"If you could have one wish," he asked with his eyes looking deep into mine, "what would it be?'
I glanced around the class room and saw that our 5th grade teacher was getting ready to speak. "I don't know." I answered awkwardly. How could I tell him my hopes and dreams in only a few seconds?
The topic of the lesson that afternoon will forever be lost on me. All I could think about was his blond hair, blue eyes and mischievous grin. He was so cute! He was so popular.
He and I could not have been more different. Oh, how I loved him. I even had his phone number etched upon my mind. I never did call him, but I can still recite it, even to this day.
Pushing up my crooked glasses and twisting my short mousy brown hair, I nervously leaned forward and whispered my wish in his ear. "I want to be beautiful."
The teacher was talking; he couldn't turn around. I never knew his reaction. Thankfully, he had a kind heart. He never laughed at me and he never mentioned it again.
I wish all the boys had been like him. In my quest for physical beauty, love and acceptance, I have been rejected, ridiculed and laughed at many times. As much as I wanted to be beautiful, I was ugly.
I must have had the longest running awkward stage in the history of adolescence. From second grade to seventh, the teases, the taunts and the jabs at my self esteem took its toll.
At some point, beauty came close within my grasp. Contact lenses, perms, make-up and stylish clothes transformed my appearance. One would hardly recognize the girl I was then to the girl I'd become by the eighth grade. Yet it was never enough.
No amount of lipstick or mascara could hide the ugly girl inside my heart. It seemed no matter what I did, what I wore or how I looked, no one else could forget her either. I went from one unrequited love to another, desperately searching for beauty.
Through time, I have learned in my heart that true beauty comes from within. God has taught me that He created me to be the woman I am. He loves me for myself, not who I wish I were. To Him, I have always been what I've longed to be, beautiful.
The words in Psalm 139:13-16 say it so well:
"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be."
After years of rejection and tear stained pillows, God blessed me with a love to call my own. Not only did He give me His love and acceptance, I'd had those all along, He also gave me the love of my husband. Sometimes he looks at me with puzzlement in his eyes. Because he didn't know me back then, he will never fully understand the depths of my low self image and lack of confidence.
I am often amazed at his simple gestures of love. My heart heals a little with each, "I love you." My soul is cleansed when he places his hand over mine or when he kisses me. There are moments when he looks at me and says, "You are so beautiful," that I literally blink back the tears of joy.
"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)
2004 Copyright – Lisa D. Beaman
All scripture is from the NIV