Cathy Turner

The other day I stood before a sea of middle school girls and tried to convince them that they are beautiful. Middle school time is when your body is changing a lot. And girls can feel gangly and unsure. Curves are coming. Legs are coming. Zits and emotions are coming. You don’t know what to do with your hair, what to wear, or who is going to like you. As I looked out over this chapel group, all I could see was beauty – innocence. Even the eighth grade queens were children to me. Children waiting to know who they are going to be. Innocent. Innocence is always godly, therefore, it’s beautiful. As they looked at me, all I could see was beautiful.

I tried to explain to them why they were/are beautiful. Now I must admit, I don’t know how to explain beauty without God. Because beauty is a spiritual thing. It is such a shame that we have made beauty and worth be connected to so many things that can be torn down, destroyed, or fade. But worth is connected to nothing but God. During creation, God said everything “was good”. But after He made man and woman, He said it “was very good”. So I don’t know about you, but I am – “very good”. I don’t have to sing well or make great grades or have the richest husband or have the best make up to be beautiful or good or valuable. All I have to know is that there is a Creator who made me and know that every hair on my head is valuable to Him. The rest is just the stuff of life.

I don’t know how non-believers maintain a peaceful, consistent, complete sense of worth because this world is set up strictly to tear it down. From not having the right brand of jeans, to not being in the “in” crowd, to having professors at work to dash your belief in yourself, to not having a luxury car, to not living in the “right” neighborhood, or not being promoted on the job because of politics, etc., etc. Hierarchies in every path. Competition being the rule. Unrest and discontent. We are unable to give compliments and support each other. My daughter’s third grade teacher tried to prove to me that my girl wasn’t all that by saying, “I work hard to come up with things to keep her moving forward, and she never says, ‘Thank you.’ She just wants the next thing.”

The stuff of life will make you feel inept, awkward and less than valuable. But like I tried to convince those junior high girls, we were valuable as we were being made in our moms’ wombs. We are valuable before we become cheerleaders or quarterbacks. We have to live from our spirits – that is when we will find our value. To misquote Madonna’s – “Living in a material world, I am a spiritual girl.” Yep, that sums it up.

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