When I was little, my mother loved dressing me in those cupcake dresses. You know the ones. They’re frothy and floaty, the epitomy of girl. Don’t get me started on those shoes with the stiff plastic flowers, the ones with the hard soles that clicked with every step. I loved the way they made me feel, and the sweet words people would say when they saw me. Words like “pragtig” and “oulik“. Oh, how lovely were those words and the feelings they brought. As a little girl, those words brought such affirmation. Who doesn’t want to be called “pragtig“? Who doesn’t want to be “oulik“?
Strange how intentions change the meaning of innocent words, doesn’t it?
In a culture and society that does everything to make us believe we are anything but “pragtig“, it’s so easy to believe that no one sees us or that we’re not beautiful. When our newsfeeds show us the perfection of camera filters and the flawlessness created by layers and layers of make-up, is it still possible to think of our ordinary selves as stunning? As breathtaking? It’s so easy to get caught in the lie that the affirmation we remember as little girls can only be found on the lips and in the eyes of people that have no interest in our hearts and the things that bring us happiness. How many times have you felt unworthy or unlovable when their eyes didn’t turn to you and say the lovely words you so desperately need to hear?
I fell into that trap so often I thought myself ugly and unlovable. And if their eyes wouldn’t focus on me, I’d make myself as unattractive and as unlovable as possible. It was easier to avoid the words “pragtig” and “oulik” to save myself from the hurt I’d feel when I remembered that I was ugly. It was easier to convince myself that the lie I believed for so long was the truth.
Until I met Jesus…and He called me Beautiful.
Oh, I didn’t believe Him at first. Yes, I knew He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), but He was wrong.
I was not beautiful. But then…Jesus changed my mind.
Why did it matter what anyone else said about me? What did it matter what they said about my hair, my skin, my teeth, my clothes? Why did it matter if the eyes of a guy followed me or not? Why did it matter what people thought of me?
They weren’t there when He knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). They had no say when I was fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God says that before I was born, He already knew me (Jeremiah 1:5).
So why do we give the words of man more power that the One who said “Let there be light”?
In the Song of Solomon, the most romantic book in the Holy Bible (especially in the New International Version), the word beautiful is used 14 times to describe the Beloved, the maiden who is loved by the Lover. The Song of Solomon might be about a man and a woman, but more than that, it’s a love story between a bridegroom and his bride.
Curious that the other name for the Church is the Bride of Christ, isn’t it?
You, darling Sister Girl, are the Bride of Chirst. You are the Beloved one, and your Bridegroom calls you lovely. To you, Jesus says:
“All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”Song of Solomon 4:7
If a lie about your loveliness has become the truth in your heart, believe that the Lord of all creation sees you, all of you and – He calls you Beautiful.
Published by Guest blogger – Nohlee Cloete