By Rae Lynn DeAngelis
Confession time: There are days (probably more than you might expect) that I stay in my pajamas all day long.
Yes, I work hard every day. And no, I haven’t decided to throw personal hygiene out the window. I’ve just decided that if I don’t have to leave the house and no one is at home (not even my husband), it just doesn’t make sense to change out of something that’s so comfy.
Those who know me well are probably a little shocked by my admission, especially since I’m often complimented on how well-put-together I look. (If they only knew!)
Being over fifty has its advantages. It seems my accumulation of trips around the sun has changed my perspective and priorities for the better. That and a little encounter I had with God.
Hi, my name is Rae Lynn, and I’m a recovering approval addict. I’ve spent the last five decades of my life worrying about what others think way too much. I’ve finally come to the realization that it’s just not a good use of my time.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
Staring back at my reflection early one morning, I saw a glimpse of younger me. It was surreal. It was as if God wanted to take me back to a time when I felt intense pressure to be perfect so that He could bring healing to my soul.
Even as a young adolescent I would spend hours each day putting on makeup, fixing my hair, and getting dressed… even when I didn’t have to leave the house!
As the song says, perfection was my enemy. I felt deep discontentment with who I was and believed that if I could somehow get the outside right, the inside would feel right too.
It didn’t work. I grew increasingly dissatisfied with who I was and even turned to bulimia as a means to gain control.
Looking in the mirror on this particular morning, I felt a wash of God’s love and acceptance. It was as if He was saying, Rae Lynn, you are beautiful just the way you are—no makeup, tousled hair, wrinkled pajama’s and all. The kind of beauty that I esteem has nothing to do with outward appearance. Your beauty radiates from within; it cannot be measured by human ideals so quit trying to quantify your worth by the world’s broken standards.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
It all happened in a split second; yet in that brief exchange, God brought forty-plus years of healing to my soul.
I pray that you do not struggle with feelings of unworthiness like younger me. I pray that you can look in the mirror and see what God sees—beauty—even when the world says you’re at your worst.
Friends, the more we try to be perfect on the outside, the less fulfilled we feel on the inside. Take it from someone who knows; don’t let another year go by without finding internal peace with past, present, and future you.
Dear Younger Me, I’m sorry that I allowed the world to dictate your worth. I release you from those worldly pressures and I want you to know that I love you just the way you are—no makeup, tousled hair, wrinkled pajama’s and all. You are beautiful and worthy. Oh, and one more thing… don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t stay in your pajamas every now and then. It’s totally okay!!