Photo Cred: Meagan Abell

This is a post I wrote quite some time ago but never got around to sharing.
Recently Ashley over at Overcome the Lie contacted me and asked if I'd write a post for their blog tour they're doing this month, which is all about empowering women to overcome the lies they listen to and walk fully free in who God made them to be.
As soon as I got her email I thought about this post, the content of which still resonates with me, and so I thought I would share it here today. 
The quote is one I read on a blog somewhere and really loved and once I shared it with Ashley she pointed out that it's actually scripture, from Song of Solomon 4:7.
Which just makes me love these words even more.
I hope you all will be gracious in me sharing this much of my heart on here, and hopefully get something out of it for yourself. Feedback and your thoughts on the subject are wholeheartedly welcome.

"You are beautiful, my darling. There is not a flaw in you."

I read these words somewhere this week (I don't remember where honestly, so I unfortunately can't give proper credit) and they really resonated with me. 
These words are what, I believe, God says when He looks at us.

I was never really one to have body image insecurities growing up. 
I'm not really sure why, other than the fact that I was blessed to grow up in a home where I was told I was beautiful and amazing almost every day. Equipped regularly with the truth of who God said I was, what I was capable of and what I did and didn't have to listen to and believe about what other people and other things might say about me. I was gifted with a confidence that is rare in this day and age, especially in regards to body image. 
However, I know lots of people who have that kind of background and still struggle with believing that they are beautiful outwardly. 

As I've reached my 20's, and I've continued into them, it's become harder and harder to hang onto that confidence and those truths that were instilled in me when I was younger.
I think this is the case for many girls my age.
As we grow up and become more independent of our parents, (in our living situations, jobs and in who we hang out with and where we go) it becomes more and more of a battle to hang onto those truths we learned when we were younger, if we ever really learned them at all.

As I've gotten older, the world and it's megaphone has gotten louder and louder
Sending a loud and clear broadcasted message stating what it's version of beauty is.
Trying to eat away and consume what my heart knows true beauty is. Trying desperately to tear down that confidence that I've built up in myself and in my savior. 
I honestly think this is because the older we get the more influence we have.
We're able to share more readily our beliefs, our thoughts and the things that we live out. We have the capability to be of greater influence. Not to say that when you're younger you don't have this capability, but I think with age comes a greater opportunity and an assumed responsibility.
 It's because of that independence that we automatically gain as we age and because of the worlds stereotype of "if you're older you have more things to say and you will be taken more seriously". Regardless of whether or not that's actually true in it's essence I think that age does somewhat give you more of a credibility.
After all, "with age comes wisdom" does it not?

And so why then wouldn't the world want to shatter any chance of you being able to proclaim any sort of message worth listening to?
It wouldn't want that at all. 

It wants to define beauty as being able to fit into that dress. As blemish-less skin. As six pack abs and soft and perfect hair. As weighing this amount. As being able to say you've accomplished this or done that. As the clothing you wear and the things you do and what you own.
But this isn't true beauty

God doesn't define us and our beauty outwardly. 
And neither should we
But this is so hard to hold onto when we have so much telling us otherwise on a daily basis. 
What you focus on is what you become
Comparison is the thief of joy
We know these things, we've heard them before, but we don't really believe them.
We say we do.
Because that's the thing to do.
And that's what all of our friends are saying most of the time.
But when we get dressed in the morning and we look in the mirror and think:
"Gosh I wish I had a smaller waist..." 
Or when we're out with our girlfriends and complaining about our "fat thighs" and "wide hips" and "broad shoulders", we're proclaiming a different truth to ourelves.
I truth that's actually not true at all.
We need to start proclaiming what we are and stop proclaiming what we're not. 
And what we are is beautiful. Flawless. Breathtaking. 
Because He made us and He said those things about us when He did.

I think this is a message us girls need to not just hear, because we hear it a lot, but meditate on. Study. Repeat to ourselves. Until it's not just something we believe, but something we know
Because we are so bombarded day after day with what the world says true beauty is. 
And that is so toxic.
And if we aren't on our guard it can consume us. 
And it will eventually effect every other area in our lives, whether we realize it or not

So I am going to speak over myself that I am flawless
Because He says that I am.
And He has made me a new creation.
That doesn't mean that I don't make mistakes.
It doesn't mean that I don't sometimes feel ugly.
It doesn't mean that I'm guaranteed to feel content with myself internally and externally all of the time. 
But it does mean that I am beautiful regardless of how I actually feel about it
That elemental truth doesn't change just because I stop believing in it
There are certain truths that never change, even though my surroundings and external situations might. 
And I believe that this is one of them.