“I just want to be beautiful”


“I just want to be beautiful.”

That’s what she said to me.

She IS beautiful.

Large, dreamy doe eyes that always look like she is thinking of the best things in life. Full lips that are always curved upward in a smile, with brilliant white teeth to back them up. Hair down to the middle of her back, a gorgeous golden red that people attempt with box dyes and always fail to create. An hourglass figure with a teeny, tiny waist and a voluptuous backside that would make any man look twice (or three times). A sense of style to rival the stars.

She has it all. That’s just her physical attributes.

She is one of the kindest, most generous and loving people I have ever met. She has her head in the clouds and she dreams of the most amazing things. She can inspire anyone and motivates me more than anyone else I know. She also has her feet on the ground. She knows what is realistic and she works hard to get where she wants to go. She is one of the most stable people I know. She loves hard, with all her heart. She never gives up on people. She is loyal.

She is the epitome of beauty. 

So why was she saying “I just want to be beautiful”? Why would someone who had all that going for her, doubt her own beauty? Why would someone so independent and awesome have that insecurity?

I struggle with insecurity and fear. I don’t wear makeup most of the time. I dress for comfort and ease rather than in the latest styles. I’ve put on a lot of weight since my babies came along. But I want to be beautiful too. I am always trying to look better, be better, do more. I read articles and books about how I can do this or say that to appear better to the world.

So when she said that, this girl that I admired so much, it shattered my reality and brought a huge epiphany to my soul.

Stasi Eldridge said in her book Captivating;Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Heart, “We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.”

This sums up my deepest desires in a single paragraph. I remember the first time I heard the words to the song “Beautiful” by Bethany Dillon, I cried. I understood the feelings that song conveyed because I struggle with those feelings every single day of my life. I want to be the person that people look at and say “wow”. Whether it is because of my looks or a talent or because I am intelligent. I just want to have something that proved to me that I was valuable.

But the more I look at the expectations of society, the more I realize I don’t measure up. Society drives us to always do more, be more, look better, feel better, be happy, stop whining, have a great relationship… and so it goes.

As a full-time (single) mom, a full-time student, a full-time employee, who cooks at least 4 good meals a week and paints and writes, it seems like I am still not enough. I long for intimacy, I crave adventure, I want to show my kids that life is meant for LIVING!

And the more I am aware of my failings, the more contempt I pour on this heart of mine. I waver between wanting more/working for more and learning contentment. I know that I should simplify my life, but commercialism tells me bigger is better.

I want a never ending romance, filled with the passionate pursuit of someone who loves me and thinks I am worth everything. I want to be the beauty in some amazing story.

But it feels like my desires are so far away, so luxurious, and I can never get my act together enough to “earn” it. I just keep hearing my head say “try harder”. I hear society say “try harder”. I hear the church say “try harder”. And I can’t try harder anymore.

So, I have decided to give up instead. I have decided that I am not going to pursue society’s standards any longer. I am going to pursue my heart. I am going to find my own passion, my own adventures. I am going to love myself. I am going to live fearlessly and without abandon. I am ready to awaken and own the dreams God placed in my heart. I want to embrace who I am and who I was created to be. Living life on life’s terms. We can’t love with our whole hearts when our hearts are asleep. To love means to risk coming awake, to risk wanting and desiring. I am waking up.

Ephesians 4:10 says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Living within society’s constraints and attempting to be more, do more, have more, creates anxiety and paralyzes me with fears. Fear of the future, fear of people’s opinions, fear of not being good enough, fear that I will fail. Fear is paramount, and it is a wet blanket that smothers the fiery passions that I was created to pursue. “Fear freezes us into inaction. Frozen ideas, frozen souls, frozen bodies can’t move, can’t dream, can’t risk, can’t love, and can’t live. Fear chains us.” (Stasi Eldridge.

I am so done with fear. And I am already beautiful, exactly as I am in this moment, to the one who truly matters.

I was created to live in my own beauty. I am already on this journey, this exciting adventure, called life. And I am okay when I reveal the passionate wild, creative beauty within me that will make the world a better place.

