A woman at rest
I've been reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge and I have been very "captivated" by many truths held within. During her chapter on beauty Stasi ponders on why we never see men pictured at rest. Great master pieces of art have been painted with women at rest, billowy sheets or masterly arranged limbs covering her semi nude body. I thought to myself how true that is. A man is best pictured in his strength. A woman is best pictured in rest.
And this is what it's like to be with a woman at rest, a woman comfortable in her feminine beauty. She is enjoyable to be with. She is lovely. In her presence your heart stops holding its breath. You relax and believe once again that all will be well. And this is also why a woman who is striving is so disturbing, for a woman who is not at rest in her heart says to the world, "All is not well. Things are not going to turn out all right." "Like a fountain troubled," as Shakespeare said, "muddy, ill seeming, thick, bereft of beauty." We need what Beauty speaks. What is says is hard to put into workds. But part of its messages is that all is well. All will be well. For many years I'd felt that something was fundamentally wrong with me. Was I pretty enough? Was it my personality? I'd get frustrated with myself when I acted poorly, knowing what I was doing was not right and yet not knowing how to stop it. I imagine that to be around me might have been like being around the archetypal "wannabe." I strived too hard and I know that everyone else around me could feel it. Fundamentally there was something wrong with me. There was a reason no one saw I was beautiful. I didn't believe I was. I didn't believe God thought I was. And so because of that, I strived. I took my cues from other women. I tried to act like they did, talk as they would, have what they had, all in a silly game that ended up doing the most damage because I denied who I truly was for who I thought everyone wanted me to be. I denied what God made me as because I wanted to be like everyone else. And people knew it. They did. They might not know what in me made them cringe, but I knew they did. I know that there are qualities in people that I see but cannot quite put my finger on it. Qualities that make me shy away. That was me. But like
Cinderella as she is transformed into a princess by her God mother, something was happening to me. Something was stirring. And God was holding the spoon. I knew God loved me. I knew with my head, but not with my heart. I knew I'd been made with a purpose in mind, but I had no idea what that was. And then it happened. Like Elisha in 1 Kings, God's revelation to me was in a still small voice, barely audible and one that sounded a lot like me, like my own conscience. But what He spoke, could not have been me. That was the end of my striving. That was the start of my journey to true Beauty. That was when I fell in love with him.