stands to eye bulging attention and echoes God’s words, “Very Good!” (Flintstone translation…YABADABADO!)
If you want to sell something to women…put a woman on the ad. If you want to sell something to men, hey, put a woman on the ad. However, with all our amazingness bursting about, it can be tempting to embrace beauty to the point that we lose track of the woman. The actual, real life woman. The one with the dreams, favorite milkshake and ability to burp the alphabet backwards.
When I saw those 50 shades of “Andrea Jones” that my Chinese Bot shaunsm41922812 is following, I had to stop and take a good look at all these women who had my name.
Behind each sexy pose, or flirty wink, or questionable hashtag, I saw the innocence of my two little girls. I saw the insecurity of myself… I know each one of these Andrea Joneses, like this one, is tempted daily to base her worth on someone else’s opinion of her. to wake up feeling like a failure for no other reason than that she is not perfect. To wonder if she really has what it takes to…you fill in the blank.
Each woman is tempted to reach with both hands for things that will make her finally feel beautiful. Maybe it’s the latest cream, plastic surgery, purse, or amazing shoes (Don’t listen to me, shoes bring healing!). Each thing a poor substitute for her actual dreams. Dreams born out of the essence of who God created her to be when she didn’t even know His name yet. Dreams she’s had since her first step on sand, her first taste of ice cream, her first sweet, heart pumping kiss…SWEET kiss…(They still around?)… Dreams that perhaps were stolen from her by a stranger, a relative, a parent, or a “friend.”
… And now somehow she’s left feeling…ehh…taking selfies to try and prove she’s not. Digging in any crevice for some inkling of proof that she is in fact something to someone out there. Fighting. Always fighting for proof of existence…Proof that she’s the Crescendo of God’s creation…anywhere…even cyber-space…with a Bot called Shaun.
These 50 shades of Andrea Joneses, and millions out there like them, are a gift to this earth. But somehow people, this gift has been lost. And not just in cyberspace. It’s being lost in our homes, with our girls, in our churches, in our schools.
When they are little we delight in our girls. We put bows in their hair and call them “the most beautiful one”, because, well, they are.
Then they grown. Their body grows… And before they reach eight years old, we’re already talking about buying a gun. Lengthy smiles in their direction are no longer cute but caa-rrreee-pee, with a capital C. Dads starts stocking up on scarfs and turtle necks for them. Especial in the summer months…worried…everyone worried… that someone might see this precious gift and try to steal her, use her for their own selfish interests, before she realizes how many layers there are to her beauty. Oh our poor girls…made to feel afraid for blooming like a flower should…
But Why? Why must beauty be dangerous? Who made this rule? How did this invisible burka get dropped over our heads without us knowing? Who’s trying to steal God’s Thunder huh? His Ta-da moment?
As a young Christian woman I was afraid of beauty… I saw it as dangerous, because for me it had been…Or shall I say, being a young girl walking home from school alone had been dangerous. So dangerous, that for many years of my young life I asked the haunting question…”What did I do wrong? Why me?” For the rest of my high school days I’d be convinced that, like so many believe, it is safer to dress down, wear no make up, hide beauty, wear the invisible Burka. Then I’d be safe. Then your beauty won’t burn you or others…Not true.
Whether a woman wears too much clothing, too little, too old fashion or too trendy is not the issue here. Over conservatism is as guilty as Porn in its over emphasis of our awesome, visual amazingness. No. Outward beauty is not what everyone is so afraid of being destroyed. (Although a Target gift card for The Fountain of Youth is a handy insurance)
Outward beauty is not what keeps Dad awake all night. It’s not why mom buries her head in her tear filled pillow… There is something a lot more sinister at work here. More soul devouring. Something without an actual name, but something we all know at our core.
What was attempted to be stolen from me as a fourteen year old girl walking home from school one rainy day, was not my sexuality. It was not my beauty that anyone was after, not really.
What was attacked and threatened was my essence, as though someone saw a sunrise they thought they could steal. The attempted pollution of a beautiful young life, a life filled with ways to shine and therefore offer proof of God’s existence was attacked. The reality is, it was God’s crowning Ta-da moment on earth that my attacker was really after…
We’ve all seen it in the eyes of women we love, perhaps young girls we disciple or mentor. The soul sores. Every woman has that thing in her life trying to soul suck her. That enemy trying to steal from God this most precious Beautiful gift to the earth. Like fog trying to erase the sunset, this enemy of our souls, in any way it presents itself, is just a vapor to be lifted by the heat of the sun. Poof. Gone.
And… that thing gnawing on you now? That old soul sore? The thing that makes you feel less than, not enough, too much, or desperate to be someone else, because after all, that someone else would be so much better? It’s trying to steal Gods Ta-da moment in your life! Call it for what it is.
But it can’t…not really. My sisters, you are already God’s Jewel. Your existence on this earth shines out God’s awesomeness. Chuck those soul sores at the Creator of Beauty and He’ll gobble them up like an over zealous Pac-Man. Game over.
Beautiful women, you 50 shades of Andrea Joneses and beyond, you final Crown of all Creation…Listen up… your beauty is God given and it cannot be stolen, bought, traded, used to make money or secretly drooled over in dark rooms…not really.
What I’ve found out about beauty over the years is that beauty and grace seem to be first cousins. Like squeezing to tightly on a bar of soap, just when you think you can do something to finally cease it, it springs outside your grasp.
The truth is, it’s already yours. It is part of your essence. Nothing has to be done. Beauty comes in resting in the Author of Beauty. The Father of your birthright is just waiting to see you, really see you. And there is so much more he has to tell you about how much you shine, shine shine!
Praise God for the Beauty of your girls.
Recommended Reading- Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge
Thought:…We live daily on the precipice of beauty and horror. Face the wrong direction for just a second, and it seems we fall headlong in that wrong direction.