In May of 2000 I was given the prestigious title of Mrs. Michigan International. With that title I was given the opportunity to go to the International competition and compete with some very beautiful women from around the world. More importantly I walked away having learned some valuable lessons.
My experience introduced me to some gorgeous women who truly radiated beauty from the inside out. I was also introduced to the outwardly beautiful woman, whose beauty began to diminish with every word she spoke. As catty women snarled at one another and melted down over very petty insignificant issues, the word “beauty” quickly took on a new look.
I, personally, had perceived the Mrs. International as a fun girls week away. Winning would leave me with a great experience, but it was not worth compromising my values for. My guess is that the majority of the women had the same mentality that I did. On the other hand, there were a handful who were more concerned about winning the crown then they were their character or integrity.
The judges were not fooled by superficial beauty, they picked Mrs. Georgia, a woman of true beauty and grace. She was worthy of the title.
From that experience I learned about true beauty. I found out that a person’s heart can increase their beauty or make them down right ugly. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt 12:34). What is on the inside of us always manages to find its way out.
Why is my experience from 12 years ago of importance now? Today I realized that I am surrounded by some truly beautiful people, who only seem to get more beautiful the more I get to know them.
I have the privilege of knowing some of the most kind, loving, humble, helpful people that anyone could have the honor of knowing. These are beautiful people. They are physically attractive, but their hearts make them even more beautiful.
There is something curious about these people. These people are kind, when the world is not kind to them. They smile and make sacrifices for others when their bodies are aching. They are reaching out to help heal others when their own families are struggling. When their spirits have been wounded, they still show love, even to the one who has wounded them. They often go the extra mile without a complaint. In the saddest, ugliest of circumstances they are radiant.
These people are not super human, they are not perfect. They face trials and temptations and often blow it. These are simply people whose hearts have been changed.
Proverbs 31:30–Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised