Encouragement, Hope in Suffering, Identity, Relationships

An Open Letter to the Woman Who Feels Ugly, Lonely, or Doubts Her Worth

“Am I ugly?”

This common question I ask my mom, friends, my sisters…it’s pervasive not only in my life but in our culture. I wish it wasn’t something I struggled with, but it’s true: I am constantly calling into question my visual appeal. Why?

Because “no guys ever ask me out”. How many times have you (or someone you know) said that dreaded phrase before?

And what are you supposed to say in response? “Because they’re jerks”? Not all of them are. “Because they’re shallow”? Potentially. “Because I’m ugly.” That’s the conclusion I’ve always fallen back on.

“No guys ever ask me out because I’m ugly.” There’s a million reasons why I feel this way constantly. But I’ll just leave you the biggest one: I was told I was ugly. By a popular boy. When I was younger. And ten years later, that stigma as “the ugly girl” still haunts me, no matter how much I work out, no matter how much makeup I put on or how stylish my outfits are. It’s my no-fail excuse for why guys I think are interested never text me back. It’s the conclusion I come to when the guy I’m crushing on asks another girl out. Every single day, I wrestle with that inner voice that looks at my reflection and says, “You’re the reason no guy will date you.” It’s sad, but it’s true.

And I know I’m not the only girl who feels this way, who struggles with this. Many of the most beautiful girls I know think that they’re ugly and have self-image insecurities. (Which used to piss me off, by the way. Because I thought, They’re actually pretty. They have no right to be self-conscious. If anyone is allowed to feel ugly, it’s me, because I actually am.) 

The truth is, God doesn’t create junk. God’s Word tells us that God looked at everything He had made, and found it very good. (Genesis 1:31) When the King of the Universe created you, He formed you in His image and likeness, so that you reflect Him to the world. God is beautiful; therefore, as a reflection of Him, you are beautiful. And He created you good. He sees you as good. He sees you as beautiful. In Song of Songs, the Father speaks to us. He says, You are beautiful in every way, my friend, there is no flaw in you! You have ravished My heart, My sister, My bride; you have ravished My heart with one glance of your eyes. (4:7,9) And in Isaiah the Lord says, You are precious in My eyes and honored, and I love you. (43:4)

These are the words of a loving God who knows that what He has created is good, beautiful, and priceless. Nothing and no one can decide what you are worth. Not a guy who tells you you’re ugly. Not a beauty industry that thrives off of making girls feel fat. Not all the magazines, YouTube makeup tutorials, and photoshopped, filtered Instagram photos of glam celebrities can make you beautiful. You already are, by nature and definition, beautiful; you are a child of God. He, Ultimate Beauty, is present in you.

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Consider the words of Jesus:

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. (Matthew 13:44-46)

You are a treasure. You are a pearl of great price. Sometimes guys are too blind to see your worth; sometimes they’re too lazy or too busy to dig to find you. But just because some [human, flawed, imperfect, sinful] guy doesn’t recognize your worth, it doesn’t mean you have none. You have infinite worth – way more than any old treasure chest or pearl. I’m sorry nobody’s come around to discover you yet. Believe me, I know what that feels like: waiting around for somebody, somewhere to look at me and recognize that I am someone special, valuable, and priceless. Just because a human male hasn’t yet, doesn’t mean it will never happen, and doesn’t mean you or I are ugly. We’re not. God, our Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, see us as the most gorgeous thing He has ever created; why else would women have been created last? We were a tough act to follow. He sees us as beautiful, and good, and worth dying for.

So in the moments when you feel ugly, or wonder why no guys ever ask you out, go to the Father with your pain. Go to Jesus with your sorrow and feeling of rejection. He is the One who will never reject you and never question your worth. He loves you more than anyone ever can or will. And He will fulfill the longings and desires of your heart. When you seek a human man but find none, go to Him instead. He will never turn you away, never leave you empty or let you run dry. He will remind you of your worth and show you your beauty. He will lavish His love upon you – a love that is infinitely more fulfilling than any love a human could give.

Recommended reading: His Princess Bride: Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd;  Get Lost: Your Guide to Finding True Love by Dannah Gresh; Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge

Recommended songs: “Beloved” by Jordan Feliz; “Even Unto Death” by Audrey Assad; “None But Jesus” by Hillsong Worship; “How He Loves” by David Crowder Band; “I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad; “You Won’t Relent” by Jesus Culture; “You Are More” by Tenth Avenue North; “Relentless Pursuit” by Kim Walker-Smith

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