I like to shop by myself. In all honesty, when I'm on the hunt for something specific, bringing along a buddy usually involves distraction and I never end up getting what I really need(well maybe its a want). I went shopping today to get an accessory for a dress I'm wearing to a wedding this weekend in Chicago(a whole other post will be dedicated to that wedding, you can count on it). I couldn't help but notice 3 middle school aged girls trying on accessories right next to me.
There is something that happens to a girl when she picks up that purse or necklace, looks to her friends and says, "I think I would get this one! Or, well I don't know, maybe this one!" She starts to dream. They weren't actually going to purchase anything, I don't even think their ears were pierced yet. It was so funny that I understood exactly what was going through their little brains, and remember saying the exact same things when I was their age. I almost blurted out laughing when one of the girls started to dream out loud and was so distracted by the many options, she didn't even notice that her friends had moved on. She grabbed a purse, put it on her shoulder, turned to get their attention, popped her hip out and said, "Oh yeahhh, I would get this one!!!"
I can't even describe how well I know that type of dreaming. Its not about that little girl finding her worth in that purse, but more about feeling a certain way. Feeling beautiful. It is what all girls, women, ladies, chicks, want to feel. It is core to how we are made. I watched the movie Precious a few nights ago, great movie but I do not suggest watching it by yourself...I balled my eyes out! Quick movie synopsis: In Harlem, an overweight, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction. This girl lived a tough life, she was raped and became pregnant by her dad, her mother physically and emotionally abused her all her life, and kids in school were cruel. One thing I noticed was that just because she had a rough life, didn't mean that she didn't dream the same type of dreams that any girl does. She wanted to be beautiful. She would dream of being on the red carpet, wearing a beautiful gown.
I have been thinking a lot lately about what it is that I want to do with my Marketing degree, but more how do I want to make a difference? I believe whole heartily that God gives us our desires to cultivate for His purpose. I've been stumped on my desire to work in the fashion industry for some time now, not really sure if it was from God or just an intense shopaholic issue. As of late, I have been growing an even deeper desire...A desire to minister to those middle school girls, to girls like Precious who don't have a comfortable life but still in the depth of their hearts want to feel beautiful.
Just dream with me on this for a second, what if I could use my passions to aid in that rightful and frankly, well needed cause. Bulimia, anorexia, obesity all of these body image diseases plague the teens of this nation. I read a statistic that at any given time, 5 to 10 million women and girls have eating disorders that harm their health.
I'm not claiming that clothing or purses will stop a girl from harming her body, because she doesn't see beauty when she looks in the mirror. What I see is a cry for help. What I know is that something happens when a little girl puts on her favorite dress that twirls, or that middle schooler buys her first pair of heels; she starts to dream and search for beauty inside of her.
One thing is for sure, God made me to be a cheerleader, to be someone who encourages and empowers others. The Myers Briggs personality career test told me I should be a motivational speaker. All that makes me think of is Chris Farley's SNL skit, I guess I do have a van...haha!
Things are starting to become a bit more clear on where my strengths and passions coincide. I want to make a difference in women's lives by empowering them to dig deep, find and protect the truth that they are beautiful. "The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord" Psalm 45:11 To show women what true beauty is and to teach them about Who created it. To help awkward middle school girls know how to take care of their bodies and how to correctly apply eye liner (that's a serious need!). To paint elderly ladies fingernails in nursing homes, to have a spa night for teenagers...
I'm excited to see how God shapes and molds my dreams. I am even more excited to trust Him with them.