Yesterday I was buying soup. You know, the great deal Ingles had on those giant cans of "Cream of . . . " soup. Yeah, I forgot to grab them the first time so I ran back into the store. At the checkout in a hurry and distracted the girl says, "I just have to say that you are beautiful." Huh? I take a quick right and left look and realize with a strange look on my face that she's speaking to me! "I mean, I love your hair and all. It's so beautiful. Well, I'm just saying I think you're beautiful."
My word. I think this gal has lost her mind and I know you don't tip cashiers. Right? I utter a confused "Thank you," and get back to my more important business of the day. I ignore it and move on.
Last night at church I receive another sincere compliment from a very dear friend. This one makes me grin, but, just like before I ignore it and move on.
When I relay to The Preacher what had happened earlier in the day he responds appropriately and I reply with sarcasm, "It's a good thing that y'all drink the same water." And I ignore his compliment and move on.
This morning I get this text:
I do think you're beautiful . . . even fresh out of the bed in your robe.
What more can I do? I am humbled and reply:
thank you. <3
I could not move on. Because in that moment God revealed something to me, something BIG. Something me, and Ann Voskamp, and a hundred-thousand other ladies in the western world are trying to understand and comprehend and internalize . . .
It's not being beautiful that makes you loved. It's being truly loved that makes you beautiful.
We settle so often for counterfeits that we can't know or believe the real thing when it comes along. I wish I'd known and I would have shared the secret with the Ingles checkout girl. Today, I will share the secret with myself again and again and again.
The money and the clothes and the makeup and the gym and the education - they don't work.
It's not a what that makes you beautiful. It's a WHO.
It's a HIM.