You’re probably thinking “what is she talking about!” I’m talking about God and His unpainted, no varnish, plain and boring toenails. Why? Because I have them! “Ick” you might say. “Ick” is what I say, as for the first time ever, and I mean EVER, I have left my toenails unpainted and gone about my business. This isn’t through choice, I might add. It’s through necessity to keep me from wanting to chop off my aching big left toe.
I wasn’t blessed with the best toenails in the world, which are a mix of both my parent’s genes, and which have caused me no end of grief for the last 25 plus years. No court shoes, no canvas sneakers...yep, it’s opened toed shoes and thongs (flip flops) for this chick.
But, in my angst of not being able to varnish plus having a sore toe, I found God had a message for me. I don’t need to primp and preen. I don’t need to varnish. I just need to accept myself for whom and how I am. We are, after all, made in the image of God, so we must take this as a comfort and accept ourselves, including our foibles.
One thing I have struggled with over the years, and still do, is my body image. Looking at me, however, you might think that I have no reason too. Everyone, including the world’s most famous supermodels, has something about themselves that they don’t like. Mine is my bumpy nose (broken at roughly aged 8 and never fixed), my ‘sticky out’ ears (which have meant me NEVER wearing my hair up in public), my stocky legs (which really haven’t been an issue until the cellulite started to settle there) and, of course, my crazy toes!
God gave us some wonderful advice in 1 Samuel 16:7 when He “...said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” This verse got me thinking about how we accept ourselves, and others, and whether or not it’s the external or the internal that hooks us.
After seeing some ‘beauties’ on various web pages while surfing on the internet recently I started feeling rather insecure about myself. I’m only 5 foot 3 inches tall (161 centimetres), have short stocky legs, and all the other things I listed above. I don’t ‘do’ bikinis, I don’t get a tan, I cover up as I feel more comfortable that way, and, basically, I just don’t like sharing my body with all and sundry as some of these women do. I’m not here to judge them. Some of these women are very beautiful but I do wonder why they use their external self to try and fulfil an internal need.
I wrote the following after mulling over what I had seen and felt, what they were participating in (bikini clad chicks drinking copious amounts of alcohol by the pool and flirting with every male in sight, and generally there just for the attention) -
Beautiful smiles from beautiful people come from hearts filled with His love, not from what you look like on the outside. 'Developed / worked at' beauty fades and will disappear with time but hearts filled with His love don't. Don't EVER let what you see on magazine covers, TV, movies, etc, or just by looking at the person who 'works' to maintain their tan, shape, etc, determine who you think you should be. God knows who you are on the inside, and He's looking at your heart. That will determine how you spend eternity, not if you have perky (and most likely fake) D cups and a tan. DON'T BE FOOLED!
God does not want me to feel intimidated by these women and the expectation that I must conform to be like them to get attention. God wants me to love these women and to pray that someone comes into their lives that can show them the real love that they need to feel fulfilled. I am thankful that, despite my ongoing feelings of inadequacy when I see bronzed, blonde and buxom ‘beauties’, it’s more important that I have God’s love than the love of some testosterone fuelled male who looks at the carnal and not the spiritual.
Speaking of men...I attended a women’s conference at church last year and learnt about how men and women are wired differently and have a completely different chemical make-up from each other when it comes to visual attraction. The speaker talked about his attraction to a woman when he was young and how it floored him. He was happily married yet the mere sight of this woman caused his whole being to go crazy. He explained that this is how men are wired, and unless men learn about this and how to keep it under control, it can cause havoc in a man’s life.
This information was invaluable for me. I’ve always struggled in this area; of understanding why I wasn’t good enough. Learning about this helped me understand that the rejection I’ve suffered by men in my life wasn’t necessarily just about me, but also about how they are wired.
So ladies, I guess the purpose of this Word List post on acceptance is for you to realise that you, and I, are accepted for who we are on the inside and not on our outside selves. We’re accepted by our Lord and Saviour...as we are...stocky legs, crazy toes and all. In my last acceptance post I spoke on how we need to accept the shell we’re in as God loves our shell, and us!
I am learning to accept my unpainted toenails, even though I do have a little cringe when looking at them. But the cringe is worth more than sore aching toes. It’s about learning to accept me for who I am without the added extra of nail varnish. I’m not sure that I will ever be able to go without at least mascara and lip gloss, and a little powder to hide the shine, but I’m working on it!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for helping me to accept myself for who I am. Not as the world sees women, but how You see women; made to be a delight and an enhancement, not just a visual attraction. Thank You for loving me just as I am and for helping me to learn to love me for who I am also. In Jesus’ Wonderful Name, Amen.