Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

It is really hard. We are told that what we look like doesn’t really matter. After all, our identity is in Christ and the cross. But still, we want to look nice. Well, I do!

Up until about the age of 23 I could eat absolutely anything, in large quantities, and not expand my waistline. Since then my weight has yo-yoed, as I’ve gone through phases of jogging and watching what I eat before slipping back into my old crisp-loving ways. But when I was pregnant everything changed.

I loved my pregnant body. I mean, there were days in the early stages where I just felt plump, but as I grew bigger I loved my body more. I was in awe of what my body was doing and how it was sustaining new life. I was tired, and achey, but loved my bump… especially once I could see my little one’s movements as well as feeling them.

Since my bump has gone, I’ve felt a little uneasy and have lost confidence again. I actually lost weight during pregnancy, so I’m making sure I don’t put it back on. When I put on clothes I loved pre-pregnancy, I can’t help but feel they look all wrong. Why am I so bothered about how I look to other people?

Let’s look at what the Bible says. It says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made; it says God knitted me together in my mother’s womb; it says that beauty comes from within, from my spirit. 

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I’m glad my beholder is God. He looks at me, and he says:

“You are beautiful.”

And the winner of Masterchef is…

This isn’t a spoiler, because we haven’t had the final yet. Neither is it a prediction, because I believe it’s too close to call. It’s simply a nod to who I believe is the real winner of this year’s show, regardless of who actually wins.

Jane. Wonderful Jane. Mum of 4, and that’s all we really know about her. Except this…

On her first appearance, she said, “I think, when you become a mum, you lose your confidence.”

And that is true. So much of our identity is in our job, what we offer society and the world, and this changes for many women when they have a child and go on maternity leave. Of course, a lot of women go back to work before too long, but even then it is often reduced hours, and how much of yourself can you really give if you’ve got a young family to get back to? As I’ve said in previous posts, motherhood can be very lonely. If your family aren’t that close by; if you are the first of your friends to have a baby; if you’ve recently moved to the area; if you feel stuck in the house, all of these things change you and your confidence. That feeling of 100% dependence upon you can be really quite overwhelming,many it’s not really something anyone can understand unless they experience it themselves. It can rob you of your independence; it can rob you of your social life; it can rob you of your confidence.

Enter Jane. She certainly was timid on that first episode. I marvelled at this women on the television set, at how in control she was and yet how she clearly couldn’t see how amazing she is. Throughout the show, I have been enthralled by how she has grown and changed; Jane has become more daring, more feisty, more confident. And that’s why, for me, she is this year’s winner of Masterchef. It doesn’t matter whether she comes first. It wouldn’t even have mattered if she had left the competition at the semi-finals. What matters is that she has found something within herself, something that once was lost. And that has to be a greater victory than the title itself.

For mum’s everywhere, the confident and timid alike, Jane, you are our champion.