Ugly

This past week, I had a few ugly moments.  On my way to church, I realized that I forgot to put on make-up and deodorant.  We slept in a little bit after Gracelyn’s birthday party the day before, so we were rushed and I totally forgot to finish putting myself together.  My plan was to let the rest of the family out of the car and I was going to make a quick run to CVS to remedy the problem, but my sweet husband talked me out of it and insisted that I looked beautiful as my natural self (and assured me that I didn’t smell).  Thankfully, no one told me I looked tired (although I am sure some of you were thinking it)!

I wasn’t feeling all that beautiful on the outside, and to be honest, I wasn’t feeling too beautiful on the inside either.  In the stress of getting ready for the birthday party the day before, I am sure I was not fun to be around.  In fact, I realized this to be true when my (still sweet) husband gently asked me to stop being rude to him.  It was true, I was being rude and I realized my ugliness.

Some of you are probably saying, “Come on–don’t be so hard on yourself!”  I used to have this mindset for years, too — the mindset that lets things like this go and tends to make comments that would just try to make a person feel better about themselves instead of dealing with an issue of the heart.  I want to be liked and for people to be happy, too.  However, what I needed that day was a gentle reminder.

Here is the truth:  before God took a hold of my heart, it was downright ugly.  Amazingly, he loved me when I was in that unlovely state, and still sought me out.  He is still working in my heart to make it beautiful, but this weekend I had a reminder of what it looked like without him.

Ten years ago, I would have been horrified to go anywhere without make-up.  Now, I realize that it’s not my outward “ugliness” that should be horrifying to me, it is the state of my prideful and selfish heart.  This is how I need to love others, simply because it is how God has loved me:

Love is patient and <span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”>kind; love <span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(G)”>does not envy or boast; it <span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(H)”>is not arrogant or rude. It <span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(I)”>does not insist on its own way; it <span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(J)”>is not irritable or resentful; it <span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(K)”>does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but <span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(L)”>rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, <span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(N)”>endures all things.    1 Corinthians 13:4-7

True beauty can be seen in how one loves others.  My mom always emphasized inner beauty more than outer beauty, and so I will try to do the same with you.  God can turn the ashes into something beautiful, and I am so thankful for that.

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