Despite What the World Says

On May 4, 2010, MercyMe released their eighth album, The Generous Mr. Lovewell. One of the tracks on this album is entitled Beautiful. Taken directly from the band’s blog, Bart Millard, the lead singer, wrote this about the song Beautiful:

“This song was originally written with all of the band’s daughters in mind, but the further I got into the lyrics the more I realized the message was something that everyone could relate to. It basically speaks of how the world says we are never good enough yet Christ saw something beautiful in us worth dying for.”

Last night, I attended the Rock and Worship Roadshow 2011 in Colorado Springs. It was a concert featuring seven bands in about a three hour period. All of the bands who performed were phenomenal. I had a fantastic time worshipping our King with friends who were in attendance with me as well. MercyMe was the last group to play for the evening, and what a great performance they gave. Before one of the last songs they performed began, leader sing Bart Millard had us all sit back down in our seats. He told us about being a father and how much he has learned about the differences between girls and boys.

He started to tell us how much he has learned about girls in particular. How hard we have it out in this world. Between body image and feeling confident, fitting in and having friends and being accepted and feeling loved, girls face a lot throughout our life time. Subsequently, Bart said something that hit close to home for me. He told the parents in the room to make sure to say something truly simple to their daughters as often as they could; to say 3 words that make a world of difference in a girl’s life; to say “I love you” whenever they get the chance to their daughters. He then spoke to all of us girls who had not been told these three, simple, life-changing words throughout our lives. He told us there is a Father who loves us more than anyone else in the world can. There is a Father who thinks we are more beautiful than any flower on this Earth or star in the sky. Tears began to stream down my cheeks as I reflected on my own life.

I had lived that life for 19 years, and in some ways, still live it today. Neither of my parents ever told me they loved me during my childhood. They told my little brother every day, usually multiple times throughout the day, but I was pushed by the way side. I reminded my mom of my biological father, which was a painful experience for her to remember; and I was not my new dad’s biological child, whereas my little brother was. I was always striving to make them believe I was good enough for them to love me to no prevail. I was not worth their love or affection though I tried so hard to show them I was.

Thankfully, when I was a young girl, my grandpa introduced me to my one, true Father. My grandpa helped to raise me loving Christ and loving life. Though I was unable to see or speak to my grandparents for years, because of differences between them and my parents, I remembered the valuable lessons my grandpa had taught me as a child. I remembered there was a God who loved me and accepted me for who I was. There was a God who thought I was beautiful in His eyes even when the world around me did not. God knew the depths of my heart and found me worthy.

Throughout my childhood, I began to realize God placed my little brother in my life for a multitude of reasons. As my little brother and I grew closer and closer with every passing day, and we learned to lean on one another more and more, my relationship with God grew as well. One particular reason my little brother was placed in my life was to show me the love I was missing from the two people I called my parents. God blessed my younger brother with a heart capable of a love I could only imagine existed in storybooks. My little brother is capable of an unconditional, unrelenting, unceasing love only because God placed it within him. More so, my little brother has shown me the exact love God has for me, in a smaller ratio of course.

God has helped me to see Him and His love for me through the love my little brother shows me unceasingly. God has helped me to see Him and His acceptance of me through the way my little brother accepts me unconditionally. God has helped me to see Him and His value for me through the way my little brother leans on me for support unrelentingly. It was only by God’s grace and the blessing of my little brother that I made it through my childhood.

After not seeing or speaking to either of my parents for a few months after I had turned 19, I sat down with them each individually to talk. I had dinner with my dad and at the end of it he looked me in the eyes, with tears on his cheeks, and said three words I had never heard come out of his mouth towards me, I, love and you. A few weeks later I had coffee one morning with my mom. As we were getting ready to leave, after two hours of opening up my heart to her, she gave me a hug, looked into my eyes and told me, “B, I love you.”

Both occasions were the first time either of my parents had told me they loved me. Both occasions were the first time I had finally felt good enough for my parents. Both occasions were also the last time either of my parents said they loved me, though they are both still alive and in my life.

As I reflect on my 22 years of life, I realize I might not have been told I love you by my parents except for once. I might not have been told I was beautiful by my parents. I might not have been accepted by my parents. Nevertheless, when I look back on my life, I can see I’ve ALWAYS had a God who whispers “I love you” to me at night before I go to bed. I’ve ALWAYS had a God who told me I looked beautiful on my first day of school and every time I look in the mirror. I’ve ALWAYS had a God who accepts me for everything I am, inside and out.

Here are the lyrics to MercyMe’s song, Beautiful. I hope this song speaks to everyone who reads these God-inspired lyrics. I hope no matter what has occurred in your life, good, bad, wonderful or terrible, that you know there is a God who loves you, who thinks you are beautiful in EVERY aspect and who accepts you for the things others say are unforgivable.

Days will come when you don’t have the strength
And all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart
They’d see so much

You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful

Praying that you have the heart to fight
Cuz you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you’ve held inside so long
But they are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You’re the one He madly loves
Enough to die!

You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
In His eyes

You’re beautiful!
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful!
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful!
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful!
You are treasured
You are sacred
You are His

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