Beauty Wounds
Shari Braendel

"God heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

A few girlfriends recently confided to me about past wounds that still hurt. One sweet friend shared how she has worked for over 20 years to heal from the wounds inflicted by harsh words. "My mother always thought I was too heavy and called me her elephant. She was constantly making comparisons between my much smaller sister and me. She even went so far as to accuse me of being bulimic, which was a crushing blow to a 13-year old girl."

My other friend confided, "My mom's friend asked me what it was like to have a sister who was so pretty and then said how difficult it must be growing up with her, so beautiful and tiny, and me not being that way. I wasn't fat; it's just we are built completely different. I remember being surprised that someone would actually say that to me and wondered WHY she would say it. That one comment defined me for many years and still hurts when I think about it today."

Beauty wounds. Every single one of us has them. Some inflict deep pain and others prove to be a little nasty pinch that bothers us from time to time; regardless, all of them hurt.

There are many things that need to take place in order to heal our innermost being and assure we don't get caught in the habit of repeating this behavior with those we love or even those we don't know well.

It is important to extend grace and forgiveness to those who have wounded us. I know this can be easier said than done, but through Christ it is possible. Often the one who brought us pain has no idea the heartache they have caused. I often wonder whom I could have hurt without meaning to, and I hope and pray they forgive me for my thoughtless actions.

The Bible tells us words are powerful, but so are our thoughts. We often give too much value to the destructive dialogue that runs in our head from past wounds. We listen to the hurtful thoughts that play over and over like a broken record. The moment these thoughts pop up, we need to put an end to them by taking them captive. We need to immediately replace the wounded thinking with something more powerful and loving.

One thing that has helped me is to have scripture verses ready in my mind to shut down those damaging head games. For instance, when a critical thought about my beauty or my weight comes into my mind, I try to realize it and immediately say, "The king is enthralled by [my] beauty" (Psalm 45:11,NIV).

I want to encourage you to not allow your heart to dwell on ugly thoughts. God is a big God and He's crazy about you. You are a treasure to Him. He did not make a mistake when He created you! I pray you will believe and stand on that truth my friend. For if I know one thing for sure, it is that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and bind up every one of our wounds, including our beauty wounds.

Dear God, I know You see the deepest places of my heart and know the lies and words that continue to haunt me and hurt me. Will You take that hurt away, please? Heal me and help me to accept and understand that You didn't make a mistake with me. You made me perfectly wonderful. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Enter a national makeover contest with Shari Braendel! Multiple winners will be chosen for additional give-aways including a $500 Visa gift card, a Skype fashion session with Shari, a webcam and more! Find out more at www.fashionmeetsfaith.com/contest.

Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad by Shari Braendel

Visit Shari’s blog for more encouragement and some fun fashion tips.

Do you know the One who calls you Beautiful?

Application Steps:
1. Print out Psalm 139:13-14 and post it on your mirror. Let it be a daily reminder that you belong to God. Read it every day until that is what you hear inside your heart and mind.

2. Pray and ask God to help you forgive those who have inflicted pain upon you.

3. Choose this day to begin the healing process.

Reflections:
Would you want to be granted the forgiveness that another may need from you if you were in the same situation?

Is there a time you can remember being forgiven whether you deserved it or not? There is freedom in forgiveness that touches all parties involved.

Power Verses:
Genesis 1:27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 6:18, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters," says the Lord Almighty." (NIV)

Psalm 139:13-14, "For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well." (NASB)

© 2010 by Shari Braendel. All rights reserved.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous LauraT said...

For many years I let the negative comments my father said to me define me. I have worked hard to redefine me. Thank you for a beautiful reminder that I am beautiful!

Blogger horsemom said...

I was the thin, cute girl who got all the compliments....but I was also the one who heard many boyfriends make fun of the "fat girls". Therefore, I became terrified of getting fat!!! This turned into an eating disorder and an obsession with body image. It was horrible 25 years ago and it still lingers in my mind now. It's something so hard to get over completely.
When I was 16, a boyfriend saw me without makeup and told me that if I was smart, I would NEVER be seen without makeup again. Well, guess what....I haven't!!!
Thanks for this reminder that God will always think I'm beautiful...and He's the One that matters most!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember about 15 or so years ago my mother commented about me losing weight, she had never said that to me in all my life and never said it to me again, but I felt so down because of it. I never held anything against my mother about that statement. My mom has been gone since 1998, and I have not even thought about it again until today when I read this devotion. But I remember then that I was hurt by what she said. My husband tells me all the time that I am beautiful, and I always say ya right. So I must have a complex of somekind. I know God sees each of us as beautiful women, we just have to believe it.
Thanks Denise

Wow, that forgiveness thing again. All too often, we withhold forgiveness because we feel it gives us some power over the other person. All that does is tighten the chains that bind us to the lies, to the offense. Forgiveness, unconditionally given-the way God has so lovely shown us,is the key to break that chain. I have a choice. I can keep myself imprisoned by the lies, hurtful comments,or I can free myself believing a God who has so carefully and wonderfully crafted me and reflect His image by forgiving and loving.

Blogger roxz said...

I just read your article "Beauty Wounds". I have lived this out in my own life. I have 2 older sisters tall & thin and I was short and chubby. I was compared to them well after I was married.
Psalm 139 has been my healing balm and has become my life chapter! I pray this article touches and heals many others. However after repeating a resounding AMEN at the end of the prayer I read on under Related Resources and the first thing that was offered was to enter a National Makeover Contest with Shari Braendal! Bad placement!
Until our internal is healed the external will never be good enough!
As our Beloved Jesus heals those broken places in our hearts, His beauty begins to shine through. Our external takes on a whole new likeness and our eyes began to see ourselves as He see us.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW, what an inspirational message this is. I remember growing up thinking I wasn't pretty enough and wishing if I could just have been born with curly hair, a slim body and average height that I would've been accepted by everyone. Now I realize all that didn't matter then and it doesn't matter today either. After receiving Jesus as my personal savior and growing in his grace. I realize that He loves us all no matter what shape or color. We're all beautiful to Him and that's all that matters.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this, it made my heart so joyful and give God the glory and praise for giving me lovely, wonderful, imperfect parents. I never heard them said that I am ugly. Bless your heart and continue the ministry.

Anonymous valarie Hodges said...

This could not have come at a more perfect time for me. Thank you.

Anonymous Bebi said...

Even though I wasn't aware I needed this message right now, my Father knew I did. But once I read it, it brought up feelings I thought I was moving past. I have never felt confident in my appearance. I can be told that I'm beautiful but I always question it. And I feel silly and shallow for allowing my appearance to even be an issue. But its a trigger point issue for me. Thank you for this reminder that I need to allow God to heal this hurt and insecurity within me and not just ignore it and think that it will go away.

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