Let me tell you about my best friend: She’s absolutely hilarious. She has bright strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. She’s the only person I know who understands my love public health and loves it too. She’s wicked smart. She the type of person you want to be on your team– fun and hardworking; she gets along with most everyone. She’s good with kids and with adults. She loves animals. She’s a safe driver. She’s a bad singer but that doesn’t stop her from belting out her favorite tunes. She likes sports and musicals. She’s pretty much up for trying anything. But she eats her food plain. She’s always willing to talk when I need her. She’s travelled the world but is still close with her childhood friends. We met on the first day of uni and we’ve been friends ever since. She takes my sass and deals out some her own too. She’s the best listener. We were once reprimanded in a college class for talking too much. She’s held me when I’ve cried and I know things about her that no one else knows. When we’re together, we’re better. We laugh louder, we smile bigger, we talk more, we give more.
And she doesn’t know she’s beautiful. This absolutely breaks my heart. I should have told her every day since we met. But even then, I don’t know if she would believe me.
We were hanging out on Monday, drinking hot chocolate, chatting non-stop, and doing a puzzle. Then matter-of-factly she asked, “do you think I don’t get dates because I’m not pretty?” I was stunned. I didn’t know what to say.
Why do girls feel like something is wrong with them if they don’t get asked out on a date? We live in a society where everything is first based on looks. This is especially true in college. We believe if we could just look better, we could be fulfilled. My best friend is beautiful. She shouldn’t change a thing. And yet, she thinks something is wrong with her and that she has to change for others to like her.
God made us in His image (Gen 1:27). We are the only creature in which this is true. He knows the hairs on our head and knitted each of us in our mother’s womb. This is exciting and why God seeks a relationship with us. He’s our Father. We were made by Him are loved by Him. And it’s so painful to know this is true and still feel like you don’t measure up.
But we were not made to measure up to man’s standards. We are called to love ourselves. I believe when we love ourselves, we can love others better, as we are also called to do.
God made the beautiful Carolina sunsets my best friend and I experience nightly. He made the roaring ocean and the soft sand. He made silly, playful dogs. He made the beautiful trees on our university campus, along with the beauty of all our other favorite places. And He made me and you and my best friend. He saw fit that in this world we exist with a purpose. We’re made beautiful in our own ways, yet still in His image.
When we accept this to be true and accept Christ as our Savior, we are made new. Our sins are washed away. Our identity is now found in Christ. We are no longer of this world in the way we once were, seeking approval from man.
And when you look in the mirror, it’s hard to remember all this and feel like it’s enough. You still don’t have a date; your thighs still feel too big; your dress size still feels too high; and your hair still seems to not being doing what you want. I want to encourage you to seek God in this moment. Ask for God to transform how you think about yourself. These negative thoughts are a waste of energy. Pray that you will become the woman God wants you to be; ask Him to redirect your thoughts. Ask for forgiveness for all this self-hate. Thank God for your health. Thank Him for the strength he gives you to do His works, through strong legs, helpful hands, a warm smile… And if you see fit, pray for your future husband and those you will encounter that you can encourage since going through this struggle. Ask God to prepare you for these people.
And never forget, you have me– your friend who loves you, who cherishes you and this friendship, and finds you beautiful in so many ways. I love you, best friend.