Everyone wants to be the perfect package, a true beauty in all areas of life. Have a fit body, obtain the right job, give an appropriate response every time we speak, drive the newest car, live in a big house, have kids who behave all the time, wear fashionable clothes, take all the best vacations and be known as gorgeous. Yet that perfection, as unreachable as it may be, is what our human nature strives for. We want it all. We reach for unrealistic expectations. We stir up jealousy when our friend has it better than us. And then we take it out on ourselves when we don’t reach those impossible assumptions about what makes us worthy of love and acceptance from others and ourselves.

I have fallen victim to every one of those assumptions at one time or another depending on my circumstances. Some days and months and years have been better than others. And those lies have led to complete discontent, feelings of unworthiness, thoughts of hopelessness and eventually anger. Forecasting a future beyond reach breeds contempt and disregard for what the Bible says is true beauty.

I Peter 3:3-4 ~ Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Over the years in my search of perfection and being ridiculously hard on myself along the way, in the valleys of sheer pain and situational grief, I learned to comfort myself with food. I savored the taste, I relished stuffing my face and filling my stomach until it hurt. I had cycles of binging at times. And for that short moment, I was satisfied. I was filled. I was happy. I was content. But then the guilt would wash over me and I would spend countless hours and days rehashing the terrible sins of my choices. I would punish myself for trying to fill the deep hurt with food that can not satisfy the soul. I knew better. But my actions didn’t change. It has taken years for me to face the demon, to demolish the stronghold, to openly admit my faults and struggles. But here I am, sharing my deepest pain with all of you. Not because I’m thrilled about being completely transparent in my struggles with overeating, but because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt the Lord has called me to share my journey. My hope in the sharing of my heart is twofold. One, for others to meet the Jesus who is healing my heart and two, to build a community of hope for those who are struggling with this same issue. I look forward to the work Christ is continuing to do in my own heart and the restoration taking place not only spiritually but physically as well. A part of me looks forward to the sharing of my story. There is a lot hidden in the layers of my heart.

Philippians 1:6 ~ And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

So for the week ahead, remember this. Food will never fill your heart. Only Jesus can do that. He is true contentment. He gives joy in the midst of whatever difficult, life altering, painful situation you are facing. And then the peace comes. Yes, I won’t lie. Life will still be hard, but the journey is brighter, anchored in hope, moved with purpose, driven by the hope of eternity. If you don’t know Jesus, he is only a whisper away. Call on His name and ask Him to fill the void in your heart. He is faithful. He is true. He is the real deal. He is the only answer to the quest for a gentle, quiet spirit….definitely true beauty.

Romans 10:13 ~ Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

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