O Youth and Beauty, Where Art Thou?

September 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’m pleased to bring you a guest post by author of twelve books, speaker and writing mentor, Mary DeMuth. In her “Live Uncaged” blog on September 19, 2011 Mary DeMuth wrote beautifully about coming to terms with a by-product of aging—losing the affirmation that comes with youthful attractiveness. Thank you, Mary, for sharing your heart so transparently.

“Picturing A Beautiful Soul: A Confession

I had some interesting interactions this week, just a few actually. But in them, I realized that I’m just not that young girl anymore. I don’t turn heads. I feel my age, particularly as my wrist and hand hurts. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I wondered when it all happened, this aging thing. And I realized that I am growing old, less beautiful in the world’s eyes.
I hate to admit this, but it bothered me. A lot. I lamented the loss of youth, the loss of young beauty, the loss of who I used to be. This realization put me in a funk, not one that I shared with anyone outwardly, but one I battled with internally for several days.
And then the Lord spoke.
Oh how He spoke.
It came after a sigh of a prayer where I prayed, “Lord, I don’t want to be so consumed by this. I don’t want to be shackled to who I once was and who I am now. I don’t want to live a life of regret, always grasping at youth. I want to be content as I grow older. Help me.”
“Picture a beautiful soul,” He said.
And I stopped.
And listened.
And tried to picture what a beautiful soul looked like.
But all I came up with was a montage of accusing photos that shout my inadequacy from the checkout line. Young skinny women, perfectly polished, not me. Though I tried, I couldn’t picture a beautiful soul. But I’m trying. I’m trying to picture something full of shekinah glory, sparkly and radiant, the center of myself.
And as I picture it, I see myself standing before Jesus, in my new body, holding my soul out to him like a diadem.
You know what? I want that diadem to be beautiful. I want the worry of my decay to be but a fleeting thought. I want to cultivate the kind of life that creates a bigger jewel in my soul, enlarging my heart, making me more like Jesus. When I see Jesus face to face, unashamed because of His sacrificial act, I want my soul to be beautiful. I want Him to see it, to be pleased with how it shines.
But I can’t do that if I constantly point back to the young, naive me, worrying about fading beauty, now can I?
Dear, dear Jesus, I want to picture a beautiful soul. Help me live for that beautiful soul, not for that which fades and fades and fades. Amen.”

Mary DeMuth’s blog “Live Uncaged” can be found at http://www.marydemuth.com/

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