One day, I looked at myself in the mirror.  This time was much different than the rest. I stopped passing the image in my reflection by like a stranger on the street and actually looked myself in the eyes. I broke down in tears and finally saw myself as beautiful. Not because someone else told me I was, but because I was witness to it with my own eyes. I was in my purest form, no filter, just freckles, and clean skin. I was no longer in need of losing a few more pounds or wishing my hair grew out of my scalp differently.

The feeling of acceptance came over me and I got a glimpse of how God might have envisioned my existence prior to forming me in my mother’s womb. I saw myself as a “Good Thing.”  Not just a good thing for the man I was created for, but a good thing in the eyes of my creator.

Over the years, I’ve become a testament to so many trials in my life that eventually caused me to view myself in ways I shouldn’t have.  I doubted myself in times where I now believe I could have pushed past insecurities. I found myself feeling defeated and even depressed. I felt small, unattractive, and incapable.  For a period, I depended on the opinions of others for my happiness while still being unhappy with myself. It took years and a couple of wrong turns, but I slowly began to learn to love myself again and affirm my inner beauty, not just on the exterior, but for what was inside of me as well.

I believed in what God’s word said about me

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

– 1 Peter 2:9

God’s word was the love letter that I needed to read in order to better understand the inner workings of my being. Throughout the Bible, His word affirms just what the enemy attempted to persuade me I’m wasn’t. The word tells me that I was specifically created in the image of God.  It tells me that I am set apart and chosen. It says that there is a purpose over my life and that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. It showed me that I was formed with intention and purpose.  I no longer viewed myself as a mistake or the “odd man out,” but a handcrafted product of God’s workmanship.

I stopped comparing myself to others

“But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”

-Galatians 6:4

With the overpowering influence of social media, it’s easy to compare yourself to not only the well-known supermodel on your timeline but even the girl next door using a filter and a few hashtags to get ahead.  From my six-year-old “baby fat” and stretch marks to my thinning edges, I found myself comparing what I thought others had to the reality of my own circumstance. I soon realized that the very people that I seemed to idolize were hiding behind their own insecurities covered by a Snapchat filter and a scripted motivational speech.

I later began to search myself and learn more of who I was.  I searched the word continuously. I fasted and wrote love letters to myself in my journal each day. The only music I listened to glorified God and nothing else.   I took away social media and television and focused on the rawest form of myself as I leaned on the rawest form of God in my presence. Let me tell you, a good fast can have you seeing things as you’ve never seen them before.  

All of these things allowed me to find clarity within myself. I was able to focus again.

I cast out the adverse views of who I thought I was and replaced them with who God knew me to be. No longer would I allow the views and opinions of others or the words of the enemy to dominate how I perceived myself.

I decided to change my perception of myself and learn to view what I thought was an imperfection as a compliment to God’s unique blueprint for who I was.  I embraced every flaw inside and out and affirmed within myself daily that every piece and part of me was created with intention and I’m proud to be a representation of God’s craftsmanship.

I loved myself just as God loved me

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.  God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”  

-Galatians 2:20

Just knowing that God loved me just for who I was…for who He created me to be has changed my whole perspective of myself.   I remember being afraid to even walk past a mirror because of what I might see. I didn’t want my reflection to be a disappointment.  

I didn’t look like a supermodel and still don’t.  My weight fluctuates constantly and I’m still in the process of growing in my natural eyebrows.  I don’t live in a world of ring lights, filters, and layers of makeup. I’m just Erin and I ‘m in love with the woman that she’s become and evolving to be…flaws and all.  This was not something that happened overnight, but with time I learned how to have self love simply because of God’s love for me. I learned to let my light shine in the midst of so much darkness.  I picked up all of my broken pieces and began to put myself together one day at a time just through the strength of knowing that I am loved by my Father in heaven.

I Encouraged Myself

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

-Proverbs 18:21

I affirmed my inner beauty by encouraging myself.  I looked myself in the mirror and spoke life daily.  I wrote down words of affirmation like “I am capable of all things” and “I am enough” and placed them on sticky notes to place on my vanity and even my car’s dashboard.   It may sound like something so small, but it worked. Those powerful words were embedded inside of me.

My mirror was lined with pink and gold sticky notes full of inspiration.  I got to a point where I didn’t have to look at the notes to myself anymore.   There was no need for reminders. I believed in this and walked in it regardless of what my past opinions of myself were.  I now had a better understanding that God created me in His image and His alone. There is nothing greater than knowing that I am a child of the most high…a daughter of the one true king.  There’s no reason to think any less of myself. I am royalty so I fixed my crown and walked with my head held high.

This process wasn’t easy and I am still a work in progress.  Just as we journey to continue to live saved, we journey in loving ourselves completely as God loves us for everything we are.  I’ve learned to show myself grace and to accept myself in raw form. How do you change the negative views of yourself in order to affirm your inner beauty?

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