Monday, October 10, 2011

Old and Ugly or Wonderful and Good?

Ugh. This hair.  It looks terrible! And the gray...goodness, it's even more visible since I got that trim last week.  Natural highlights? Ha!  And why can't I be like all those other women who can leave the house with their hair wet, and only look more gorgeous as it dries naturally? 

This is what I think as I wrangle with my hair dryer, flat iron, and wide-barreled curling iron....

It's no use. Just brush it, spray it a bit, and surrender to the bad hair day.  It's 8:55a.m. and there's no time for what would be required to fix it.  Who would believe that the lady about to teach the Doctrine for Women Sunday School class is having fits over her hair 20 minutes before class?

Reluctantly, I lay the brush down on the dresser, and begin to walk out of my bedroom, where I catch a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror...

Ugh.  This outfit.  It's just awful!  I like this sweater, but it doesn't really go with anything ~ definitely not this skirt.  It just feels frumpy and unfashionable.  Why can't I be like all those other women who have such a natural sense of style ~ simple and casual, yet elegant?

OK.  Get over it.  Today you are just going to have to be old and ugly.  It's 9a.m. now and your class starts in 15 minutes. There is no time for a wardrobe change. Get in the car and drive to church.  Fashion sense is not a godly virtue anyway.  Today you will only be spiritual which goes much better with ugly than stylish does.  Right?
(I was the OLD lady with the BIG nose and chin.  Which lady do you see?)

Class is over and we're all walking out together...

"I love your sweater!" says Erica.  "Where did you get that?  It is so pretty."

"Oh....thanks....ummm....I found it at a little boutique in an artsy Texas town," I try to be gracious.

"Well, it's really pretty.  You always look so nice and perfectly put together." continues Erica.

"Thank you," I reply, but at the same time I tell myself that Erica is a theater major and just uniquely able to verbalize encouragement to EVERYONE she sees.

The worship service is over now, and I have managed to get my mind on the music, and the sermon, and Jesus ~ thank goodness.  I may have had a few anxious thoughts about my hair and outfit, though.  I get up from my seat on the second row and head toward the back of the sanctuary thinking to myself...Just get home, feed your family, and your lunch guests, and then you're home free ~ a ponytail will fix everything.  Then, I spot Vicky who is headed in my direction...

"Did you get your hair cut?" she asks with a smile and gentle pat on my arm.

"Yes," I reply, " about a week ago."

"Well, it looks pretty," she says.

"Really?" I ask in sincere disbelief.

"Yes, really.  I love it." Vicky reaffirms.

Oh.  Okay, Lord.  I get it. I hear you.  You don't view me through my critical lens and neither do the people around me.

"Thanks. Vicky, I know the Lord sent you over here to encourage me, because I left my house feeling very old and ugly today ~ like I had aged 20 years, and should finally just admit the obvious and surrender to the inevitable."

"No, no, no.  That is not true.  You look beautiful," my sweet friend replied.

And guess what the topic of my Doctrine class was that morning?  
Creation and Our Creator God.

Shouldn't the teacher know better?

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. 
Gen 1:31

For we are His workmanship...
Ephesians 2:10

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth...

...Search me, O God, and know my heart; 
try me and know my anxious thoughts 
And see if there be any hurtful way in me 
and lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139

Thank you, Lord, for truth ~ and for grace in the way of encouragement rather than further condemnation.  Taking a little break from the glass mirror today, and looking into the mirror of truth.


Jennifer M. Holloway said...

melanie!!!! look at our tri pics again...who was the one with her hair down that looked like she had just gotten ready for the day as opposed to having just competed in a triathlon? i believe that was you friend!!! :)

Anonymous said... me. You're beautiful inside and mirror is necessary. May God keep sending His messengers to you whenever you need them! Love and blue skies, K&J