I spent five weeks in a third-world country without a mirror once.  It was one of the most liberating experiences I have ever had.  It’s funny how your perspective changes when you don’t have one of those reflective surfaces staring you down at every turn.  It’s funny how you are suddenly able to think about things that matter infinitely more.

You are beautiful.  Just as you are.  Can you hear me?  You have devoted too much of your time thinking of ways to better your physical appearance.  You have reserved a large part of your conscious mind to being conscious of yourself.  You have believed a lie.

How do I know this?  Because I too have believed a lie.  It is devious in it’s play.  It hides itself by making itself obvious.  Books, magazine articles, talk shows; they have all talked about the lie so much that we think we understand it.  But we don’t.

We have over-talked and over-analyzed the concept of “inner beauty” and “social stereotypes”.  They are such common topics that we no longer see them as relevant.  But they are relevant, aren’t they?

We justify crash-dieting and starvation, eating disorders and obsession, by saying we are “just concerned with our health.”  But that is a lie.  And as long as we are selling that lie, we will be in the dark.

The truth is, none of it will ever make a difference.  You will be a slave to a mould that was fashioned by someone who hates you violently.  Do you hear me?  There is an enemy who hates you and he is the one who has fashioned the mould for you and deceived you into believing that the only way for you to be beautiful – the only way for you to be happy – the only way for you to be of value – is to squeeze yourself into it.

But he doesn’t play fair.  He shrinks the mould and distorts your view.  It won’t work.

You feed the lie when you believe it and play by it’s rules.  It’s time to lay down your game pieces.  It’s time to get up from the table and walk out of the room.  It’s time to walk outside into the light and the clean air and find out who you really are.

And the truth is, the only way you will ever know just how precious – just how radiant and lovely you are – is by looking in the face of the One who created you and loves you more passionately than you could imagine.  Go ahead.  I dare you.  Imagine.

Try to imagine, just for a moment, that there really is a God who made you, who is close to you, pursuing your heart.  Try to imagine that He loves you with such furious passion that He would do anything to rescue you from your pain.

Even the most wild imagination can’t touch the intensity of His love.  You can’t conceive of it.  But you can taste it.  And it will forever change you.

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