Hey guys! It’s Emma. I know, I haven’t posted in FOREVER . . . right? So sorry about that, gals!m
The following post in about my book. I hope to get it published in 2017. Please remember that I edited the text and added/deleted phrases to make it work with my blog format, style, readers, et cetera. Also, in the actual book, I included pictures of my daily life, which I do not have here. Without further interruptions . . . Enjoy!
Take a look outside. Wherever, whenever you’re reading this, it’s beautiful! Vibrant shades of color in the fall, soft showers and pretty flowers in the spring, white, sparkling snow in the winter, and luscious green grass and golden sunshine in the summer. A beautiful world created by a beautiful, glorious, perfect, and almighty God!
God can’t create anything that is ugly. Our world is perfect proof of that! Even the most critical person in the world can admit that the earth is amazing, even though the human standard of beauty is distorted! We put labels on what is beautiful and what is not. How we define beauty is not how God does.
Please understand this for just a moment: God is a perfect God. He cannot fail at anything nor create anything imperfect or ugly. Sometimes we look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “I am ugly. Why do I keep pushing the truth away? I will never be pretty enough to measure up to the world’s standard of beauty!”
Well, guess what? That’s not what you need to aim for. I promise you, you will never feel contentment if you keep on comparing yourself to others. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” How true this statement is! Even the prettiest girls feel negativity towards themselves. You need to aim for God’s approval, not other peoples’. If you seek for the unconditional love that God offers in humans, they will only disappoint you and drag you down, rather than bring you up. God wants you to find love and security in Him. He won’t let you down!
Going into sixth grade, I had Katagelophobia—the fear of embarrassment. No, I didn’t have a doctor diagnose me with the phobia, but it was very obvious to certain persons (well, me). My friend
Hope was very social and got along great with the eighth graders and seventh graders during youth group. Plus, she had shining black hair, dancing brown eyes, and adorable dimples and freckles. She also had a fun, quirky personality. When she publicly lost in a game, she just laughed, shrugged her shoulders, and sat down. I was terrified of being caught in the spotlight, arriving late, speaking in front of everybody . . . et cetera.
Whenever I arrived even five to seven minutes ‘late’, I would go into the bathroom right down the hall from the youth room. Sometimes I would just sit in one of the stalls, sometimes I would play games on my phone, and sometimes I would dare myself to see how far I could go down the hall before I would turn back and flee to my sanctuary.
So what was the point of even going to youth group? Well, one, I didn’t want to worry my mom by saying I didn’t want to go. Two, Phil (the youth group leader) would call break right before the lesson time. Kids would come down the hall to go to the bathroom or get a drink from the water fountain. Since nobody usually paid attention to me, I would just slip out of the bathroom and walk down the hall with the other kids and back to the youth group room . . . all without drawing attention to myself. Nobody asked where I’d been except one or two of my friends and Kristi, a youth group leader and close friend of my mom’s. I would reply nonchalantly, “I’ve been here.” I told myself it wasn’t exactly a lie . . . it was true; I was there . . . just not in the same room as everybody else.
I thought my emergency plan was genius. I was still learning things from the lesson, and I wasn’t drawing attention to myself. I thought I wasn’t doing myself any harm—but in reality, I was. I was hurting my self- esteem and letting those negative voices win over me. Nobody noticed I was gone, so I thought nobody cared if I was there or not. But this was (and remains) untrue! My friends noticed my absence. I could’ve had so much fun in 6th grade if only I had been looking for God’s approval, not my peers’.
Things really changed when I went on the Summer Missions Trip that year in July. I met kids who desperately needed to be loved and cared for. They were used to seeing graffiti and robberies and hit and runs. They were used to being neglected and mistreated and unloved. I really bonded with a sweet girl named Zoë. She was five years old and her skin was the color of coffee with milk stirred in. She had the most beautiful brown eyes and the best high-pitched laugh ever. Zoë told me that her daddy and mommy loved her very much, but it was hard to live in Detroit sometimes. Zoë had seen things that no five-year-old should ever have to see. When we passed by a building with the b-word spray-painted on the side, Zoë’s eyes flickered over it without any emotion on her sweet face.
It made me realize how great we have it. Heating, clothing, and food, and even though Zoë had those things, she was living in an environment where she was not safe. It made my heart ache. She was grateful for the little things, and I constantly wanted more. The latest iPhone, more allowance money . . . well, you get the picture. That Missions Trip not only helped me to see what people outside of my world go through; it also made me feel accepted and united with my peers. They honestly didn’t care if I was a little weird (and, in all honesty, I was and still am), or didn’t have great social skills. We were all on a mission to help those around us. I felt like I was finally accepted . . . and I realized my silliness at wanting to fit in. Like I already said, the only approval that mattered was God’s! I was telling myself that I was ugly, that nobody wanted to hang out with me, and that I was weird. When I was telling myself those things, I was hurting God and calling Him a liar! I was basically saying to Him: “Look at me; Your creation! I’m horrible and ugly.” Like I said before, God is perfect and cannot create anything imperfect. So I was calling Him a liar by saying I was imperfect. I realize now that I am beautiful and perfect just the way I am. The Bible says that “You (God) formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (words in bold are mine). God poured His very breath into us. He created us, like a painter creates a masterpiece.
We are God’s masterpieces. He creates us in the very depths of the earth. He loves us with all of His heart.
I hope, dear girl, that you continue to read my blog and discover in further detail that you are beautiful. You are loved.
Be yourself, because everybody else is taken!
(Sorry this post was so long!)
Love you gals,