This past Saturday, my mom brought a Christmas gift over for each of our kids. After opening them, little Joy was sad. Assuming it was because she received clothes rather than a new doll or another toy on her list, we gave her the 'need to be grateful talk' and moved on with the night.
Right before bedtime I found myself with Joy, who still was not herself, and asked what was wrong. Then 10 days before her 5th birthday, my little Princess says to me, "I'm not pretty." I was shocked to say the least and our conversation continued.
She was wanting a new green dress because she's not pretty when it's red. An unthankful heart wasn't the reason for her sadness earlier in the day. No, it was the result an issue many of us struggle with, our looks. As someone who's lost that battle my entire life my heart broke as I listened to my sweet, beautiful little girl say, "I'm not pretty."
She was crying and so was I as I tried to assure her of her beauty, which starts with her innocent, tender, loving heart. With her big blue eyes focused on mine she listened intently, but as I finished she said, "But Mom sometimes I get mad."
I agreed with her and assured her sometimes Mom gets mad too. She knew that!! So I asked her, "Joy do you still love me even when I'm mad?" She said yes, but she didn't like it and I told her that's kind of how it is with God too. He doesn't like it when we have an ugly heart or a bad attitude, but He still loves us and knows we are beautiful. I told her it didn't matter what color her dress was she is and always will be my pretty little Princess!! She smiled and went to brush her teeth...
Though the conversation came to an end for her, my mind continued to work. How could my little preschooler be struggling with the way she looks already? In a way I was shocked, Job is an amazing Dad who loves to compliment all of the kids and always acknowledges her "look at me" moments. At the same time I was also hurt, I've lived much of my life with those three words echoing in my mind. I've just rarely had the courage to voice them.
So as we headed to bed, I caught Job up on the story and he simply asked, "Why would she think like that already?" Initially I had no answer, but thru the night it was as if God would give me one - "as I spoke truth to her, He was able to speak it to me."
Today I encourage you to take a minute and think about your kids, the love you have for them and the eyes you see them with and imagine God, your Father feeling the same way about you. Now that's a gift!!
Here's my pretty princess with her new red dress -