So, the young me has merged into the 58-year-old me? Sounds good, but even as in my phyical prime of youth, the question remains Am I beautiful?
The difference between then and now, however, is that now I know the real question was do I count? Am I valued? Am I worthy of love?
The longing for acceptance, meaning, and approval that this question created in my youth made me prime target for an emotional abuse often swept under the perverbial carpet: religious abuse.
“I don’t believe in you,” I said, “But if you exist, would you please wait for me?”
God would have to be patient with me because I floundered for several more years.
My foundering included three months in a supposed Christian commune that turned out to be a front for the Moonies, and an excellent Christian church and Bible college that evolved into a cult because of an unethical religious leader and our willingness to deceive ourselves into thinking all was well. In each place, I strived to conform to an outward image to gain approval and acceptance.
Eventually, I learned that physical beauty is a fascade that deceived me into thinking that I was valued based upon my strivings to conform. But that is not what God says about me, or you. He says that I am beautiful regardless of your opinion of me or even of my opinion of me. Beautiful!
Be assured that regardless of your age, appearance, life’s success or unmet goals, You count. You are valued. You are worthy of love. You see, charm may be deceitful and youthful beauty fleeting but YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL/HANDSOME