a familiar picture

I wasn’t sure if I was going to share this, but I've had a few friends let me know that what I shared on Tuesday resonated with them. I wrote (most of) this on Christmas Day.

I had a moment of "aaaaaahhh" on Christmas Eve

The festivities of the day were already done. I'd finished playing the church service, had been to my sister's place with the family, and had already spent an hour in the backseat of my parents car driving to my hometown to stay the week.

I carried my bags down to my old room. 

As I walked in, I noticed a familiar picture on the floor. It must have fallen from its place on the wall.

The photo was from when I was 16. Christmas Eve. A picture of my sister and I in matching pj's. 

I remember the hug the picture depicts. It was a sweet moment and is an engraved memory. 

The aforementioned "aaaaahh" moment came as I looked at the photo, as I stared closely at myself. 

Age 16. I was so insecure. To be realistic, I'm pretty much just as insecure now except maybe I hide it better now. 

I was insecure. I felt as though I had no friends and high school was what high school is: tough. 

But dang. I was beautiful. 

At the time I would have disagreed. I would have felt similar to how I do now; inadequate at what the worlds calls beauty. Too big. Too much. Not pretty. 

Yet as I looked at the photo, as I saw a beauty in myself that I’d never seen before, I started to realize that maybe, JUST maybe. Maybe the girl I see nowadays is just as pretty as the girl of 16. 

A friend recently told me I looked like a very specific cat that she thinks is beautiful. Since I don't think cats are pretty, I got hurt by her words. She meant her words with sincere kindness, but my mind couldn't hear her kindness. I think this example sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.

People compliment me and I disagree. I disagree and I shake my head, and I dishonour the person sharing their words. I shared about this type of dishonour earlier this week.

This whole exchange in my mind, which lasted all of 30 seconds, made me question my own logic of determining my beauty. 

I wonder if I might not be the only female with some improper logic.

Over drinks with a couple close friends last week, we laughingly concluded that I’m the Ted Mosby of our group. Hopeless romantic, believes in love completely, tells super long stories, never seems to get it right. My friend Christa looked at me, knowingly, and said, he’s the main guy of the show. You’re the one with the show! She knew I’d focus on the bad instead of celebrating that he’s at least interesting enough to get a show. As we laughed, I decided in the moment to just take it. To not think of the bad characteristics but to be grateful for the good ones. I might not tell a short story, but I do tell good stories. I tend not to miss any details! teeheehee.

I wonder what would happen if I, and you, and all of us, if we decided to simply agree. To humble our pride if it gets in the way, and to stomp on our fear when it shows up, and simply smile at our friends when they tell us something kind. Not the smile I tend to give, the awkward I’m uncomfortable smile but the I have value smile. 

Seems like a decent idea to consider, especially since we're reflections of our Creator.