Many years ago, I dated a man who was verbally abusive. He never hit me physically, but he knew exactly how to lash out at me with his words and how to slice my heart with his silence. I finally left him when I decided I would rather be alone for the rest of my life than be with him. (Side note: This was before I was walking with God, so I was unaware that God was with me.)
Unfortunately, something in me had been damaged by his words and through that relationship. I left, but I was scarred in my heart and in my spirit, and those scars left me feeling ugly. Beyond ugly. Repulsive. And I didn’t know if I could ever let anyone get close to me because they would see that ugliness and run the other way.
So I worked at hiding it, burying it under a “I’m fine” mentality and keeping people at arm’s length. It worked. I smiled a lot. I managed it all very well.
Until I met this wonderful man (now my husband of nearly eighteen years), and I wanted to let him in, past the barricade I’d constructed. Only, I was afraid he would see that ugliness seeping out and would turn and walk away. I teetered back and forth, uncertain what to do, until finally (thankfully!) I let him in.
I am here today, looking over my shoulder at the past, and remembering that trial. That difficult season. That unbearable feeling of not being worthy or good enough. Of being ugly. I was terrified of being caught, of being discovered that I was ugly underneath it all, and that I wasn’t really anything special at all; just an ugly blemish hanging out in the world.
God brought this all back to me today, some twenty years later while I scrambled eggs for lunch. I’m not exactly sure why, but He knows why and He was very clear in saying:
Ugliness is a lie.
You. Me. We are NOT ugly. All that the word “ugly” involves: the feelings of not being good enough, of being way down at the bottom of some ridiculous ranking system, that we’re stupid, a waste of space, unimportant, unlovable, insignificant etc. Those are all lies.
The truth is, we have great value. Remember what Jesus did for us, for YOU. You are unique and lovely and beautiful. And you are simply wonderful because God made you that way. Period.
No, you’re not perfect nor do you have to be. (Whew! What a relief.) But you are perfectly loved by the One Who is love.
If you are going through a similar and painful season right now, let me tell you: God sees you. He was there with you when the words someone spoke to you damaged you. And He sees how you’ve tried to bury them and how they keep surfacing like pond scum; that’s just what those hurtful words are – pond scum.
Get rid of them. Scrape them off and fling them aside. And as you step over that muck and walk away, lift your head high and praise God as His light shines upon you.
You are a beautiful and radiant child of God Almighty. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different.
“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14 NASB.)
“Those who look to him [the Lord] are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalm 34:5 NIV.)