I was taking a walk through the neighborhood with my daughters yesterday. We progressed slowly down the winding road pausing by the water to dip our toes in its still crisp current as it lapped upon the shore. We gaggled with the geese and laughed at frolicking fish as they broke the surface of the pond in their tryst with the mayflies. We stared transfixed as the ducks danced with one another in their springtime affair, and we stopped every few feet to gather goodies from our trek such as feathers, pine cones, and bright spring flowers.
At one turn of the trip a splash of bright yellow caught my six year old daughter’s eye, and after asking my permission she proceeded down a grassy hill to capture her new flower for her collection. I watched from the road’s edge, and I glimpsed the thick stalk of the plant which had garnered her favor.
“That’s a weed, baby.” I called.
She stood staring at the yellow weed, but quickly called up to me a simple truth that hit me deeper than she probably intended.
She called back to me, “isn’t it cool how God makes even weeds beautiful?”
Wasn’t that true, and I thought about my life, how my feelings of beauty had changed through the years. I was a thirty-nine year old woman, but I felt happier and more secure with my physical self than I had ever been. It was kind of ironic how as my body began to sag and wrinkles became more stubborn that I could finally be content with me. If only I had seen it many years ago.
As a young woman I never felt thin enough, I was certain my flat chest was the worst thing imaginable, and I critiqued anything from the shape of my nose to the peculiar appearance of my toes. I was never quite happy with who I appeared to be, and I know I spent far too much time basing my worth on what others thought of me. Rather than seeing myself as unique, one of a kind, and a work of art designed purposefully by God, I simply accepted the fact that I was a weed. Never understanding that God made all His creation with beauty, precision, and care.
Instead of seeing the truth I based my worth on if I was accepted by those around me and what value they placed on me. I believed the commercials I saw on TV, the advertisements in my mom’s Harper’s Bazaar, or even worse, the pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. I just wanted them to share with me that secret. I was 92 pounds, but still didn’t feel like I fit in with the perfection on those glossy pages.
I didn’t embrace my difference, but instead saw them as curses. I took on the cruel words of bullies or the rejection handed to me by teenage boys. Even in my twenties I caught myself gazing at other women wishing I could be like them. I wanted to be a rose. But I was more like a dandelion, especially the way I let the wind of public opinion blow away my very essence of being.
Psalm 139:14 ESV
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
If you’re a frequent reader of my blog you’ll notice my main image on my blog is that of a dandelion. I developed quite an affection for that lovely flower as the years went by, and likewise I have developed a love for myself that I never knew existed. By seeing myself made in God’s image, fearfully, wonderfully, and purposefully stitched together in a unique and lovely design, I have developed not only an acceptance of how God made me, but also an adoring affection of self. To love the design is to love the designer. He makes even what the world terms as weeds a thing of absolute beauty.