Adilynn is a spunky, feisty, sweet, six-year-old. Anyone who knows her can attest to her free spirit, kind heart and humorous outlooks on some of life’s more stressful moments. Her mother and I have been friends for over 20 years which gives me the privileged opportunity of being “Aunt Holly” to this precious girl. As a woman keen on earning any available “aunt of the year” award, I recently volunteered to take that sassy diva, Adilynn, to see Frozen.
In honor of her first official “girl’s day,” Adilynn got to dress like a big girl. She wore sparkly TOMS, skinny jeans and a scarf with hot pink kisses all over it. Her mom helped complete the ensemble by providing a giant bow, glittery eye shadow and a layer of clear lip gloss. Adilynn was ecstatic. Not only was she looking like a grown up, she was feeling like one too.
After securing her booster seat in my car, Adilynn began to climb in. She was getting herself situated when she suddenly cried, “Aw, nuts!” She gave me a mere half second to respond before stating “Aunt Holly, I said ‘Aw, nuts!’ because I messed up my lip gloss!” I looked at her perfect little face, completely free of any sign of lip gloss smudging, and replied, “Oh, Adilynn, it’s okay! You’re still beautiful!” She then stared at me with a look that will be forever imprinted in my mind. It suggested superiority, annoyance and ultimately, pity at my own foolishness.
“Uh…yeah,” she said, “I know.”
While I initially fought back my laughter, I spent the rest of our day together reflecting on her words: more specifically, reflecting on her confidence. Adilynn possessed a concrete assurance that she was pretty, that she was beautiful, that she was, in fact, stunningly gorgeous. Her absoluteness came without the need to put others down to make herself feel better or a desire to outshine the people around her. She was just beautiful. That’s all there was to it.
It’s possible that at six, we were all that confident. Maybe we were all that sure of our own splendor. However, as a woman approaching thirty with the tentativeness of cat near bath water, I am no longer that sure of my wonderfulness. I can blame the media, I can blame employers who gave my job to younger girls, I can blame ex-boyfriends who are now married to girls who look nothing like me, I can blame…lots of things. However, the truth is that when I look in the mirror and see the onset of crow’s feet, deeply embedded laugh lines, hair that never seems to cooperate and eyebrows that never cease to need plucking, the blame is all on me.
By choosing to acknowledge and dwell on the things that make me feel inferior, I am denying the most beautiful truth that ever existed.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
Psalm 139: 13-14
You see, we are all put together exactly the way God wanted us to be. Not only did he assemble us in our mother’s womb, but the psalmist reminds us that His works are wonderful! He picked every single aspect of our body to “knit” us together to make us wonderful! Your nose? He picked it and knitted it in. Your hair? Hand-selected and knitted in. Your eyes? Arms? Toes? Chosen for you. Out of all the sizes, shapes, lengths and color options available, He, the Most High God, picked them FOR YOU. There is literally no way you could be put together any better!
Furthermore, see how the psalmist ends the phrase? “…your works are wonderful. I know that full well.” It’s an acknowledgement of the magnificence that is God’s wonderful work. It’s an acknowledgement of how amazingly we are put together.
Adilynn realizes this. She accepts the perfection of her little six-year-old self with no doubt. While her confidence is somewhat comical at this stage, her loss of self-esteem as she ages will be far from humorous. People will inevitably spew hurtful words, they will criticize her actions, they will cause her to question the core of who she is. She will cry over feelings of inadequacy, she will wish to be thinner/thicker/taller/shorter, she will wonder why she is the way she is.
During those times, I pray she remembers that the very one who knit her together, is still there with her. He doesn’t leave when your stomach feels soft, he doesn’t agree when you think your face is too pointy and he doesn’t regret creating you when you wonder if you’re good enough.
“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.”
Psalm 139: 7-10
So it’s settled. The Most High God knit you together. He will be with you always. In the heavens, in the depths, with wings, on the far side of the sea…through, weight-gain, weight-loss, bad hair days, poor decisions…all of it. He’s with you always. With that kind of assurance, shouldn’t we all be like Adilynn? No lip gloss smudging necessary!
Be sure of the truth. You are pretty, you are beautiful, you, fabulous girl, are stunningly gorgeous.
God made you that way.
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