In The Words Of My Grandmother, “You Are Beautiful.”

My gram’s many reminders to me of how much I was loved

The beautiful thing about relationships is that you can draw strength and encouragement from them even when the person is no longer physically around.  My grandmother loved me so deeply and completely and I’m so grateful for the reminders of that love that she left behind. My grandmother always called me beautiful, sometimes she called me queen and never failed to mention how much she loved me. I often don’t perceive myself as beautiful, especially when I look in the mirror and see extra weight hanging on, or the thin gray streaks in my hair, or when I see the gap in between my teeth that I never got braces for that I should have. That beauty is invisible when I’m being impatient, angry, cranky, lazy, or just plain out not being nice. But, even on my worst days my gram would tell me I was beautiful. She saw something that I didn’t see. She looked at me as Jesus would like at me. She saw me as a child of God created perfectly by him. She gave me grace and showed me compassion and forgiveness even when I couldn’t give that to myself.

There weren’t conditions. She didn’t love me because of the way I looked, or how I acted she simply just loved me unconditionally. She reminded me that I am worthy not because of what I do or look like, but because I was loved by Jesus. My gram was an incredible source of strength and light in my life. The void from her absence is sometimes unbearable. It will hit me especially on those days that I am feeling ugly. Last night I was feeling exhausted,  overwhelmed and a complete mess. I started thinking about all the things I could be doing better and all the things I still haven’t done and there was a weight that sat so heavily on me I was literally feeling crushed. After getting Anya asleep, I climbed into bed and opened my nightstand drawer to find this little devotional book my gram sent me. She would always send me these  tokens of encouragement and when I opened it I saw the words, “to my beautiful granddaughter.” I burst out into tears, because God gave me that reminder from her that I needed so badly.

Even with all my flaws both externally and internally I am beautiful. God loves me regardless of my shortcomings. He loves us all and I hope that everyday we can find that beauty that only comes from his love. My grandmother understood the impact of letting me know that I am beautiful, that I am a queen, and that she loved me. Amazingly enough she is still reminding me just when I need it most. It encourages me to be intentional about telling Anya how beautiful and loved she is not by the world’s standards but by God.  I think about how patient my gram was and how she gave me grace freely and not with any strings attached. She modeled Christ in a way that was so tangible and real…that is true beauty. So, today I’m going to embrace her words and be kind to myself and remember my beauty that remains, not because of any external thing but because of the love God has for me. If you are  having one of those days where you can’t see your beauty, let me remind you in the words of my grandmother that you are beautiful, you are a queen and you are loved.

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