By: Lisa Weidner
“God, why did you make me this way?”
I can feel the pain in that statement even as I type it.
Have you felt it too?
Have you ever stared at yourself in the mirror and asked this question?
Most of us, if we are honest, are well acquainted with the loneliness and despair we can feel when we don’t like something about ourselves. It’s easy to begin to look around and see that we don’t seem to measure up to others. We either feel like we are not enough- not pretty enough, not popular enough, not funny enough, not rich enough- or we feel like we are too much- too sensitive, too quirky, too loud or maybe too quiet. And we may be tempted to wish that God had made us differently than He did. We think, “If only I were thinner, prettier, taller, had a different skin color, different hair, less freckles, (insert your complaint here…) then my life would be so much better.”
We can’t say for certain why God does what He does. However, what we CAN absolutely know for certain, is that God loves each person He created, and it is His fingerprints on us that make us beautiful.
In Genesis 29, the Bible contains a story of two sisters- Leah and Rachel. Rachel is described as being beautiful and desirable, while Leah is described as being plain. They were both married to the same man (it was kind of a scandal- read the whole story if you are interested), and their husband definitely loved Rachel more. But God saw Leah’s plight, that she was unloved, and He came to her rescue. He enabled her to have children, while her sister could not. In that day and age, having children was what defined a woman’s value. People assign value to outward beauty, but God assigns value to our hearts. In the whole account, Leah may not have been seen as “beautiful”, but she is never described as being less valuable or less loved by God.
There are so many stories in the Bible where God didn’t choose the beautiful people or popular people to accomplish his purposes. He often chose the person that no one expected, and then used that person to do something miraculous. Remember the story of King David? His own father didn’t even think he was worthy to be considered as the next king, but he was the very one God had chosen. In 1 Samuel 16:7 God himself tells his prophet Samuel that He (the Lord) doesn’t look at the outward appearance, but he looks at the heart.
Our Savior Jesus is also described as not being very handsome. In Isaiah 53 there is a prophetic description of the Messiah:
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
Yet millions of people throughout history have had their lives dramatically changed by encountering Christ. It is His love that draws us to Him, not His appearance.
We would like to share two testimonies with you… the first is from our friend Lizzy. Lizzy is not outwardly beautiful by our world’s standards. Yet she has discovered a quiet strength and confidence by wrestling this out with the Lord, just as you seem to be doing. Here is a link to watch her video: Lizzie – Wonderfully Made
The next is a podcast episode in which we interviewed our friend Jennifer Strickland. Jennifer is a former runway model and shares about the pitfalls and dangers of building our value solely on appearance. She says,
“Anywhere you find a girl building her life on her outward appearance, you will find a broken girl”.
She lived in the world where everyone looked “perfect”, yet she saw and experienced first-hand the emptiness that came with that lifestyle. Here is a link to listen to the interview: 107: HerStory | Confessions of a Former Runway Model — with Jennifer Strickland – Wonderfully Made
It seems that God gives different people different gifts, abilities, and even burdens to bear. But His overall goal for each person is the same: to draw them to Himself so that He can be their source of true love and joy. Whether that means that a girl who is outwardly beautiful by the world’s standards has to realize that her beauty is not what defines her, or a girl that is not attractive by the world’s standards has to realize that her appearance doesn’t define her either, both girls (and everyone else for that matter) have to come to the conclusion that they are a whole and complete person, fully loved by God, with something special to offer to the world.
No matter how God has wrapped the package, you are a gift to those in your life and in your world. We encourage you to begin to meditate on and believe the truth of what God says about you. We promise that it can transform your inner turmoil and bring you peace. That peace, and the joy of the Lord that will radiate from you, is the most beautiful part of any young woman. It will make you attractive to people around you who need to experience that in their own lives as well. And you will be equipped to share it with them.
Lisa Weidner is the Assistant Director of Wonderfully Made. Having struggled with ups and downs of her own self-worth throughout her life, she has become a passionate advocated for girls and young women to live daily in the joy and freedom of their God-given value. Lisa is a wife, a mother of two young adult children, and a high school math teacher. She and her family worked in full-time missions for several years and now reside in California.