“You are His beloved.” by Tiffany Nguyen
I spent this past Thursday with the ladies of my parish’s EDGE program with the intention to remind them that they are God’s beloved. As I dwelled on this topic in the days leading up to the event, I reflected on my own feelings of insecurity.
Ever since I could remember, I was always the DUFF. Dumb. Ugly. Fat. Friend. I wore pants two sizes bigger than the other girls of my class in elementary school. My mom couldn’t see the purpose of buying me name brand “Abercrombie” pants because “I would outgrow them.”
“You’re just going to get fatter,” was what I heard.
I confess, there are days when I still have this feeling in my gut: I’m not pretty because my legs are too short, my skin too dark, my hair too bland, my arms too round, my chest too small, etc. etc. Those days, as I fixate on all the imperfections of my body, I feel and become ugly.
Although these days have become less frequent as I’ve left high school and the social constructs that occurred when seeing the same people five days a week, I didn’t truly believe I was His beloved.
My Youth Minister showed a video where adults were asked one question: “If there were one thing you could change about your body, what would it be?”
Almost immediately, the adults confessed a feature they were ashamed of: big ears, short legs, large eyes, a small nose.
The video then faded out to show a series of children asked the same question. Their answers took more thought and consideration.
“I would want a shark’s mouth so I could eat more.”
“Wings so I could fly wherever I wanted.”
“Gills so I can breathe under water.”
“I wouldn’t change anything.”
I almost cried as I watched this. I found confidence in my body as I grew up, matured, and became an adult. I lost confidence in my dignity as a creation, a daughter, and child of God.
“Through him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:3)
Every day, I marvel at the beauty that is God’s creation. The sunrise, the sparkling dew on my lawn, the blue skies above, and the flowers down below. If God could create such beauty, if my all-powerful, omnipotent God could create the heavens above and the land and sea below, how on earth could He create anything less than beautiful? Why would God the Father make His children, his creation, anything but beautiful?
“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
It is so easy to forget to look at the world with your heart instead of your eyes. With childlike wonder, we should marvel the beauty God created… with us included. Instead of fixating on what the world says is wrong about us, we can see everything that He did right. He knew you before you were born, and you are beautiful in His eyes.