When I was in high school, I was known as a nice girl who loved people and God. I never really struggled with the mean girl phase. I did not struggle with loving others – including strangers. I loved to love others. I loved to be the friend others could count on. I loved to look for the best in my peers and encouraging them. And I loved my God. I loved to learn about Him and called Him my friend.

However, I forgot to love myself.

For some reason, telling others they looked good was easier than looking in the mirror and smiling. For some reason, telling others their strongest characteristics was more of a habit than noticing mine.

And I’d be lying if I said I still don’t struggle with that.

And I bet the woman reading these words off of her computer screen has also struggled with loving herself.

The other day after a nerf gun war, my roommates and I were all sitting down on the couch. My friend Dresden looked at me in the eyes and said, “It is such a shame you don’t fully know how beautiful and loved you are…”

I bet you are confused because here you are; reading a blog that usually talks about self-worth from a girl who apparently still has days where she struggles with her worth. A girl who tells others they are beautiful no matter what a boy thinks, yet still occasionally feels like she looks like a potato. A girl who has said what the scale says does not define you, yet finds herself weighing herself after burning 600 calories on the stair stepper and rolling her eyes after looking at the number on the scale, because to her, that number is the equivalent to the weight of a whale.

I’m writing this because I doubt I am the only one who forgets to love themselves.

I doubt I’m not the only girl who loves Jesus and her friends, but occasionally has days when she looks in the mirror and decides to not love herself.

However, you can’t fully love God without loving the image of Him in the mirror. You can’t fully appreciate your Creator without loving His creation (yes, that includes you, you self-proclaimed potato).

Start looking in the mirror and loving yourself each morning. Notice the beauty you hold not because of who you are, but because of whose you are. Rest in Christ’s truth and not in what the scale says.

I guess what I’ve learned lately is there is already enough people in the world trying to bring you down, so why be another in your own life? You will meet plenty of girls who think you aren’t worthy of true friendship and plenty of boys who will break your heart. You will fight Satan each morning with lies and temptation. So my question is to you is this: Why cast another lie in your life? Why allow yourself to bring you down, when the world is already doing that?

You are beautiful and loved. The kind of lasting beauty that will still be there even if tomorrow you wake up with 16 pimples, a bloated tummy, and insane regret from the previous day. The kind of beauty that is unstoppable and unchangeable. Your beauty has nothing to do with your age, your past, your gifts or the amount of likes you get on a selfie. This beauty has nothing to do with who you are, and has everything to do with whose you are.

Do you hear that? That is the Lord reminding you that you are worthy. Do you feel that? Your breath flowing through out your body? That is the Lord reminding you that you are where you are for a reason. Do you see that? That is the present, a place you are put in by no mistake.

Your life may not be butterflies and sunshine all the time. But God created it for you. He created your life and you with the ability to spread His name. What a purpose. How can you not love that opportunity you hold inside your soul?

So wake up tomorrow and remember to love yourself. You can’t love God without loving the image of Him in your reflection. You are irreplaceable and were handcrafted in your mother’s womb for a purpose bigger than your present circumstance or biggest mistake. Yeah you may not look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel– but that is okay. Love yourself because God gave you a purpose, a unique identity, and a body that is able to spread His name with your unique gift.

Also one of my followers showed me this song tonight, and I think it shows you why you should love yourself. Yes you are broken, messy and maybe a little bloated but that is okay. You are sinful and continue to mess up. However, the Lord makes everything and everyone beautiful and loved through His mercies each morning. You are beautiful and loved because of Him, so love yourself.

photcreds: Caroline Cash, Christina Dolle

Written by Grace Valentine

I love Jesus, diet coke and sunflowers. I wish I lived in the mountains, but love the two states I call home--Louisiana and Texas. I can watch Criminal Minds all day and dream of one day owning an ice cream truck for fun. However, my main goal in life is that more girls will realize the worth they have through Christ Jesus--and with Him and Him only we are enough.

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