Authored by Jewel Roque
It had been a stressful couple of weeks. Facing deadlines in my work and college classes was enough of a challenge, but some personal issues had come up with my family as well. An overwhelming feeling settled over my heart, like a dark shadow, sucking away the light and color from my world. My outlook morphed from hopeful and confident to hopeless and depressed.
Most of all, I felt like I was letting Him down. You know … Jesus.
For most of my life, I have tried to do the right thing. Be strong. Keep forging ahead. I have tried to be a blessing to others and walk that path I knew would eventually lead me toward fulfilling my life’s purpose. But I had come to the point where I didn’t feel like walking.
I felt like sitting down and crying.
So one morning, that’s just what I did. I finally had a couple of hours to myself, as I escaped the noise of the kids and the duties of the home to do some laundry at my mom’s place. Her house was empty. It was perfect.
After putting on a load of laundry, I sat down and opened my laptop. I needed to check my mail and finish up a bit of work.
The Lord had other plans, though. I clicked on a link that a friend had sent me, and a YouTube video popped up—the kind that plays a song while the words form on the screen, a waterfall or sunset in the background. I had heard songs by MercyMe before. They were one of my favorite bands, but I had never heard this one, which was titled “Beautiful.”1
Days will come when you don’t have the strength …
Got that right.
When all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
If they truly saw your heart
They’d see too much …
It was at this point that the tears began. They didn’t stop through the rest of the song.
Those opening words seemed to describe exactly what I was going through. My energy was gone. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking, “You’re failing. You’re not doing things right. You’re worthless.” Maybe it was my mind; maybe it was the Devil. I don’t know. All I knew was, it was working. It was working so well that if anyone had truly known what was going on in my mind and heart, I’m sure they would have been like, “Whoa, okay! Too much information!” And backed off.
So all my emotions were just stuffed down inside of me … waiting to hear the next words of the song:
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful.
You are made for so much more than all of this.
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
I couldn’t remember the last time someone had looked me in the eyes and told me that I was beautiful. Okay, so it’s not like someone was looking me in the eyes at that moment, but it was better.
He was looking into my heart. You know … Jesus.
And praying that you have the heart to fight
‘Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight.
For all the lies you’ve held inside so long
They are nothing in the shadow of the cross.
I had been allowing dark shadows of hopelessness to zap my life of light and hope. All I needed to do was move, just a step, and I would be right under the shadow of His cross, under the shadow of His wings. There I would find light, meaning, purpose, and a reason to rejoice.
The chorus played again, and one line stood out to me: “You are made for so much more than all of this.”
“Made for so much more.” Before the years of my life even hit two digits, I had a deep feeling of purpose for my life. And since then, I felt like I was taking steps toward accomplishing the calling that I knew God had placed before me.
But these last months I felt like I had lost the trail and my compass. That I was tracing circles through the shadows. So the words of this song shone in my heart like the north star on a misty night, inviting me to find my way once more.
Before you ever took a breath, long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed, there was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above, you’re the one He madly loves
Enough to die.
He did, didn’t He? Jesus was called the Lamb “slain from the foundation of the world.”2—For you and for me. The apostle Paul put it like this: “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.”3
“To be made whole and holy by his love.” As I listened to that song, not just once, but again and again that morning, I felt like I was being made whole.
By His love.
The love that sees only beauty when we see nothing but a mess.
The love that calls us beautiful when we would choose some very different words to describe ourselves.
The love that makes us beautiful, not because of who we are or what we do, but because of His light and love that re-creates us.
Those words were for me that morning. But not just me. They’re also for you. Take them as your own, hold them tight, and let them fill your heart with beauty.
You are treasured. You are sacred.4
But most of all, “You are His,” and that’s what makes you beautiful.
Read by Amber Larriva. Music by sindustry(CC). Copyright© 2012 by The Family International