“We know [beauty] has causede untold pain in the lives of women. But even there something is speaking. Why so much heartache over beauty? We don’t ache over being fabulous hockey players. Woman ache over the issue of beauty-they ache to be beautiful, to believe they are beautiful, and they worry over keeping it if ever they can find it…A woman knows, down in her soul, that she longs to bring beauty to the world. This is not just culture, of the need to ‘get a man’. This is in her heart, part of her design.”
-Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge
I am reading this book right now. Only a day into my relationship with John and Stasi, I know what they think about women. The problem with women today, the problem with how society treats women, what every woman wants, what every woman is made for. 40 pages in, and every one of them discusses Beauty.
They talk about how women are around to bring beauty into the world. How their bodies and souls and minds and hearts radiate just an overall happiness and wonderfulness and Beauty. How we all just need to feel beautiful. Need to be beautiful.
I’m a teenage girl, and I have been for awhile. I know all about looking into the mirror and seeing the zit so big you can’t believe your neck can support the extra weight, seeing the bump in the bridge of your nose, seeing you small eyes, seeing your falt hair, your thighs, your stomach, your boobs, you toes, you cheeks, you ears, your clothes that don’t hang on your hips like anyone else’s do. I know all about that.
As I read this book, they are trying to relate to me the wonderful litte-girl-feelings of what it’s like to wear sparkly shoes, what it’s like to twirl your skirt around and around, what it’s like to have your hair done up in braids and dance through the house. Whatever happened? We all remember being little and giddy over what we looked like, how we felt like an extension of the flowers and the trees as we pranced around our backyards. To be part of something bigger, beautiful and sweet-smelling.
Why is it that so many of us, girls, sit staring at their phones waiting for a text message? Why is it that the biggest compliment can be “hey, I just wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking about you all day”?
I always thought this was the problem with being a girl. That girls are unsure about themselves and needy, and if we were more like boys we’d be better off. This book puts it differently though. God made women beautiful, to show His own Beauty. God wants to be sought after. He does not want to be an option in our lives, an appendage, a tagalong. Neither does any woman. God wants to be essential (Eldredge).
I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to be that girl that Dream Street was always jammin’ out over. Or wanting to be twirly-skirted. Ot sparkly. Or listened to. Or thought about. Or sought after. Wasn’t everyone made to be essential?
I think that we ARE all made to be essential to something or someone. To be able to make “What would I do without you?” An unanswereable question. Unimagineable. Unbelievable. Because, someone, something, somewhere wouldn’t exist without YOU.
I guess what I’m trying to say, or rather what I’m trying to figure out, it “What are you essential to?” Or “What makes you beautiful?” It seems like an easier question than “what am I supposed to be doing?” Or “why would God put me here on earth?”
What makes you essential?
What makes you beautiful?
I think that’s a better place to start.