God is looking for people to use, and if you can get usable, he will wear you out.
- Rick Warren
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12, NIV)
While researching for a book assignment about leadership, I spent several hours studying the life of Eleanor Roosevelt. Sure, I knew a bit about her from a history class in high school, but I had no idea just how amazing she was or how much her words would impact me.
It’s no wonder Eleanor Roosevelt has been called the most revered woman of her generation. She made a difference every place she ever dwelled. She not only gave birth to six children, but also served as a dynamic political helpmate to her husband Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Eleanor Roosevelt literally transformed the role of First Lady, holding press conferences, traveling to all parts of the country, giving lectures and radio broadcasts and expressing her opinions in a daily syndicated newspaper column called, “My Day.” You might say, she was a spitfire, a woman on a mission, a servant to mankind, a loving wife and mother, and a role model for all women.
Knowing of her accomplishments, it was very interesting to discover Mrs. Roosevelt was a very shy, very plain and very awkward child. It wasn’t until she began attending a distinguished school in England that she developed self-confidence, realizing that her inner beauty and fortitude would make a way for her.
During that self-discovery phase, she wrote these words of wisdom: “...no matter how plain a woman may be if truth & loyalty are stamped upon her face, all will be attracted to her....”
If only we all understood that truth and actually believed it.
For years, society has told us that if we’re not beautiful–like the cover girls on magazines–then we will not be successful, and that we’ll never truly have a place in this world. Many women feel they don’t fit in simply because they don’t fit into a size 6 suit. Many of us have bought the lie, and some are still buying that lie.
In fact, just this week I noticed a new trend on Facebook called “The Beautiful Woman Challenge,” where someone challenges a friend to post five pictures that make her feel beautiful. Seems like an easy task, yet I’ve read comments from some who refuse to accept the challenge, such as one that absolutely broke my heart.
The woman wrote: “Sorry, I will not be participating in this challenge because I don’t feel beautiful in any photo.” Instead of posting a picture of herself on her wedding day, or when she was pregnant with her daughter, or at a family reunion surrounded by all of her loved ones, she chose to boycott the challenge because of “a lack of beauty.”
I so wanted to reach out to her and say, “You are beautiful. You are exactly who God created you to be. You are a wonderful wife and mother. You make a difference in your corner of the world.” I pray that maybe she’ll read this blog.
Ladies, it’s time we realize our worth, knowing that it’s not determined by a number on the bathroom scales or the amount of “likes” we receive on our new profile picture.
It’s time we focus on our assets and not our flaws. And, like Eleanor Roosevelt, it’s time we celebrate who we are, overcome our lack of confidence, and change our world.
It’s not what’s on the outside that makes us worthy, lovely and attractive. That kind of beauty is fleeting. It’s that loyalty, truth, and love on the inside that draws people to us. In other words, it’s the Jesus in us that makes us irresistible.
And, when we finally get to a place where we believe that we matter, that we’re valuable, that we’re beautiful in our own way, then we will be able to fulfill our divine destinies.
So, if you’re feeling plain, unworthy, unattractive and unnoticed–give yourself a makeover from the inside out. Ask God, the master makeover artist, to develop the fruits of the spirit within you, so that you might become so lovely on the inside that it spills out onto everyone you encounter.
Pretty soon, you’ll be confident and irresistible. And, like Eleanor Roosevelt, you’ll make a difference every place you go!
I leave you with this challenge. At least once every day, look at yourself in the mirror and boldly say, “You are beautiful. Girl, you glow from the inside out, and you are going to accomplish big things for God.”
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, with more than 60 books and 1,000 articles for newspapers and magazines to her name. She was won several SELAH Awards (best children’s book and book of the year for God Knows You in 2014 and best children’s book for My Big Book of Prayers in 2012), and her book Divine Stories of the Yahweh Sisterhood was named a Family Christian Bookstores Premiere Pick in 2006. When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff. They have two college-aged daughters, Abby and Allyson, as well as a small petting zoo. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys cheering on the Indiana University Men’s Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies and the LA Kings. Find out more about Michelle at her website.