I am dealing with a problem that I call plain Jane syndrome.
It is the feelings of looking ordinary, nothing special, not eye catching to anyone.
When I look in the mirror I see so much negative. I thought after losing 80 pounds this would go away and it certainly hasn’t. I only know how to wear makeup one way, I don’t know how to style my frizzy hair, I am lost when it comes to fashion, and I see curves where they aren’t supposed to be. I walk into a room and can find the prettiest girl and tell myself I will never measure up to that. I am sometime late for church and bible study because I can’t find an outfit that will look as cute as my stylish friends. I worry that I will never have a husband because how could a man find plain jane me beautiful.
These are my honest heart friends and in talking to other woman, I know I am not alone.
And I am ready to be done with all of these things and it is time.
One thing I have learned on my health journey is that Jesus has to power to break every chain and sin pattern in our life. I have tasted freedom through the cross that is unlike anything else. I know that this freedom applies to all areas of my life and that God can redeem my outside insecurities as well.
I picked up this really good book called True Beauty and it has been such an encouragement and conviction to me. I am not going to lie and say I felt kind of cheesy reading this but it surprised me a lot. It wasn’t all a feel good book that tells you that you are pretty. It brings the gospel in and talks about how that even effects our standard and life of beauty pursuit. It pretty much called me out and said that those who struggle with low self esteem are often pitied when in reality it is just a negative preoccupation with self. And that is sinful. That was hard for me to swallow.
“Sagging self-confidence is often a preoccupation with self; struggles with comparison, measuring up, and fitting in reveal our self-absorption. ”
I guess I have never thought of that before. I always think of those people who think they are just so beautiful and constantly obsessing and fixing their good looks. But I am in the same boat constantly thinking negative thoughts about my outside.
“But the inescapable truth is this: when we try to get attention for our own beauty, we cease to give God glory for his beauty.”
Here are some more quotes that really resonated with me:
“The gospel frees us to think less frequently about ourselves. We don’t have to wait until our Revelation 4 moment in heaven. We can, and we must, like David, seek to behold God’s beauty all the days of our lives. It is this deliberate, daily decision to gaze upon his beauty where change takes place. This is how we start to shed our preoccupation with ourselves and with our own beauty”
“His hands did not slip; he did not make any mistakes. Right down to the thinness of our hair and the knobbiness of our knees, he created us, by hand, to be exactly who he wanted us to be”
“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking. We were born in God’s thought, made by his hand. Let us resolve to accept our bodies with gratefulness to our Creator.”
“But the gospel-centered woman remembers that the God who created her body also sent his Son, in the flesh, to save her from her sins (John 1:14). Because of his forgiveness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can change. Life does not have to be a continuous adversity because of who we are. Instead, it can be a life of grateful worship to our Creator.”
“A gentle and quiet spirit is not a personality trait. It is the quality of a woman who meets adversity—slander, sickness, rejection, and loss—with a calm confidence in God. A gentle woman is a woman of remarkable strength and tenacity, because she does not attack back when someone sins against her. Rather, she waits on God. Knowing that God is just, she can suffer without bitterness. To be quiet doesn’t mean not to speak—although sometimes that might be a good idea—but it is “the sense of being calm, peaceful, and tranquil as opposed to restless, rebellious, disturbed, or insubordinate.”
“The truly beautiful woman is the one who contemplates the beauty of God. As she worships him for his loveliness, power, holiness, and goodness, she is changed. By the power of the Holy Spirit, her life radiates the beauty of the gospel.”
So I want to make intentional daily efforts to stop all of this. And that isn’t through sitting in the mirror telling myself good thoughts. It is taking the thoughts off of myself completely and looking to God. It is seeking God’s truth in the Word over the lies from the enemy. It is to accept and acknowledge that God made me this way and to move on and not dwell on things. It is seeing other women in this world as sisters and not as competition. It is daily waking up and not spending so much dang time in front of my closet or my mirror. But instead asking God what does He want from me that day and aligning my heart to His. It is praying for a heart that is free, a soul that is quiet and gentle, and seeing that is where beauty comes from.
Now this doesn’t mean I am just not going to wash my hair, wear makeup, or dress nice. None of those things are wrong at all! But it does mean that I am ready to surrender this to the Lord and allow Him to change my heart in radical ways and for Him to change my perception of beauty. And this will be a journey and I am ready.
Some of you may be feeling the same way as me. So let’s stop thinking and obsessing over ourselves. Let’s look to God who is “the ultimate, unchanging, eternal standard of beauty. He is the Author, Creator, and Bestower of beauty. His beauty transcends time and culture. It never changes and never fades. In order to know what true beauty is, we must see God.”