Once upon a time........
There was a beautiful little girl. She was the joy in her mamma's life and the light in her daddy's eyes. Someone tried to steal her beauty though. Someone was curious. Someone thought she would make a good test subject. Someone took her innocence. She started to look at the world through jaded eyes. Then someone else hurt her. Someone told her she could never be beautiful unless she did ugly things. The little girl did those ugly things but never found the beauty and value she searched for. She began to think beauty was only a fairy tale. The beauty she was born with was still within her, but she didn't realize it. Someone told her that her beauty had been stolen and she believed them. So much else had been stolen that it seemed obvious that beauty had been as well. She cried herself to sleep often wishing she could be beautiful again.
She grew up, and continued to believe that the beauty born in her had left her as a child. She continued to search for it but it still remained elusive. Eventually she came to the conclusion that the beauty was not missing but rather that it had died. If beauty is dead, she needs not to search for it. It cannot be resurrected. She hurt herself in unspeakable ways hoping to dull the pain of beauty's death. When death refused to take her too, she decided that punishing herself must be what was required of her. Torturous days of no food or sleep took their toll. She became weak and pale. She became the ugliness that she already saw. She burned her skin and drank her fears. She proved to herself that beauty was not achievable and was never returning.
Someone told the girl they loved her. Someone held her tightly. Someone told her she was pretty. And just as she began to smile again, that someone hurt her too. Someone told her she wasn't good enough and never would be. Someone told her she was fat and ugly. Someone told her she could never measure up. Someone else stole what wasn't theirs to have. Someone used her. Someone abused her. Someone made her cry. Someone convinced her she was still not worth loving.
As the years passed, a new someone told her they loved her. He told her she was beautiful, though she thought he was lying. He insisted there was beauty born within. He insisted that the beauty had not been killed off but had been hiding behind a fort afraid to resurface. He told her he loved her and then he set out to prove his words. He gently beckoned her beauty to come back out. He made beauty safe. He never stole the beauty away again, he never abused her heart. He saw the beauty in the midst of her self hatred and self abuse. He saw the beauty when she was convinced it had long ago died. He truly did love her and took the time to win her heart. Then he took the time to prove he would protect that heart and the beauty within.
He was the someone who showed her that not every man had evil intentions. He was the one who loved her back to beautiful. He was the one who showed her how much God must love her and how beautiful she was to God. He was the one who made her heart sing and the one she wanted to love for eternity. He is still the one who tells her she is beautiful, even when she thinks he is lying. He is still the one to love her even when she is self abusing. He is the one who believes in true beauty and somehow sees it in her. He is the one who helped her to trust again. He is the one who showed her how to believe that beauty is not just a fairy tale.
Once upon a time, there was a very scared woman. She almost lost it all, simply because she forgot how to be beautiful. She got lost in the idea that she could never be that beautiful little girl again and forgot that she is now a beautiful woman. She so wants to be beautiful and is terrified of being beautiful at the same time. Some days she hates her body and harms it. Some days she gives herself grace. Most days she still thinks beauty is just barely eluding her. She doesn't understand how that man can love her and tell her she is beautiful. Doesn't he see what she has done? And yet he daily assures her that he does indeed see beauty. She struggles to see it and wonders if there will ever come a day when she can see her own beauty not just that of those around her. She is ready for her own happily ever after!