by Kelli Hughett

Last Sunday morning, I chose an outfit that made me feel amazing. I always feel my best when the things I wear reflect my personality. Fitted jean jacket, long tiered skirt, turquoise jewelry. I did my hair in an angled french braid around to my shoulder and pulled a few wisps to curl around my face. I glanced in the mirror, happy with my reflection and ready for worship. I pulled on my favorite cowgirl boots and headed out the door, feeling a bit of confidence buoy my spirits.

Then I arrived at church and saw her.

Nearly 10 years my junior, she was, as usual, dressed to the nines in calf-length high-heeled boots, clingy sweater with trailing ribbon flower and a short black skirt. Did I mention in addition to being 10 years my junior, she’s at least that many pounds lighter?

I wiggled my toes in my snub-toed, gray cowgirl boots and felt the confidence I’d left the house with float away like a helium balloon cut from the bunch. My shoulders fell as any illusions of my beauty on that particular day burned to ash.

Oh, what a Leah day!

Leah, the unloved. The dim-eyed sister who could only catch a man through trickery and deceit. Did she feel the same way I did Sunday when she compared herself to Rachel, the beauti-ful sister everyone loved? Did she feel dowdy and ridiculous like I had? Unworthy of notice, like a stump compared to cher-ry tree in full bloom?

I’m betting everyone reading this article has experienced a Leah day. A day in which, compared to another woman, we feel like an unloved, dim-eyed sister.

But there’s a powerful lesson in Leah’s story that’s often over-looked. In Genesis 29:31 The Bible says, “Now the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.”
The Lord saw Leah.

The Creator saw her. Not as dimmed-eyed Leah, but as a precious child. He saw her emotions and struggles. Saw that she was unloved. The scripture does not say the Lord saw she was ugly. It says He saw her. And he acted on her behalf. He opened her womb—like a father watching over a favored daughter, the Lord intervened and blessed this woman he’d created and loved.

Isn’t that what we’re really looking for? To be noticed. Seen?

1 Samuel 16:7b says, “…For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Similar to Leah’s situation, when God looked at your heart He thought,
“She so beautiful—She’s to die for!”

Just like Leah, He saw you. Your flaws. Your accomplishments. Your struggles. Your gifts. Your sins. And he declared you beauti-ful. So beautiful, in fact, that He sent His son to die for you, so that in His beauty, yours would be complete.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a complete beauty? Yes. You. Completely Beautiful in Christ.

Colossians 2:10b says, “…and in Him you have been made com-plete…”

Colossians 3:3 says, “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

There are few things more beautiful than a bride, but quite possi-bly more beautiful is the expression on the face of the groom when he sees his beloved for the first time. Read Ephesians 5:25b-27 with yourself in mind as the bride:

“Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her; that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.” (Emphasis mine)

Next time you’re having a Leah day, one where you find yourself comparing your outward beauty to another woman’s; when you have a day like mine, when you’re wondering if anyone ever real-ly sees you—remind yourself of this truth: You are worthy of His notice. He sees you, his gorgeous bride and
You’re to die for!

This article was first published in Come Fill Your Cup on February 3, 2014.
About the writer: Kelli Hughett is a minister’s wife, homeschooling mother of three, speaker, and fiction author. She lives and works in Windsor, Colorado