Guest Contributor: Kristal Carter
“It’s not easy to get a diamond to sparkle and shine in exactly the right way. Depth contributes to the diamond’s sparkle in a big way. If a cut is too shallow, light will simply pass through the stone and leave through the pavilion (the lower half) without any reflection.”
I get a lot of my listening time on my drive in and drive home from work. As I listened to this most recent message the Pastor began to speak about Diamonds and how they are created. He talked about how the shine of the diamond and the clarity comes from the depth of the diamond. This portion of that message resonated so very strongly in my spirit. I began to think about myself and how I saw myself. I began to think about how far I have come when it comes to what I believe about myself. I began to assess what I believed regarding my own beauty and where I believed it came from.
For as long as I can remember, I always looked to the outside world and other people in my life to measure what beauty was. I consistently compared myself to women that I knew and didn’t know to see if I measured up to what I thought was attractive. Being a young woman who was teased, sometimes maliciously and sometimes in “fun”, I began to look very closely at the things that I believed that I disliked about my appearance. At the time, I was unaware that the words that were being spoken to me and about me began to frame my perception of myself. In that frame, I believed “No one just walks around smiling, Ill smile when I have something to smile about”. I thought “I’m just big boned, I’ve never been skinny, it doesn’t matter what I eat”. I suppressed my gift of difference and always subscribed to someone else’s idea of what my sense of style should be.
At the point in my life, when I felt the most displaced. When everything in my world seemed the most uncertain, I had allowed these things to become my truth and every relationship up to that point had affirmed these “truths” in me. It was then I met and was introduced to one who not only told me the truth, but allowed me to see the truth in me. Only then was I able to find my shine, only then was I able to know the truth of who I really am. The deeper I dug into that truth the more radiant I became. It was only then that I knew where true beauty completely resides. My life and perspective completely changed when I experienced and got to know, Jesus.
You see, my relationship with Jesus allowed me to see the depths of pain. I began to see how I saw myself was not only wrong but it was a lie. The deeper I dug into me, the more I got to know my true self, the more I saw myself differently. It’s okay to be different, I was created to stand out. I smile now because I know what JOY is and how it is my strength. I don’t have to be skinny to feel good about myself, but I do have to make a conscious effort to take care of my physical body by exercise and balanced eating. I do in fact have my own sense of style, it can be inspired by others yet still fit who I am!
You see it wasn’t until I began to stop looking at my outer appearance through the eyes of others and comparing myself as opposed to embracing my difference that I began to shine. It wasn’t until I sought the truth of who I am through my relationship and who Jesus says I am that I began to understand that the depth of my shine, my ability to sparkle in a BIG way could only come from my acceptance of that truth!