Alicia and I go to church together. She and her family are remarkable people who love the Lord with all of their hearts. You might remember her mother Beth writing an article for this project. She comes from a line of photography lovers and is also passionate about the medium. She will be joining the WhoIsBeautiful team as a contributing photographer on our relaunch March 1st of this year. I am blessed to know her and I look forward to working with her on this project in the future! Enjoy her story of uncommon confidence…
Beauty is often said to be in the eye of the beholder and as an artist sometimes I feel like I behold more beauty then others. It is funny… In the movie Miss Potter which is about Beatrix Potter, at one point Miss Potter was reflecting about how she was sketching something that looked quite lovely in the sun only to realize eventually it was in fact a pigs swill bucket. I have found, my take on something most people might find less than appealing, is similar to her take. I will say though, of all the things I have seen in this world some of the most beautiful sights I have ever laid eyes on have been the incredible beauty of God’s most cherished creation. Nothing in my eyes has ever quite compared to the depth of beauty that can be found in the face or person of anyone I have met in my short span of life. I have been as far as India which, although it is truly a third world country in so many ways, it has beautiful countryside as well. But the most incredibly beautiful thing about India was the people. The women are amongst the most beautiful in the world but I am not sure I can give you anything aside from a biased opinion. I have only really seen so many people in my life.
For those who don’t know who I am, well, I am just a girl with a camera trying to capture the most beautiful things I can find in this world. Which if we haven’t established it yet I more likely than not will find that to be you! I have found recently when someone tells me they don’t photograph well, it is nothing more than a challenge and I long to prove them wrong! For me personally I have struggled with my weight but it hasn’t stopped me. I rarely feel anything but absolutely beautiful. It is one of those things, oddly enough, I really never struggled with growing up. Don’t get me wrong ,growing up my desire for identity has often been thrown all over the place but rarely did I struggle with how I looked. Maybe it was the fact that my father and brother would often remind me I looked beautiful and I deserved the best of what God had for me! I know as a woman, men have more of a say then most of us would like to admit when it comes to how we feel about ourselves – especially when it comes to how you look! But at the end of the day, our worst enemy is often ourselves using a magnifying glass that only comes out when we examine all the things we don’t like about ourselves. We all feel this unusual temptation to find our beauty lacks in the comparing of what is different about ourselves when next to someone else. We begin to cover up what makes us different in order to conform to a society’s ideal form of beauty. By wearing layers of makeup and even spending way more on clothes that come with the label. When really it is what makes us different that is what makes us who we are and who we are created to be! When we learn to feel comfortable in the skin we were created to live in and learn to see ourselves as our creator intended us to be! When our only focus becomes Him, we start to little by little become an incredible reflection of the very thing consuming us. Which is beauty beyond understanding and comprehension starts to reflect off of us!
Recently the Lord has been teaching me something that changed so much for me. It’s is funny that the scripture I was reading is one we would think is for men but it has had so much impact on me I feel it would be something we could all relate to!
Ephesians 5:25-30 says “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”
So to those of you who are married this might actually make sense but when a single girl like me who has been single all her life and never understood a man aside from her Father & brother to love her, well it confused me at first. But then I did that thing. I asked the Lord… Why this scripture? What are you trying to tell me? And the answer hit me like a train breaking land speed records. HE told me… “Alicia I love to be your Father but the season is coming that I want to be your Betrothed…” I will say the day a man on the earth purposes to have my hand it will never measure up to the King of Kings purposing by saying I have given up everything. I will make you not only beautiful in preparation but perfect! All on one beautiful evening sitting in a gazebo covered in Christmas lights while I was waiting to do something I love! Take someone’s pictures! It was a life changing moment… I will never be the same.
It is funny I have often said I was content but recently I was thinking. I think I really am! Because I would say contentment is walking into a room full of amazing people and realizing you don’t envy any of them but look at your life and are truly thankful for what you have! The desire to be you is what draws you deeper into who you were meant to be. Contentment draws out the beauty we so often lose when we forget whose we are, in turn forgetting who we are!