Sunday, November 29, 2015

In the Eye of the Beholder

     I believe that every human being is beautiful. I think that every human being should be showcased in such a way that reveals that beauty. That is why I love photography. Photography reveals God's creations in such a way that you can't help but enjoy it.

     My cousin, Karis, loves taking photos and I don't mind being her subject. Now I struggle with my self-image. I am not at a healthy weight and that is a part of me that I don't like. Many times it gets in the way of how I view myself.

If I just focus on the parts that I wish I could change, 
then I can't see how the Lord really views me. 

     These pictures that my cousin took are absolutely gorgeous. It encourages my heart to see how beautiful I am!

     Now I don't want this to sound prideful or pompous, but I believe that every person (especially women) need to be able to view themselves as absolutely stunning. I do not mean that they should be gorgeous on the standard of all the hot models on the advertisements. That won't do anyone any good. However, it is encouraging and helpful when a girl can look at herself in a picture and know that she is exactly formed how the Lord created her to be! There is confidence in that truth!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Disease of Comparison

     Although I'm a stickler for a good metaphor, I figured that I should return to just a normal blog post. Not to say that my blog is a "normal" one.

There I go comparing myself again! 

     It is sad how many times I catch myself comparing myself to other people around me! It truly is a dangerous hole to get stuck in. It is a vicious cycle of putting yourself down because you are not the same or similar to people around you. It is even worse when you realize that you are comparing yourself to people that you don't even know exist! How pathetic is that?

     College is a wondrous opportunity. I don't think I have emphasized that enough on my blog. (If you talk to me, however, I will give you the full analysis of how great it is.) I get to be involved in such cool activities that I would have never been able to do at home. I get to make decisions for myself, which is both a freedom and a burden. I have met so many wonderful people that I have drawn so close to in only a matter of months. On top of all that, I get to go to school to learn about theater and music. How cool is that!

     However, coming from a conservative homeschool family, I have had to deal with some inward things recently that have not come up before.


     Being homeschooled, I really did not have too many peers in the same classes or situations as I to compare myself to. Also, my mom was really good at helping me to focus on what was true and not what other people were like. As I child, I was too focused on my next story or my imaginative worlds to pay much attention to other people.

     Being in college is a whole different realm. The adult world is full of comparison. That is how people get jobs and promotions. That is how we grade papers, pick our favorite music, choose friends, choose our significant others, and perceive the world around us. The field that I am studying is all about comparison. Auditions are the height of choosing people based on how they stand up to the others. It is not the fairest field to go into.

     Being around couples is another new situation that I am slowly learning to adjust to. As I see friends pair up into cute little bundles of happiness, my mind starts to perceive myself differently. When will it be my turn? Could there be someone out there that will choose me? Does my worth change with my relationship status? Of course, all of these thoughts can be taken down with the truth of God's Word. But this is a new battle of the mind that I have not really had to face before.

     Even yesterday as I went Black Friday shopping with a group of friends I found myself struggling with comparison. There is always that deceitful little lie in your mind that says you should be able to fit into that dress to be normal and beautiful. Or imagine what it would take for you to be the perfect models in all the advertisements posted on the walls. While everyone else around me was enjoying the sales and good buys, I was contemplating the sad world of comparison.

     It saddens me to know that every human being struggles with this disease. Most people don't realize how infectious it is. It is a parasite that slowly controls your mind so that you can only see the world through contacts of comparison. Everything around you is judged not based on the worth of the individual but by how it matches up to other things around it. People need to realize how false this view is.

     We need to view people by the correct standard. Every human being is made by God in a specific way that is beautiful and wonderful. Each brain is wired to think in unique ways. Each talent is cool because it is done in its own fashion. Each body was shaped by the Maker to be exactly how He wants it.

No human is the perfect version or the final product. 

     This is the truth that I have to continually repeat to myself. I may not have the perfect body, the most entrancing voice, the best acting skills, the smartest brain, or the friendliest personality.

