Throughout my entire middle school experience, I was the epitome of the definition of awkward.

I was short, shy, and mildly overweight – not to mention those horrid braces. Gym class was pretty much awful for everyone involved. But the awfulness was especially true for those of us who weren’t exactly the athletic type.

Teenage girls can be downright cruel when they want to be. When they see the chance to embarrass someone in an attempt to feel better about themselves, “cruelty” can be an understatement.

Yup, I can still remember the day perfectly. Our gym class was outside running track. I was hot, sweaty, and hating life struggling to keep up with the rest of the group. I can still hear their laughter and taunts. “Run, fat girl!” Needless to say, that the last thing I felt like was “beautiful.”

Almost ten years later, and the memory is still fresh in my mind. Why is it that their insults cut so deep? As
women, there is one question that we spend our entire lives trying to answer…

“Am I beautiful?”

We seek to be noticed, to be acknowledged, to be recognized for our beauty. And we will go to crazy lengths to attain it. We pine after worldly beauty, a beauty that worships Victoria’s Secret models and the latest brand of mascara. We become addicted to the hottest trends, the glamour of Hollywood and celebrities. We obsess over the shape and size of our bodies and their imperfections, and find our identity in the number on our scales. So what does it mean to be truly beautiful? How can we as women seek to be beautiful in God’s sight, rather than in the sight of the world?

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” // 1 Peter 3:3-4

True beauty radiates from a pure heart within us.

We can only accomplish true beauty when we’ve allowed Christ to be become to center of our lives, and of our hearts. He desires to transform every crevice of your heart into something pure and beautiful – we simply have to let Him.

Alyssa Birchfield

Alyssa Birchfield is a blogger and aspiring author with a passion for sharing the hope of Christ with a lost world. She is also a newlywed wife learning the ins and outs of marriage with her husband, Craig, in the beautiful state of Ohio. In addition, she loves words, design, traveling, a good cup of coffee, and her three cats, Bella, Ginger, and Chai.

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