As a lady, I find myself constantly picking apart my appearance, pointing out my imperfections, hating on my love handles, trying to hide my flaws……and it’s silly, really, to be so concerned at times with the way I look. I mean, let’s be real. I think it’s important to be presentable, but a lot of times, I place way too much value on my outward appearance. Okay, let’s back up for a minute. I haven’t always been this way. Anyone who knew me as a 7th grader, well let me just apologize for those Rubber Ducky sweatpants I used to wear in public. And for not figuring out that just a little bit of eyeliner and mascara would eliminate the bug-eyed, lizard look I had going on. I just didn’t care. Well, let me rephrase. I DID care, but my insecurities typically would override putting forth any effort. I didn’t really feel like there was anything that would make me pretty. So I just didn’t try. Fast forward a few years. I finally discovered mascara and lip gloss and while these things did help a little bit, I never really felt confident in myself and like I was one of the “pretty girls” in the room. I wasn’t turning any heads, let’s just put it that way. And truthfully, it bothered me. I wanted to take someone’s breath away. But you know what? I never loved myself. I never saw myself the way Christ sees me. Instead, I’d spend hours in front of the mirror pointing out every flaw (and I’ve got a lot of them) and I’d make lists of things that I’d change if I ever won the lottery and could afford surgery. Obviously, I was smokin’ some sort of plant because that’s just dumb. I mean, at the time, it made sense to me. But looking back, I just wish I had seen myself as the person that Christ sees me. A person that has so much to offer. I guess it wasn’t until this past year that God really began to show me these things. I’ve always been a people person, I can get along with just about anyone. And I hid behind my humor a lot because I figured if people didn’t like me because I was ugly, well, they’d have to like me for my jokes, because who doesn’t like a funny person, right? I guess all this is to say that it wasn’t until I began to make time for Christ and I began to crave a more intimate relationship with Him that I began to see myself the way that He sees me. Don’t get me wrong, just today I stood in front of the mirror and wondered if there was another person on this planet that has legs that look like sawed off tree stumps. Seriously, some days I feel like an Oompa Loompa. Five foot, one inch is not where I wanted to stop growing. Some days I look at the gaps in my teeth and feel like I’ll never open my mouth again because I don’t want anyone to see them. But that would mean that I could never smile again and God gave me a beautiful smile. So screw those dumb gaps. I’m gonna smile. The bottom line is this: real eyes realize real lies.I never saw myself with the true beauty that God created me in. When I began to see myself with “real eyes” (or through the eyes of Christ) I began to realize the lies that I had fallen for. I don’t know why I’m writing all this tonight. Maybe I’m just rambling. But whatever. I just hope and pray that if you’re reading this, you can begin to see yourself as beautiful. You have to love yourself first. There was a time when I wouldn’t even look in a mirror because I hated everything I saw. But now, when I see myself, I see a woman that God created in His image. I may not be a perfect person, but I don’t have to be because I’m exactly who He made me to be. And that’s what really matters.