     But I am His creation. I am His character in His story of life. I am right where he wants me to be, in every aspect of my life. This is the truth. This is the cure for the disease.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Princess in a Tower (Another Metaphor)

      The princess stared out the window of her tower, anxiously looking to the horizon. She was waiting. Oh! How she hated the sound of that word! It filled her with such a heavy feeling of longing that she couldn't shake off. Waiting was such a painful experience that she had to do over and over again it seemed.
     What made the waiting worse was that she knew what she was waiting for. She was waiting for her prince to climb up and rescue her from her predicament. She was living at the top of a very tall tower that extended from the ground so high that she could see for miles around. She had never left the tower, unlike many of the other princess around her.
     You see, the King had set up towers for all of His precious princesses to keep them safe. When each girl was born a prophecy was announced over them that in the future their prince would come. However, the King knew that there were many men in the world who pretended to be noble princes but who were scoundrels in disguise. Because of His great wisdom and foresight, He built towers all around His kingdom for His precious princesses to live in until their true prince would come along. These towers were huge! They stretched out to the sky and were built from study mountain stone. They were constructed so intricately that to climb them one would scratch his hands and knees and make them bleed. That was the King's design.

It was a test to determine who deserved the treasure at the top.
     At first, the princesses didn't mind living in their towers. It was home to them and it was filled with so many wonderful toys, books, and games that it was easy to pass away the time.  There were so many new things to learn about the world that their curiosity was content with the interior of their dwelling. However, after a certain time, they began to stare outside the window more and more.

     Playing games became less desirable, and imagining their princes-to-be became the prominent thought of their minds. Many of them couldn't stand the waiting. Against their father's anxious plea, they climbed down their towers in search of their own princes. They left the safety of their dwelling and took matters into their own hands. To the overwhelming sadness of the King, many of them fell into despair as they realized what a horrible mistake it was.

     The beautiful princess saw her sisters leave their towers and find soulmates. A part of her hurt for them because of the disappointing outcome of their decisions, and yet she wanted to join them. It seemed as if it were the only possible way that she would ever have a prince of her own. It certainly was working to an extent. Although it wasn't what the prophecy had foretold, it did produce results.
Every day she would gaze down the stone walls of her dwelling and wondered how much it would hurt if she tried climbing down to the bottom. Would it be worth the pain?

     Many men wandered at the foot of her tower. She would eagerly call to them and they would converse in a friendly manner. Yet none of them desired to make an effort to climb up to be with her.
Each time they would saunter off leaving the princess in confusion and doubt. How would the prophecy come true if none dared to try? Was she not worth the effort? Was she the only princess not rescued from her singleness?

     Each time these feelings of loneliness and doubt arose within her, the King would visit. He knew her deepest insecurities and girlish desires.

He also knew that perfect timing was a gift that only He possessed.

     He would take her into His loving arms and tell her the truth. He had everything in control. There was a prince on his own journey out in world who was searching nobly for the perfect woman. He was seeking the only princess who would complement him, and it was going to be her. The time was just not ripe yet. She just needed to wait and trust the Him.

     Diligently, the princess tried her hardest to trust the King. She often forgot His words and would begin to try and make the climb down herself. Each time He would always be there to gently remind of the perfect timing that was yet to come. With tears of humility and longing, she would return back to the top of her tower and patiently wait again.

     She couldn't barely stand it. The King's words always gave her such excitement. What will it be like when her prince began the climb to meet her? How would she react? How would he know that she is his one? When would she know that he was the perfect fit? With trembling breaths, she would calm herself and return to her window to wait.

     She would wait for him, not because the King forced her to do it. She wouldn't wait because she enjoyed it. She would wait because deep down inside she knew that it would be completely worth it. She knew that the long suffering she endured now would make her prince admire her even more. Ultimately, she knew that the King, who controlled time and destiny, would make all things work out for her good. That was perfectly fine.