You Are Wonderfully Made

4 11 2010

I remember reading a story about a girl who had a red hat. It was one of those things people were forwarding via Email and I haven’t been able to find it since.  People said, “I don’t usually forward things but…you have to read this.” So, I read it.

It was the story of a little girl with a red hat; she loved her red hat!  She wore her red hat proudly, everywhere she went. Every year though, as the girl got older, she was more and more insecure about the hat. Maybe along the way someone made a comment about it that wasn’t complementary, or maybe she compared herself to others and saw they weren’t wearing a hat at all. As she looked in the mirror, she liked it less and less and wore it less and less.

She was ten, and then twenty and the hat now sat in her closet. When she turned thirty she was curious about it and tried it on, but she didn’t wear it out. When she was forty or so, she thought she would wear it outside. When she was fifty, she wore it to a function. When she was sixty, she really liked it again and people said it looked very fashionable on her. When she was seventy and then eighty, she didn’t care whether people noticed it or not, she just loved her hat and wore it because it gave her joy!

Do you understand that story? When I read it, it really connected with me.  When we are little, we like ourselves. We hold our hands out and say, “Look!” Then we get older and become more and more self-conscious to the point that sometimes we actually feel like hiding.

Do we have to wait until we are old before we feel good about ourselves again?

Mirror, Mirror

•    If I asked you to look in the mirror, would you?
•    And if you did, would you take a long look or would you make it as quick as possible?
•    What would you look for first?
•    Would you see what you like about yourself or the flaw you think you have?

For some of us, looking in the mirror means we “scrutinize” ourselves; that is, we examine our faces, our hair, our bodies, very, very closely and often times we find something we aren’t happy with.

I remember being around the age of 11 or 12 and someone snapped a picture of me, in shorts, sitting cross-legged on the lawn with my dog. When the picture was developed, I didn’t see a happy young girl with her pet; I saw what my legs looked like in shorts and I wasn’t happy. Many, many years have gone by and I can see that picture in my mind as if it was just taken.

Why aren’t we happy with how we were made? Have you ever stopped to think about that? Why should any part of our body make us unhappy?

If someone looks at their nose and doesn’t like the shape of it, why is that? Well, it’s because they aren’t just looking at their nose for what it is; they are looking at their own nose and comparing it to someone else’s.

Our poor bodies don’t have a chance when we start to compare! There isn’t a single part of one person’s body that matches up with another person’s on the planet (unless, of course, you are an identical twin and then you would have no need to compare, since you look just the same anyway)! So how is it fair to compare?

The reason we compare is because “somebody, somewhere” decided that there was an “ideal” look. What is a girl to do about that? How can we ever be happy if we are always comparing ourselves to what “somebody, somewhere” says is perfect? The problem with the “somebody, somewhere” who keeps telling women what is desirable is that they keep changing their mind!

Every year the look changes. Every year, a handful of women make the cut; every year a new measuring stick is given to us and we spend the rest of our time trying to measure up.

What will we need to look like next year? Do you see what an insane, impossible game all of this is?

I have another question to ask you and I need you to think about this carefully if we are going to get caught up in comparing ourselves to other people: at what age should we start looking at ourselves and doing that?

This is an important question, because if we have to look in the mirror to see if our nose, for example, is good enough, we should know when to start:

•    Should a toddler look in the mirror and start to ask questions about her nose and maybe cry about it if her nose is different then her little friend’s?
•    Should a six year old be concerned that her nose isn’t quite right and maybe stay inside that day because she is embarrassed about it?
•    How about when she is ten? Is that the right time to be discouraged about the way her nose looks?
•    Maybe a person should never be quite happy; is that is how it should be?

All of these seem ridiculous don’t they?  So then why would a girl between the age of twelve and forever-after look at herself so closely in the mirror and decide something’s not right about her? When did we ever give permission to “somebody, somewhere” to tell you us what’s good or bad about our faces, our arms, our legs, our anything? It is time to look at yourself and say something that is TRUE about you: you are wonderfully made.

Made? That suggests that someone put some thought into us.

There is an old story that was told about a man walking in the woods who happens to come across a beautifully designed pocket watch. He picks up the watch and looks at it and notices how all the pieces are working perfectly together. He turns it over in his hand and sees the engravings on the watch’s casing.  Where did the watch come from?

People would think he was crazy if he’d answer, “This watch just happened to spring up from the ground by accident! Isn’t that amazing?” That just wouldn’t be an intelligent answer. The only reasonable conclusion would be, “Someone went to a lot of work to make this; I can tell because it has artistry, logic and design; someone made this and someone misplaced this.”

Wouldn’t it seem a bit foolish to think that people just somehow sprang up from nowhere without any thought? I don’t even know where to begin in talking about how intricately you are made! A person like you doesn’t just happen. The way your body works is the work of a genius, an artist; God!

This is what one person said about that artist a long time ago,

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body 
and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! 
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”

This verse suggests that whoever made us didn’t just throw us together, giving some women great features and others some sort of leftovers! This beautiful verse tells us that we were designed; every part was chosen carefully, and the end result was stamped, “Marvelous!”

There isn’t one group of girls who are an example of God’s great work, and another group of girls who got the short end of the stick; we are all wonderfully made.

There are billions (get that, billions) of people living on this planet.

•    Billions of lips
•    Billions of eyes
•    Billions of toes
•    Billions of hands
•    Billions of personalities

There are billions of lovingly made human beings; billions of combinations resulting in people who are one-of-a-kind; and you are one of these.

You are completely different than any other person in the world, and the One whose opinion matters the most approves of you. You don’t need to stand in front of the mirror one more time and feel less than anyone.

You are a work of art; you are wonderfully made.

— Teresa Klassen

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