To that wonderful amazing girl: You are beautiful! And you were born to live within your own beauty and passions. And I love you so incredibly much.

And to everyone else reading this , if each of us would remember to live in truth, if we would make a commitment to living our own adventure, if we would choose every single day to pursue the desires we were created with, this world would be a heavenly place. The light that we were given when we were created would shine so brightly, the darkness in this world would be non-existent. 

Can you imagine it? 



By Bethany Dillon

I was so unique
Now I feel skin deep
I count on the make-up to cover it all
Crying myself to sleep cause I cannot keep their attention
I thought I could be strong
But it’s killing me
Does someone hear my cry?
I’m dying for new life
I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart,
and be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful
Sometimes I wish I was someone other than me
Fighting to make the mirror happy
Trying to find whatever is missing
Won’t you help me back to glory
You make me beautiful
You make me stand in awe
You step inside my heart, and I am amazed
I love to hear You say
Who I am is quite enough
You make me worthy of love and beautiful

About Shannon Joy

I am a single mama with two incredible munchkins. I confuse most people and the deeper you delve into the rabbit hole, the more lost you will become. I play a lot, work a lot, learn a lot, volunteer a lot and tend to do a lot... I love my life. The past few years have been an incredible journey, full of ups and downs. Thankfully, I have made the choice to see challenges as opportunities and it makes me so much stronger than I ever thought possible. I love to write and paint and feel that being creative is my God-given talent. I am so excited to share my life and experiences with you. Although I am a diamond in the rough, I known that I am being chiseled and hewn by experiences and grace and perseverance. I love comments and feedback, so please send a little love when you can. I will always try to respond personally and in a timely fashion.
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3 Responses to “I just want to be beautiful”

  1. Mark Shoop says:

    “An hourglass figure with a teeny, tiny waist and a voluptuous backside that would make any man look twice (or three times). A sense of style to rival the stars.” spot on!!.. I really liked how you touched on something that many won’t talk about. Some of the most attractive in societal standards can be the ugliest. It’s about ones heart that makes the beauty. Sure having something nice to look at is stimulating, but if she’s just an ugly evil person the outside is all for nothing.

    “Stasi Eldridge said in her book Captivating;Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Heart, “We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.”

    Captivating: Unveiling was a great read, but I never felt it gets deep enough to really explain the mystery of a women’s heart. The saying “Beauty is only skin deep is totally true” Beauty is much more. (only Nerium can help so much) I can see beauty as lady like, family orientated, genuine, caring, spontaneous, confident, the willingness to be loved and desired; submissive in the sense that the mans pursuit of her is over. Beauty to me could mean on the out side a beautiful dress, or jeans, T-shirt and a baseball cap., sweatpants in my shirt lounging on the couch could be beauty. Her eyes and smile are the gate ways to see her heart, is she sensitive and receptive to complements from people that shows the beauty on the inside. Strong and independent is beauty but stubbornness is not.

    You have so many qualities of beauty on the inside and out. I think we all struggle with beauty as are we desirable are we worthy. Isn’t there more, what are we missing?

    “And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
    And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
    Get over your hill and see what you find there,
    With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.”

    After the Storm ~ Mumford and Sons.

    • Mark,
      Thanks for your thoughts. The girl I wrote this about is incredible in every sense of the word. She is one of my best friends. And I do think that we are “missing something” as a society. If people would focus more on what they could contribute to the world, rather than what society wants from them, this world would change drastically. 🙂

  2. Sadtownclown says:

    I cant speak for society but from the first moment I saw you I felt you to easily be worth chasing and fighting for if necessary. You are beautiful enough to steal a mans breath. However I tend to reach further than I should quite often. If I had anything of value at all to contribute to these thoughts I would have to say be catchable. This society chews good men up and spits them out which results in good men losing the desire to chase anyone because their experience is typically that the only thing they ever catch in that chase is rejection. Never being enough for someone. A good mans heart can only take so much of that kind of pain so if they give up sometimes it’s not because you are not worth the chase, but they cannot own the rejection so In that I say be catchable. Anyhow, as usual good writing.

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