In a society which tells women they are simply the sum of their parts—that all it takes for even a man to become a cover-worthy woman are the right curves in the right places—women are having an increasingly hard time feeling good about themselves. Between advertisements and social media, women feel like they are not good enough no matter where they turn, always being knocked down by the unending stream of images thrown at them defining what it really means to be beautiful—or rather sexy, since that seems to be all modern society cares about.
To the women who struggle with this, I am writing to you today to say that I am struggling beside you. For years I have grappled with never feeling like I am “enough” as a woman and will never be able to reach the standards society is setting. This feeling of inferiority led me to worry about many sad things, but the real depression settled in when my lack of self-esteem caused me to doubt my value to God. Ladies, I know there are those of you who have struggled with this too, who have looked in the mirror and asked God for “little miracles”: “God, couldn’t you just give a little more here, or a little less there? God, if you would just do that little thing, I know it would make me pretty. Then I would be enough.”
But ladies, I want to tell you something today that my parents told me when I was going through the worst part of my struggle. They looked at me one day as I sat across from them crying about my braces and my bangs, and they told me that it does not matter what the world thinks. God made me the way I am for a reason, gave me each freckle, hair, and blemish, and loves me just the way I am. As I thought about this, I realized something. Every day that I sat on my floor, hating my appearance and praying for a change, I was actually insulting God because I was implying that He had made a mistake.
Women, God does not make mistakes! Every inch of you is beautiful because God made it! You are a masterpiece, made in God’s image, and if He stopped thinking about you for a second you would cease to exist! Do you know how much He must love you to think about you constantly?! Maybe you have aspects of your appearance you wrestle with, but as long as you are being a good steward of the body God has given you, then your perceived imperfections are actually parts of a beautiful uniqueness God gave especially to you!
Ladies, you know how often your beloved’s funny little quirks make him so unique and special to you? Or how the cute bump in your son’s nose or the birthmark on your daughter’s cheek are all just as special to you as his perfect smile or her adorable laugh? That is love, love sees every part of the beloved as beautiful, the perfection and imperfection, because it all combines to make the total person. The scars and imperfections tell a story, are physical signs of the strength within, the courage which dared to overcome those flaws and be defined by something greater instead.
God loves you ladies! He loves each and every one of you just the way you are! And He does not make mistakes! So when you look at yourself in the mirror, don’t see all the ways you are lacking, see a woman who is cherished! God as Father created you and loves each part of you as His own, and God as Beloved cherishes every inch of you as part of the one He adores, even unto death. Our Father is the King and our Beloved is Prince, which means we are destined to be Princesses in the Kingdom of Heaven, if we faithfully live our lives for Him. You are God’s Princesses, you are so special! And when you allow that to be your identity, when you allow His love to be enough, rather than doubting whether you are enough, you are free to live joyfully again. And that beautiful joy will penetrate your soul and reveal the true beauty within your hearts.
So today ladies, pray for two things. If you know there are ways that you have not taken care of yourselves, have eaten too much or too little or hurt yourself in more extreme ways, ask God for the courage to overcome these insecurities and be defined by His love rather than your fear. And most importantly, ask Him for the peace to look upon yourselves today and remember that He does not make mistakes, and you are all beloved just the way you are.
I’ll be praying for and with you, ladies! Turn to Mary for help when you are distressed: God assumed her into Heaven and loved her body and soul, just as He loves each of us. She understands the struggles we face; appeal to her womanhood and pray to feel her gentle love when you are hurting. She will always be there for you, as will her Son. God bless each and every one of you beautiful ladies today!