…yet, I’ve always been beautiful.

I have always known God. I have always believed in God.

I haven’t always been a good person.
I haven’t always listened to God.
I haven’t always followed the rules.

I’ve always been a Christian, but, I haven’t always knew what that meant.

I grew up in church. I went to church, I learned about God. I went home. And the next week, I did it all over again.

When I was a Freshman in College, I began to explore my faith outside my home church.

I found that a Methodist church wasn’t the only type of church.
I learned to love God outside of church.

I began to understand what it meant to be a Christian and I started to make my faith my own.

I found a new home church. I joined YoungLife and my colleges Christian Group.

I met  a boy…
The boy was a Christian.

I had lost my virginity when I graduated from high school to my first boyfriend because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. That’s what everyone else did. That’s what he told me were supposed to do.

I will always regret that choice. It didn’t feel good. I didn’t love him. It’s not what I was supposed to do.

After I broke up with my first boyfriend I choose not to have sex again.

It was Valentine’s Day. My Christian boyfriend and I had been together a couple of months. Things were going well. We had kissed, but that was it. Most of our dates were church related or with friends. On Valentine’s Day, he took me out to dinner. Afterward we went back to my parents house. We went into my room to hang out. He started to kiss me, but then, he wouldn’t stop. I told him no, but he kept going. I was scared, he wouldn’t listen..,he tried to rape me.

My Christian boyfriend tried to rape me! 

Once I began to cry, he stopped, I thank God, he stopped.
I thought that was bad, but the worse was yet to come. You see, my boyfriend was the brother of the leader to our youth group. We had our meetings and parties at his parents house. Suddenly, I was the outcast, I was the slut… The people in our youth group made fun of me and pushed me out. I was able to keep very few friends from my group after that.

I didn’t understand. I was doing right. I was following Jesus with my whole heart.

I didn’t know about the Devil. I just knew that I was living right and it didn’t seem to matter.

I never stopped believing, but, I basically gave up.

I lived life without care. I lived life freely. I lived life stupidly.

I used to wear skimpy clothes to get attention. I used to dye my hair and do my makeup to attract men.
I used to want to be pretty for the wrong reasons.

Years later, I met my husband. When I met him I was at a bad place in my life. I was depressed and nothing in life mattered. When nobody seemed to care about me, when nobody seemed to notice, he did.

I didn’t understand why. I was broken and ugly. He had his pick of every girl in the room.
He told me, later, that he was never attracted to the person I was, he was attracted to the person he knew I was meant to be. He didn’t choose me, God choose US.

After my husband and I became official and found a home church, I began to truly find myself and become the person that God had always meant for me to be. I became close to God and He became the center of my life. I became a Christian who understood what it meant to  be a Christian. In 2012, my husband, along with my pastor, baptized me in front of my church family. I have continued to grow in my Faith, though not without mistakes. We are all sinners.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped wearing makeup. I stopped keeping my hair done. I stopped dressing up. I wanted to respect God and my husband. Because I used to dress up and wear makeup for the wrong reasons, I thought it wasn’t OK for me to “be pretty” anymore.

Then something changed…

Last year, I went to my church’s women’s retreat. One of the sessions we had while I was there was about makeup, while it was meant to be a tutorial, for me it became more. When I heard the leader say, “inner beauty is something you should always have, but it’s ok to want to be pretty on the outside too,” I felt empowered.

I finally realized that it’s ok to want to be pretty, it’s ok to want to look nice, it’s ok to dress up and do your hair nice, if you are doing it for the RIGHT reasons.

So now, I get my hair done. And I wear makeup when I feel like it. I get dressed up. And, it ok, because I’m doing it for the right reasons. I am doing it to feel good about myself and because I want to look nice for my husband.

you are beautiful

 It doesn’t matter who you are
It doesn’t matter what you believe
It doesn’t matter what gender you identify with
It doesn’t matter if your hair is curly, straight
somewhere in between
It doesn’t matter if your skinny or fat
It doesn’t matter what color your skin is
It doesn’t matter what you wear
It’s doesn’t matter if you wear makeup or you leave your face bare
It doesn’t matter who you love
It doesn’t matter what you do
It doesn’t matter if your rich or poor