When I was about eleven years old, my Greek heritage started to show. My hair began turning curly, and much to my dismay my nose became more hooked and bumpy. I remember crying in front of the bathroom mirror every afternoon as my nose seemed to grow bigger before my eyes.
I always envied the girls with the cute noses. I still do. It was really especially hard in college when I felt every girl that didn’t have a big nose was prettier than me.
I try not to judge others based on their looks, but like most girls I know I am my own worst critic. It was a long time before I actually believed Tyler when he’d look me straight in the eye and with a grin on his face tell me I was beautiful.
I was nervous before Amelia was born. I never wanted to admit it but I was fearful that she would be ugly, and I wouldn’t recognize her as my daughter. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to overlook her physical deformities.
Please forgive me, Amelia, for I am ashamed that I ever had feelings like that.
The truth is, I didn’t recognize her at first. The little girl I held in my arms was far from the baby I had pictured in my mind.
As I gazed upon her perfect hands with their tiny fingernails, her smooth, baby-soft chest, and her strong shoulders, I was in awe of what we and the Lord had created together. My eyes were then drawn upward to her head with its deformities (which were anything but discreet) that reminded me her time was short.
A few hours later, with a smile on his face, my dad (the original bearer of the Greek nose) whispered in my ear, Alie, she has your nose. What my eyes had previously overlooked now settled on her bumpy, Greek nose. Poor girl, even as an infant she has my big nose, I thought to myself.
Where was my self-worth? Heavenly Father doesn’t make mistakes. It was no coincidence that she was created to look like me; the Lord made her perfect, even down to that big Greek nose. This was the reassurance I had asked for that showed me she was indeed my daughter!
I now saw my daughter as Christ saw her, and she was so beautiful and perfect. And I didn’t group her Greek nose with her imperfections, but rather saw that her nose was whole and in perfect working order. She was so lucky to have that nose so she could breathe! If the Lord gave my perfect daughter that nose, I am lucky to have received it too. After all, I now have the nose of an angel. :)
I feel like so often we are our harshest critics. We watched the new Dove Beauty Campaign video in church today that focuses on body image, and looking around I saw so many tears in the eyes of the women. Strong women, both old and young, that continue to struggle every day with internal and external disapproval for themselves.
If we could just see ourselves how God see us, we would look past our “Greek noses”. We’d see beautiful long eyelashes and a perfect, working body and a spirit that desires to do good. We would overlook the imperfections and instead show ourselves the compassion and forgiveness we show our dearest, closest friends.
We would know and feel the Lord’s love for us, and would finally see ourselves as the Lord see us – beautiful and perfect.