You know those women who grace the pages of the magazines, the covers of books, the stages of pageants?  I find myself comparing myself to them.  Maybe you do, too.

Those women are gorgeous.  Beautiful.  Breathtaking.  Stunning.  Their bodies are perfect, their hair flawless, their smile dazzling, and their confidence undeniable. That’s certainly not what I see when I look into the mirror.

In the mirror, I see bags under my eyes, frizzy hair, flabby arms and legs and stomach rolls.  I don’t see beautiful, breathtaking, stunning, or gorgeous.  I see the imperfections, the problems, the things the world says are unacceptable.

There was a man, once, who reminded me that I am beautiful. He wasn’t my boyfriend or my father or my brother. I don’t even know his name. I was walking through Aldi, our cheap generic grocery store, one Sunday after church. I stopped by the toilet paper to check my list before I continued down the aisle. A man brushed past me on his way through, and I apologized for being in his way. “I think you forgot something,” he said as he passed. I looked over my shoulder to see if I had dropped something, looked down at my skirt to make sure it was still intact. I checked my purse to make sure I still had my phone and my wallet. I couldn’t find anything that I was missing. I shrugged my shoulders and looked down at my list again, seeing what else I needed to pick up before I could check out and head home. I started to walk forward as the same man was coming back up the aisle. I smiled politely as he passed and he leaned toward me as he passed. “You forgot that you’re beautiful.” I was dumbstruck for a moment. Totally baffled. It took me a moment, but I turned around to see if perhaps I knew the man, could place him. And he was gone.

You forgot that you’re beautiful, he told me. Not, “You are beautiful.” He said, “You forgot that you’re beautiful.”

I don’t look like those girls in the magazine, or on the stage.  I probably never will.  But I am beautiful in the eyes of the only one who matters – God.

You are beautiful. You may not see it. You may not see beautiful when you look in the mirror after you roll out of bed, or even after you put on makeup. But God made you beautiful, and that’s not going to change. One of a kind. Loved more than you will ever know.  Don’t forget it. Remind yourself that God made you beautiful, and nothing can take that away. Not a failed marriage. A past abortion. A troubled home life. A terminal cancer diagnosis. Nothing can take away the fact that God made you beautiful. Nothing.

Don’t forget: You are beautiful.