It was last year at this time that I was slowly recovering from a fun little thing called Bells Palsy.
I never wrote about it, basically not wanting to think about it anymore than I already did. But 4 days after Hope was born, I woke up to half of my face just NOT working. I couldn't figure out why I was talking so weird...couldn't smile right...and then it dawned on me.
My hairdresser had it, and she was in that small percentage of people who never recovered. I was hit with a little panic, knowing this would not disappear for months, if this was really BP.
I went to the ER with my new baby girl, and sure 'nuff.
And it sounds so whiney and ridiculous, but it was one of the hardest things I've ever dealt with. Ladies, you know how we are about our faces? Our smile? Our entire way of communicating to the world?
I think my most difficult times were trying to smile at my amazing newborn daughter, and only being able to give her a broken look. Three months later, I was almost jumping with joy when I looked at this picture and saw something almost normal:
It wasn't until six more months had passed, though, that I felt like I had about 90% back of what was there before.
All this to say: it had my attention. It had me looking at my own pride and vanity and it was ugly. I still fight it today because I notice how my eyes or smile don't do exactly what I want them to do and it makes me feel out of control. It reminds me where my true beauty MUST come from.
There's a great book, "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge that I have all messed up with my underlining. Here's the section that I kept re-reading:
We have all heard it said that a woman is most beautiful when she is in love. It's true. You've seen it yourself. When a woman knows that she is loved and loved deeply, she glows from the inside. This radiance stems from a heart that has had its deepest questions answered. "Am I lovely? Am I worth fighting for? Have I been and will continue to be romanced?" When these questions are answered, Yes, a restful, quiet spirit settles in a woman's heart.
And every woman can have these questions answered, Yes. You have been and will continue to be romanced all your life. Yes. Our God finds you lovely. Jesus has moved heaven and earth to win you for himself. He will not rest until you are completely his. The King is enthralled by your beauty. He finds you captivating.
And that's what it comes down to --- true beauty is cultivated only in His presence.
Beauty flows from a heart at rest, and that is where I want to be: resting in who I am and Whose I am.