Most people who know me will tell you I'm a quiet and reserved person, especially around individuals with whom I am not close. Fewer of those people can tell you that I am also a person who is deeply judgmental and self-conscious about myself - especially about my appearance.
Like many young women, I was taught to cover up my flaws and put my best foot forward. But as a young teen I often found that my best efforts to cover said flaws were always met with failure. I'd go home after a day at school or in public feeling like the ugliest person in the world.
Though maturity taught me to look beyond outer appearances and I learned that inner beauty is far more valuable in the eyes of God and those who truly matter, that didn't stop the emotional and physical scars from manifesting themselves in my life...even to adulthood. To this day I still cringe to even think about going into public without "putting on my face". Enter my daughter, Morgan.
A few days before Mother's Day weekend, my family and I were getting ready to go into town to practice with our worship team. I was feeling rather low that day. We were all recouping from a virus we'd caught at Easter. I worried that I wouldn't have a voice to sing with. On top of that, I had a fresh beak out of acne on my face. It marred both cheeks and intermingled with the old acne scars left over from years of compulsive picking that I've struggled with to the day. As I gazed at myself in the mirror, the same old thoughts filled my mind. This must be what a leper looks like when their face begins to rot off.
Morgan skipped up and stood at my side along the bathroom sink watching me as I smeared foundation over my face. It was not a new site for her. My daughter has always loved watching me put make-up on. But for some reason she decided to ask me what I was doing. When I told her, she asked, "What is foundation for?"
"It's for covering up the ugly red spots on Mommy's face."
My daughter's little brow furrowed. "I don't think they're ugly."
I looked at her. "You don't?"
"Nope!" She smiled. "I think they're beautiful!"
I laughed. Then the truth of her words began to sink in. Morgan wasn't seeing my scars through the eyes of a world who judges appearances and holds a set standard of beauty. Instead she saw my scars as part of who I was...her mommy. My eyes and nose began to sting as I tried not to break down and cry in that moment. As they do now with the recounting of it. My daughter had given me the single most perfect mother's day gift and it wasn't even mother's day yet.
"Thank you, Morgan." I replied, wiping away the smudges round my eyes that began to form from the tears. All of a sudden they didn't really matter that much. Though my flaws abounded visibly on my face, my daughter thought they were beautiful. And that's what really counts.