To some people the term “inner beauty” is an overrated cliché, something women say to themselves to feel better about their physical flaws. I disagree. I am living testimony that an investment in inner beauty really pays big dividends in life and is not an overrated cliché.
On the contrary, inner beauty is so captivating it’s the one thing that stays strong on the stock market of very woman’s life. It doesn’t fade with age. I am in my early fifties am happy to say my investment in inner beauty is paying off! My outward appearance is simply an overflow of the wise “Inner Investment” I have personally chosen over the years. However, the journey has not been easy.
At my lowest point in life when I was preoccupied with my own shortcomings, I had very low selfworth, lacked confidence, and was terribly insecure about my physical appearance all of which I carried into my adulthood. This will come as a surprise to many who know me as an upbeat, zealous woman with a larger than life personality. The truth is I have not always been this way. I had reoccurring thoughts of inadequacy that kept whirring away like a ticker tape in my head which caused me to have much insecurity. This sense of insecurity devoured & attacked my confidence; it stole my happiness and left me feeling like a sub-standard human being who was not worth much. I spent a lot of my valuable time trying to meet the benchmark of unrealistic and unattainable magazine images of models and desperately tried to maintain a standard of perfection which quite frankly was exhausting, humiliating and downright costly.
One fateful day after an awful panic and anxiety attack, I realised this had to stop! There is a beauty within me that needs and deserves more of my time and investment than any model who walks down the catwalk. At that low point in my young and vulnerable life, I discovered and learnt some profound things that revolutionised my way of thinking, and launched me into a journey towards finding the authentic and beautiful me. I embraced Jesus Christ and the Master Architect himself. That was the end of my turmoil!
I made a conscious decision that I will not spend any more time focusing on my perceived flaws. With the help of the Holy Spirit I began what I call an internal detox programme. More like a spiritual boot camp. I stopped looking at toxic images and began a daily routine of spending at least 5 minutes every morning looking at myself in the mirror and declaring positive affirmations to myself over and over till it was firmly embedded in my spirit.
Over a period of time I realised I had began to exude something special that eliminated all of the insecurities and self-loathing that was wrapped up in the struggle for wanting to be perfect that I had carried for many years. I also started doing what I really love to do which is inspire, encourage, motivate and empower others. The fullness of my personality began shining. I started getting enthusiastic and excited about life in general. I stopped letting my concerns about appearance hold me back from embracing the beauty of living. I started paying more attention to “Thus saith the Lord.” It took dedication and commitment but I did it!!
Then I stumbled upon psalms 139:13-16 and OMG! I can still remember the rush of joy in my heart as I realised that despite my very best efforts, no makeup, no style, no painting, no sculpture or photograph in the world will ever be able to come close to the beauty and majesty God created in my innermost being.
As I intensified my internal detox programme I was shocked at the changes that began to overflow. I started showing more kindness towards others. I learnt kindness is exquisite in beauty. It shines like a beacon of hope and peace. I stopped trying too hard. When you try too hard, you look desperate. It’s hard to feel beautiful when you feel desperate. I wore my clothes well and my style highlighted the beauty inside me. I love looking good but I will not compromise my standards of integrity and self-respect when it comes to choosing what I wear. My appearance should bring glory to God at all times. I began to sleep a little better.
Although I am still work in progress on this one, I can confess that lack of sleep did dreadful things to my appearance. A good night’s sleep is like a mini facelift for me. I habitually remove clutter (physical, emotional & mental) my surroundings reflect the beauty inside of me. Family and friends began to notice the transformation. When change happens it shows out!! I also began to intentionally smile more. When you smile from ear to ear, your beauty thermometer boils! It is affordable. It is free! Priceless!
I want to challenge you this year to add to your beauty routine quality time addressing and scrutinizing what’s on your conscience and what’s in your heart. Every time you look in the mirror to check your outward appearance, do a quick soul check. Invest inward. When done you can step out with confidence knowing that God did something extra special when He made you. He fashioned you with extra and special care and meticulous detail. Media can say one thing, your mind may say another but when you dig deep inside you, you will find you are one of a kind, a sight to behold and God’s most spectacular masterpiece!
Article written by : Pastor Mercy Chieza
Founder of Equipped for Excellence Women’s Ministry International