Purposeful Faith

When You Hate How You Look

Hate How You Look

It’s the last thing you want to do on a day where you need to do everything, and hardly want to do that. But, there I found myself, at the drug store posing half-heartedly in front of a white pull-down curtain. I needed a passport photo.

Mugshot.  Mugshot- was what ran through my head he clicked. That – and the idea that I really should have put my hair down and tried to improve myself a bit, like most moms do. Most moms throw on the lipgloss. Most moms might adjust their hair rather than keeping it in this weird outdated bun look. Most moms might try to smile a little bigger.

Not me. I was tired. Daughter woke at 3 AM with a wet bed. My eye is still not done with pink eye (what are you supposed to do – throw out every last inch of makeup?). Husband is gone all week and I am womaning the house. So, yes, when the “click” happened, well, my face? It didn’t really happen that much.

I just stood there.

He finished the job.

I looked at the photo.

And saw what I am fully convinced must be the worst mug shot ever of me. It was as bad as those pre-jail photos – you all know what I am talking about. It’s the one we all see on TV – “And…today, a mom went rogue in CVS”. The image shoots up on screen. We all know it. The light is bad, the face looks horrible, the smile is gone and the woman looks like death just visited her.

This was me. Bags under eyes. Eye red. Smile gone. And, to add to all this, an outshoot of hair wanted to show off right above my ear. How does this even happen, anyway?

The picture is not cute, not cute at all, I thought as I stood outside the drug store contemplating whether to go back in and hassle the photo guy until he made me beautiful, photo-shopped, wrinkle-less, perfect and all that I ever dreamed of being 8:00 am on a Wednesday morning.

But, I didn’t. I just stood there. Why? Because on my heart was this weird inclination of revelation. Like God wanted to do something with me and this photo. So, although I almost walked back in the store 4 times, I didn’t.

If I’ve learned anything in my short life it is this: You don’t want to turn down God, when He’s working on something.

Frankly, I can’t even begin to imagine if Jesus turned down his role. “Change of plans, I’m not dying on the cross.”

Nope. Not good.

With this in mind, I try to stay on God’s path and when I hop off, I fight with all my might to get back on. So, I just stood there on the sidewalk – a freak with a photo – and stared at it. Two steps to the door, two steps back.

Come on, God….any time now.

Friend, maybe, like me, the ugly thing you can’t get through, God is trying to speak through…

And finally, it came to my heart: Kelly, on your worst day, on your ugly days, on your tired days, on your worn days, on your pain-stricken days, on your unsure days, on your bad hair days, on your I-don’t-have-a-smile-days – still, Kelly, I love you. 

I love that picture.
I love your realness.
I love your wrinkles.
I love you.
You don’t need to be more for me.
I don’t love you less when you look less or appear less.
I choose you – just like that – eye bags, red-eye, smileless and all… 

When you see that image, imagine me, wanting you – in all your ugly-, frumpy- and grumpy-ness. 

So, I took that square photo, tucked it into my bag and walked to the car. I’d lie if I didn’t tell you I gasped at it one more time on my way home. I did.  But, I also let that passport stand for what it really was – a reminder: No matter where I go, I always am in God’s love.

I’ll look at this image again. And again. And, my prayer – for when I do – is this: God, let us always remember our worst images, are made beautiful because you simply love us as we are. And, in that, we can rest. We don’t need to work up your love. Help us to remember your goodness, your kindness and your unconditional love towards us, God. Amen.

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

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Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a "Cheerleader of Faith", Kelly's greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Oh Kelly, you made me smile with this question because I ask myself all the time: “How does this even happen, anyway?” 🙂

    I love your picture too, and the lesson that God loves you (and me) wherever we go, no matter what we look like. How appropriate that the picture will go on your travelling document. I hope it goes a lot of places!

  • Kelly, thanks so much for your candor! Just yesterday, driving home from work I told God that I just feel agly, all the time. I needed your exhortation today! How much better life would be if we all could see ourselves and each other as God does. Blessings for a beautiful day day, inside and out.

  • What a beautiful truth He showed you in a moment when you felt less than beautiful. He knows us so well and it amazes me how our stories can be so different, yet so much the same. We all have places He’s showing us more of Himself, teaching us more about His love for us, and places we are battling to die to everyday. Thank you for sharing yours 🙂

  • Thank you for hosting! I love your statement: God, let us always remember our worst images, are made beautiful because you simply love us as we are. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Kelly, I can so relate. : ) I loved this statement you made: God, let us always remember our worst images, are made beautiful because you simply love us as we are. He does simply love us. And He loves us as we are. I think about my ugliness on the inside when I wake up with the wrong attitudes and perspectives and spread that all around my house. Even on days like that He loves me. He is so good to help us overcome because of His grace and love!

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Your transparency and vulnerability are refreshing and is sure to set somebody free today. A month ago I was preparing for a photo shoot. Before the shoot I was a mess. My countenance was just as you describe your photo. BUT GOD! He stepped right in and gave me a glimpse of how He sees me and it was a remarkable, life altering encounter with the Father. Maybe you forever relish and hold fast to His boundless love for you.

  • Thank you for putting into words what is my heart. God is doing some deep work in me during this season and at 53 I feel like I’m experiencing His love for the first time – even though I asked Jesus into my heart at 3.
    It encourages me to read the experiences of other women shared with such honesty and transparency.

  • What’s not cute about your passport photo?
    You should see mine…my hair looks like a literal birds nest on top of my head…but my face that looked good. See I can find the good in anything (took me years to get here with God’s help!)

  • I’m thankful that God loves messy me. — and I can ruin just about any photo, by the way. I am a blinker and look semi-drunk or asleep in pretty much all of my cousin’s wedding photos. I know she regrets having me in her wedding. Sigh

  • Hi Kelly, I had a worse drivers license picture taken when I was sick, the people in line behind me even reacted. I looked like I had escaped from somewhere. Now, I have a cute one. I have had it for 16 yrs. I am 55, but I still look young, so I just say leave it when I renew them. And I have seen worse on Sam’s Club cards, somebody will probably start a Pinterest board. I have one of old pictures. It is good to be able to laugh at yourself, but a self deprecating sense of humor still brings you down. And maybe you didn’t get my pink eye message, I had it so bad my face was swollen and the doctors laughed at me. Throw away everything, shadow, mascara, anything you touched. Similisan eye drops are good. They have a pink eye formula. Do you wear contacts? I’d check with the eye dr. and throw away toothbrushes if you ever have strep throat.

  • Kelly- love this so much! My favorite line is, “Friend, maybe, like me, the ugly thing you can’t get through, God is trying to speak through…” Amen! Yes I’m hoping so!

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