I stand in line in the grocery store, and my line of vision drifts to the magazine stand next to me. And suddenly, I’m inundated with images of women. Women who have defined abs, the perfect tan, and really white teeth. “How to lose 10 inches and 10 pounds in a week!” reads the magazine next to it. My heart immediately goes in two different directions. The first: I’ll never look like that or be like that. And because of that, I am less than. I am insignificant. I am unworthy, unloved, and unseen. My heart sinks and simultaneously thumps a bit faster. Then comes grace. The second: I am loved by the Maker of Heaven and earth. I am known and loved by my Father who is Love itself. He sees me, He knows me, He has created me in His image and likeness, and I am enough. I am more than enough.
And in this moment, my heart lifts once more. I am beloved. Always have been, always will be. But to live as one who is loved, we must choose to accept and actively choose this truth over and over again.
Learning to Believe I’m Beloved
Believing I’m beloved in every moment is not something I’ve mastered. But over time, I’ve grown to recognize the goodness, the beauty, and the Truth that we are vessels of God. I’ve realized that our bodies, our strength, our health, and the opportunities we are given each day to take care of ourselves are gifts.
The numbers we so often use to measure ourselves have no hold over us. They do not dictate our value, our worth, or our capacity to be loved. They do not make us more or less lovable; they are an arbitrary worldly measure.
What if, sisters, we stopped waiting for the world around us to give us permission to be loved? What if we stopped waiting for the world to tell us that we are beautiful, beloved, and worthy? What if we stopped seeking affirmation, validity, and the measure of our worth from those magazine covers, and instead, actively reminded ourselves of Who created us out of Love?
I’m willing to bet we would live loved.
It’s not always easy, but His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
We were made for more. We were created with these bodies that were made to live lives of abundance. Our bodies were created to bear children, to run, to lunge, to carry groceries, to live fully and freely in His love. And yet, we remain caught up in the definitions of this world. We wait for permission to live loved.
My hope and prayer for each of us today is that when we look in the mirror, we see ourselves the way He sees us: beautiful, beloved, and worthy. I pray that we quit picking ourselves apart, that we stop with the negative self-talk.
I hope that we are able to begin (or continue) to see ourselves, our bodies, as gifts to be taken care of and loved. My hope and prayer is that you take care of you today. Seek His affirmation and His alone. Until we truly choose to see ourselves as He does, we will continue to seek the measure of our worth and value from this world.
Worthy of Being Cared For
I think that we, as women, often struggle with the idea of self-care. We are busy. We work, we attend school. We are mothers, wives, and friends. We are pulled in countless directions, and we often place ourselves and our health on the back burner. We end up in last place on our “to take care of” lists.
But here’s the thing: these bodies we have are temples of His. If we fail to take care ourselves, we wither mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. And when we wither, we fail to love and serve those placed before us to the best of our ability.
Ever feel like you’re too tired, too overwhelmed, too busy, or too weak to do one more thing? Me too. Until I began to believe that I am beloved. Until I began to realize that when I love and care for myself as He so desires, I grow more into the best version of myself. The rest always falls into place. I am more kind, appreciative, and loving. I have more energy to work hard, to focus, and to keep up with all that I am called to be and do. I am a better wife, friend, and disciple. When we begin to believe and live as we are–beloved–we grow.
And I want to grow. I want to grow into the woman He’s created me to be. I want to grow toward being the best me I can be each and every day. I want to measure my worth and value not by the standards of the world, but by the certainty He sets on my heart each new day: I am His and He is mine. I am beloved. All else flows from this truth when I actively choose to receive and believe it. And once I do, my life changes. Slowly and steadily, it changes.
You are loved. Far beyond measure. You are seen. Far beyond the world’s eyes.
Next time you’re standing in that checkout line, remember the truth: you are beautiful, beloved, and worthy. Period. Do you believe it? Let’s care for ourselves today, not so that we may become more beautiful, beloved, and worthy, but because we already are.
How have you made strides toward believing you’re beloved?
Shalini C. Blubaugh lives in the great state of Colorado with her sweet husband and their 6-month-old German Shepherd pup. She’s a health coach and is studying to become a personal trainer. You can find out more about her on Instagram and on her blog.