By Anne Marie Holter
"You are all-beautiful, my beloved, and there is no flaw in you." Songs of Songs 4:7
How hard is that for us to swallow? Can we not whip out an infinitely long list of flaws we find in ourselves but barely force a small bullet pointed list of qualities we actually like? I'm sure I'm not the only one sitting here tonight crying to myself because I find it difficult to see my own beauty. My heart is in turmoil, it has become desiccated by the relentless scorn of my own mind. How many times have I found myself in this situation in the past year or two? Too many times. How many times have I questioned my worth, my beauty? I lost count. How many times have I cried out to God to comfort me? Nearly every night.
In my eyes, I am so flawed.
About a year and a half ago I felt compelled by God to end a relationship I had been in for over two and a half years. If you want to ask me why, go for it, but I still don't have an exact answer. He was a great guy, he challenged me to be a better person, and he looked at me with the awe and adoration I believe Christ does. But God had a different plan, so here I am, about a year and a half later and still single. I thought I would be a better person after the break up, that I would feel more whole because all I needed was God by my side and I could conquer the world. That was not entirely the case. The months following the breakup were relatively easy, I had been in a relationship for so long that it was effortless to focus on myself for a while and start to fall in love with the woman God was forming me into. I embraced this season of waiting. But soon I started to get lonely. This season of yearning and waiting was supposed to be a season of growth, but it turned out I have found myself trapped by the weeds.
For a long time I had patience, I knew God was working on a perfect plan for my life and preparing the man who will one day pursue me. But after a year and a half I am starting to run out of patience. The weeds are drowning me, Lord, and I can't see the sky anymore. This world has stolen my faith. It has taken every ounce of pride I had in who I am and ran away with it. I have been to the edge of giving myself away, I looked back and ran back into your arms. But Father, the edge keeps finding its way back to me. There is no escaping it. I have been called beautiful over and over, I have had guys drool over my body, but the moment they find out what I stand for their attitude of me changes. I have had guys willing to drop anything to have my body, but run away when they find out all they can have at the moment is my heart. My body is receiving all the attention while my heart is getting rejected over and over again. Just when my heart begins to feel cherished, it gets crushed. Oh how my heart is a fool, seeking attention from those who only desire other parts of me. It yearns to be pursued, for a man to relish in its company, but all a man desires is to lust over my body. How do I keep telling my heart it will be okay when all it feels is rejection? How do I keep putting the pieces back together after every guy throws it aside? If I give in and let the world have my body, they will praise me. Yet, if I stay true to myself, I am scorned.
In the eyes of this world, I am flawed.
I have fallen into the comfort of a man's arms only to see him turn his back when he can't receive what he desires. The world calls me "too Christian." They call me prude and foolish, and they remind me that no guy will ever want to be with a girl like me. What I once saw as a beautiful strength, as something to wear with pride, as an unmatchable pearl in the depths of the ocean, is the reason I find myself alone and crying out to God at night. How does no man look at my heart with the awe and amazement that you do, Father? The world is so cruel, it is consistently reminding me that I will never find a guy who will be willing to say "You are worth it." There is no guy who will die to himself knowing that my journey to Christ is more important than his needs. No man sees the beauty of my heart and wants to protect its fragility in his hands, he only sees my skin and wants to hold it for a night. He won't rejoice in protecting my unmatchable pearl, he will only rejoice in the satisfaction it will bring him to take it from me. If I throw away my purity, then every guy will be at my doorstep. So why am I still holding on?
The world is telling me to give up what I hold most dear, then I will have no flaws. It is telling me to give in, and the weeds will be gone.
But Lord, you have promised so much more. At this moment, my journey towards you is by myself, and I choose you daily because I trust in your promise more than I trust in the promise of this world. You see my purity as a treasure and you hold my beauty in your hands and cherish it with every ounce of your being. You see my majesty when all I see are my flaws. I see how unlovable I am. I see how many men I have tried to win over and all of the times I have fallen into their presence. I ask you how you can even look me in the eyes, and you say, "My dear, I look at your soul."
My journey to your feet at the crucifix will not be through giving my body to another man's pleasures. My journey will be through the weeds, to be able to stand tall above them. It will require me to dig my roots deep and reach the most raw parts of my soul to find the strength to choose you. The world will still scorn me and call me names, and my pride will crumble. My knees will be bloody, my clothes torn, my shoes missing, and I will be crawling on my hands and knees because this world is relentless. But, my God, I will be crawling towards you, and I will be crawling with the most joyous smile on my face because amidst the pain, false love, and desperation, I chose to come to the foot of your cross. And you will look at me with eyes of compassion and say, "Sweet woman, here you are, beautiful in splendor. You are mine".
Father, you see me as flawless, and I choose to pursue you.