When we stood in the check-out and you leaned over and said, “What? I can’t hear you?” I could read it right then in your eyes.
Right there by all the glossy magazines screaming at you like a pack of jockeying hawkers.
If you listen long enough to all the loud voices about who you should be, you grow deaf to the beauty of who you are.
Listen — read the covers of magazines and you’d think romance is a function of cleavage and plastic surgeon noses and spray tans.
Read the glossy covers and you’d think love is a function of waist size and heel height and bare flesh flaunted for every gawking eye. Read everything in the check out line and they check you out of reality. That’s what the media is selling: X-rated Beauty. Romance Porn.
That’s the thing about the check-out line: The media’s fuelled by changing the definition of beauty, romance, and love from what is true to what is trendy.
Media tries to define you with likes as a measure of your loveability.
Media votes you on or votes you off, as if a woman’s worth is a popularity contest instead of being permanently won by function of being made in the image and likeness of God.
Be defined by Real Love — or you’ll go looking for love in the pages of some cheap novel of romance porn, some plot line that is artificially augmented and harlequin liposuctioned, you’ll go looking for love under the warmth of some guy’s hands, you’ll go looking for love in the size of your jeans.
Listen for the small voice who is Love who cups your face close and names you Beloved, listen to “hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.”
Listen to the Voice who says, “I love you so much that when the wolves come to devour your real identity — I become a lamb Myself. I sacrifice Myself for you, so you never have to sacrifice yourself to the gods of this world.”
Listen to the Voice who says, “I am the Shepherd that when the wolf comes to consume you with lies, I would rather lose my life, than let you lose your value.”
Listen to the Voice who says, “I will never drive you to photo-shop expectations or to the dangerous cliff of conditional love —- because I’m never the One driving you, I’m gently leading you. I lead you, no matter where you are, I am with you, leading you.”
Listen to the Voice who assures: “I am making your good decisions work for good — and I am working your bad decisions into the best loving plan for your ultimate good.”
Listen to His Voice: God is turning everything around to turn you into the beauty He knows you are.
The world will say they will love you if you are beautiful —- but the truth is you are beautiful because you are loved.
Because I love you.
Because He who is Love loves you unconditionally.
Please hear me, Girl: The world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.
The world has enough women who live a masked insecurity. It needs more women who live a brave vulnerability.
The world has enough women who are trying to do it all — spending everything they’ve got to be found in the crowd. It needs more who are doing the only thing that is necessary — spending time at His feet, being found and known by Him.
Look at the bent woman ahead of us in the check-out, her gnarled and arthritic hand counting out the potatoes she’ll bake tonight for the old man leaning against the cart. That is the quietest reality that hushes all the media voices: We need more women who would rather be beautifully sacrificial than perfectly artificial.
Don’t let Hollywood define it; let the pages of Truth define it: Romance is a long sacrifice.
Say that quiet to yourself at the mirror, over the stove, over the toilet bowls, and let your soul feel the caress of God who knows: Romance is a long sacrifice.
And then it will happen to you, like it happens to all the women who are soul beautiful and loved:
For a beautiful countenance — count blessings.
For beautiful lips — only speak words that make souls stronger.
To carry yourself with poise — carry each other’s burden.
For the most beautiful shape — simply live with one hand receiving all as gift, and other hand giving away the gifts. You becoming the shape of a gift —
Becoming the shape of a Cross.
Go ahead, Girl, run your hands wild through your hair and smile unashamed and be at peace in the fullness of you and pour your beauty out like an alabaster perfume:
Beauty doesn’t live in your skin
Beauty lives in the lining of your heart.