I have a pink, fluffy bathrobe that I wear around my house all day. Even if I am fully dressed, I wear my bathrobe and slippers.... all day. So when someone stops by my house, the conversation goes something like this : "Oh gosh, you'll have to excuse my appearance. I just haven't gotten around to getting out of my bathrobe yet today." The problem comes in when these visitors come back two or three more times and I'm still in my bathrobe. By the third time, I answer the door saying something like this, "yup, I'm in my bathrobe again as you can see. I'm not sure why I apologized for it the first time you came because in all reality, this is how I look all the time unless I'm taking the kids to school. And even then I may stay in the car with my pink bathrobe and glasses on." They end up laughing and commenting that they wish they could do the same.
So why is it that I feel I need to apologize? Why is an apology needed when I feel like I'm doing something that doesn't fit in with the social norm but it fits in with my norm? Ever since I was a young girl I've struggled with self esteem. I found that if I looked good on the outside, I was admired and accepted. I played this game for a long time, and the world played back, complementing my external graces. I don't say this in boasting, I say this because I am coming to a knowledge that beauty is fleeting. (Proverbs 31:30). I see myself even now with my daughters, constantly building them up in regards to the way they look, doting over their outfit or their hair, but leaving little said about their character.
About three years ago, when I noticed my first wrinkle (joke), I had somewhat of a mid-life crisis. The overwhelming fear that my youth and beauty were disappearing really jolted me. All I could think of were the magazines that showed all of these famous actresses with no make up on demonizing them for getting old. I faced the fact that I was getting older, and unless I intervened with medical procedures, gravity was going to have it's way eventually. It may sound shallow, but...well....it is shallow. It's shallow in the sense that God created me with so much depth that I never really gave consideration to because I thought the most I had to offer was the way I looked. Now that my external was deteriorating, what really did I have left? 2 Corinthians 4:16 says this: Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Valuing and discovering who God had created on the inside was just as important as who He created on the outside.
1st Samuel 16:7 says: The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
What is at the heart of who I am? What does God see when He looks at me? He tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). It says He rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). What is found on the inside is eternal. What we create from the inside is eternal.
-What identifies you in life? For me it was my appearance but it could be a job, being a mom, a wife, etc... If this identity was taken away, would you still have something left?
-Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you areas where you may value the external over the internal.
-List 3 things that are valuable about you that have nothing to do with your appearance but rather your character.