As I laid in the grass looking up at the starry night tears rushed down my cheeks. It had been 3 weeks since he called. 3 weeks since he broke our plans. 3 weeks since I had seen him. Was I not funny enough? Not cultured enough? Not pretty enough? Those questions took root and morphed into skipped meals and long workouts in the gym. 40lbs lighter and he still didn’t call. He didn’t make plans. He didn’t want to see me. Who had I become? A mere fraction of who I use to be screamed, “Kayla, wake up! You are more than who you have become.”
Something inside of me didn’t give up on finding the old Kayla. The Kayla who loved herself. The Kayla that found self worth in every part of her. The Kayla who encouraged others with her perspective and value. So I packed my shared room in my tiny apartment and headed to a new school 265 miles away. A new start. An old familiar town. And distance between who I had become and who I once was.
That move was the catalyst of self discovery. Some might call it destiny but I call it God. And it came in the form of Kristen, my Anderson University roommate. She was a kind and beautiful woman who lived every day with purpose. And as I began to get to know her I started feeling whole again. She shared her story with me. She spoke about her struggles and how her path lead her here, to our small cozy dorm during second semester at Anderson University. We both were in need of a fresh start and her friendship and kindness reminded me of who I once was and who I could become again. And everyday I gained a little piece of myself back. And it all started with one girl whose journey just happen to cross mine who just happened to had been at the same place I had been just a few years ago.
So what if Kristen had never shared her story? What if she had never followed a deep call to attend Anderson in that particular semester? And what if, she never shared her pain with me? I’m glad these “what if” statements are not my reality. I’m so thankful the Lord placed her in my life at exactly the right time.
I live in a culture that unfortunately measures self worth by beauty. And measures beauty by an unattainable standard. This leaves woman and men vulnerable to feeling worthless and in constant physical judgement of themselves and others. People do and say crazy things when they are in pain. Their pain projects in hurt. Hurt to themselves and hurt to others. And that inflicted hurt has little to do with us and everything to do with their pain. So how do we change this? How do we step outside ourselves and view ourselves and others through unclouded lenses? How do we throw away the lenses of deception and view others with kindness, humility, and truth?
We recognize our beauty.
If God is the true essence of beauty and we are all made in His image (Genesis 1:27) than how can anyone be “ugly” or somehow culturally unworthy. In Genesis there is a profound scripture that is disguised in simplicity. It reads, “God saw all that He had made and it was good (Genesis 1:31).” It was good! Now, if The Creature of the entire universe thinks you were made good than who are we to question our beauty. Our self worth. Now, don’t misunderstand the importance of the word good. He created the light and the night. The earth and the sky and every creature who lived and He said it was good. Good! Our birth delights the creator of the universe and somehow we can’t be satisfied with who we are and with whom others are?!
When we realize our warped sense of self perspective does not come from the one who finds us good we can recognize who or what makes us feel less or unworthy of beauty and acceptance. Because it isn’t God. And that toxicity of feeling unworthy turns our perspective into something that is so far from the Truth that we start to believe it as truth. But please, you must understand… You. Are. Beautiful.
You. Are. Worthy.
You. Are. Enough.
And even if you don’t believe in a divine creator you are still a miracle. A beautiful miracle. Your atoms came together to form the living breathing person that you are today and that is a miracle. So let’s change our perspective.
Let’s look at ourselves with truth. Because we are all miracles and we are all beautiful. And sure attraction varies but that doesn’t mean we treat someone like they are unworthy of recognition or unworthy of the title, Miracle. Because every human being’s truth starts with recognizing they are a beautiful miracle.
So let’s see our worth. Let’s work through the pain of the past. And let’s move forward supporting others and sharing our stories so that others can recognize their own beauty and self worth and do the same for others. The world can be small if we chose it to be. And the earth can be a better place if we desire it to be. And we can be better today if we recognize our yesterdays and our tomorrows.