I love the word beauty. It has this comforting connotation, stirs something in my heart that seems right and good. It reminds me of serenity, I visualize snow-cuffed evergreen trees, the sun streaming through my windows, summer dusk and flickering lightning bugs, or my most favorite image: a clear Lancaster County sunrise on the horizon of open fields.
Sounds like I take every thought captive, right?
Then there is the other end of beauty. The beauty that is compared, held to certain standards that are not so simplistic. The beauty of a perfect body fit from hours at the gym, the beauty of teeth that have undergone way too much flouride, the beauty that is found in being unaturally tan, or in dressing like a J.Crew model (I do love J.Crew).
But, is this the inherent definition of beauty? Beauty as my flawless Father designed it to be?
To be candid, the word “beauty” could be considered synonymous to the word “journey” for me. The journey to beauty, not just outer beauty, or the cliche “inner beauty,” but a beauty that comes from reality. The being real in all moments of life, being real in my imperfections, because being unreal is like that fake, over-tanned beauty of the soul.
So am I there yet? I think the real question is, “Will I ever be there?” Sometimes I get SO frustrated with myself, my tendencies toward perfection in all areas of my life, my critical eye when I look in the mirror, or into my most inner thoughts. How could I look like this, how could I let myself think this way, how could I ever tell anyone I struggle? I want to keep up a facade that really only detracts from beauty, because I’ve found that you can’t fake beauty.
Rewind. Ever since I was young I wanted to help people, I wanted to be the Beth Moore of my generation. Able to write a book titled So Long Insecurity, Love Katie Sigman, and really, really mean it. A couple nights ago, on a beloved coffee date with my beloved boyfriend, I was expressing my frustrations, pretty much in tears over the fact that “I’ve made NO progress, I don’t see God working, I can never help anyone else until I get my act together, and how will I ever conquer my fears and struggles? When will I grasp honest & true beauty? Where is my breakthrough?“
Brent looked at me and said something so simple, yet so profound. He said, “Katie, it isn’t about having it all together, which is good because you probably never will. It is about being real and honest with where you are at, and acknowledging how far you’ve really come. That’s how you’ll help people.”
Then I really cried.
“Beauty that comes from a gentle and quiet spirit [not anxious or wrought]” 1 Peter 3:4