When I was a kid, my grandmother brought us a trunk. She said it was our “magic suitcase”. It was blue, with buckled hinges and full to the brim of dress up clothes. She’d even found an old hoop skirt somewhere. My sister and I spent many a rainy afternoon playing princess or fairy tale balls. The dresses in the box were multi-purposed for years, turned into costumes for murder mystery parties and class presentations on Elizabeth the First. (Yeah, I was a little nerdy in high school, ok?)
That was about as far as my dressing up went, though. Somewhere along the way I’d gotten the idea that being feminine was a bad thing, that wearing a dress or the color pink somehow made me seem weak. I stuck strictly to jeans and basic tshirts, moccasins in the winter, Rainbows in the summer. Wearing a dress required an event, one that came with a formal invitation, like Senior prom.
Things started to change slowly in Scotland, when my roommate brought out a spectacular green dress that somehow fit her size two, my size six and another’s size eight frames with equal perfection.
Something about that dress lit up my heart like a lighthouse. For the first time that I could remember, I felt beautiful. My roommate explained that “there was something about feeling beautiful in a beautiful place” and I understood what she meant. I wanted to feel that kind of beautiful all the time.
Obviously, the time I spent on the Race was a time to learn about inner beauty, what it meant to be a woman chasing after the heart of the Father, rather than worrying about what my makeup looked like. I struggled mightily with being in so many beautiful places and not feeling outwardly lovely. It was–in many ways–a huge sigh of relief to come home to the land of hot showers, flat irons and (Praise God) dermatologists.
Finally, it seemed, I would be able to be truly beautiful.
Stay tuned for Part 2 soon!