Howdy everyone! We are going to have a new series popping up now and then about songwriting. I get asked a lot how I write songs and for me, every single one is inspired by something REAL in my own life and what God has either taught or is STILL teaching me. Sure enough, some of the songs are still battles in my life but because of this, I know they are being fought in YOUR life as well. While the bulk of these will be my songs, I hope to have some guest songwriters every now and then so keep an eye open! The fun part is, too, at the end of the posts, you can listen to the song. So the first one is the story behind my song, “Butterfly”….hope you enjoy it and I also hope it inspires YOU to be creative as you never know where inspiration will come from- whether its for a song, journal, story or even how you want to respond moving forward!
When I was in acting in Hollywood, I felt like my whole existence was a comparison game based on my looks. The reality was…well, that was pretty much the truth. I have never been naturally skinny which is already strike 1 and 2 in Hollywood. Plus, I am tall; no diet or fitness plan will change my height. I have a dark complexion, a large frame and naturally curly hair. Again…things I can’t change that don’t conform to the Hollywood ideal. I would look at casting notices and for girls, they were so specific and blond, blue eyed, petite, skinny girls were the majority of roles. Basically me on opposite day.
What is sad is the people that did think I was beautiful didn’t matter; there were types and roles I could have auditioned and tried for but I focused so much on the ones I didn’t get and it jaded me a bit. I was not happy with the way God made me and in turn, didn’t have a lot of happiness in my life.
I am happy to say I learned this lesson throughout my time in Hollywood and left it a happier person than at the low points but it is still a struggle. I still watch film and TV and read magazines and sometimes wish I could look like those girls (even though I know THEY only look that way thanks to professional hair, makeup, lighting, photography, dietitians, personal trainers, etc..) but I try to nip that idea and refocus ASAP.
Our obsession with being beautiful in today’s world is twisted. 1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” There is a ton about our looks we cannot change. But there is quite a bit about our inner beauty that we CAN change. Would you rather be “Hollywood beautiful” on the outside but disrespected, lonely and unhappy on the inside? Or would you rather be “as you are” on the outside and known for your kindness, honesty and being a great friend? The Bible is very clear on which you should be. Plus…one of these kinds of beauty fades with with time but the other never will if you don’t let it.
No matter what I did I would never change the nature of society’s criticism and obsession with beauty….but I could change my view. The pressure of feeling like your worth is tied up in what someone else thinks of you – not even your personality, but just on the way you look – is insanely difficult. Most of the time, our self-esteem comes from the way other people see us and therefore can ebb and flow like the tides. But people are fickle and trends are always changings. God wants our self-esteem to come from the way HE sees us. Psalm 139: 13-16 says:
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them.”
God CONSISTENTLY sees us as individually purposed, loved and beautiful- that’s how He created each and every one of us. I still struggle with comparing myself to others, especially if I am feeling discouraged to begin with; it’s something I have to constantly work and pray through. Yet the more I experience, the harder I try and the more I trust God, the more I see how I am unique and truly “wonderfully made.”
When I was thinking about this idea, I couldn’t help but think about a butterfly. Each butterfly is unique and no matter how old I get, I still always stop and smile when I see a butterfly go by…I found out a lot of people feel like this when they see them! What is it about a butterfly…so pretty and captivating…yet it has NO idea how pretty it is. It just does what it was created to do…and we are in awe of it!
That is exactly how God sees us. We don’t have to do anything to captivate Him besides be ourselves and strive to become closer to Him. Work hard to be the best YOU that you can. Focus on your gifts and talents. Be a woman of integrity, known for loyalty and kindness. Be healthy in mind and body. Use make up to enhance who God created, not to fabricate someone who doesn’t exist. Be YOU and that’s what others will notice and fall in love with.
#journaljourney Check out this verse on comparison also…2 Corinthians 10:12. Think about what makes you jealous or compare yourself to others. Are there triggers that make this feeling worse? Checking Instagram? Reading magazines? Try to be aware of this and think about limiting them. When you feel like you’re not enough, don’t make it worse. Stop. Ask God to help turn your thoughts on what you’re good at; on the people who do love you; on the traits you like about yourself. Make a list of these things that you can turn to when you’re feeling ugly and alone and trust me, it will help if you let it.