Be Beautiful with Sherry Jennings

I don’t remember when I discovered Intentionally Yours marriage, but it didn’t take long for me to get hooked. This fabulous marriage blog is run by two couples — Rick and Beverly Weeks and Scott and Sherry Jennings. But it’s the posts from the wives, Beverly and Sherry, that really speak to me.

Sherry has an amazing testimony of having a failed marriage, a divorce from her husband, then a reawakening of their love and remarriage to one another. Now they do marriage ministry. Isn’t God astounding?!

I immediately knew I wanted Sherry to contribute to this series. I was not wrong in my expectations, as the following post from Sherry tugged on my both my head and my heart. I pray it makes a real impact on you today.

Be Beautiful with Sherry Jennings

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

Our adorable preschool aged son often sat on the bathroom vanity, watching me, as I got ready for work each day. He attentively, and with great curiosity, watched as I went through each step of my daily routine: blowing my hair dry, patiently waiting on each curl of the curling iron, brushing and styling until it was time to lock it in place with hairspray; then move on to eye liner, mascara, lip stain, and the like.

One morning, he asked me the question. “Mommy, what are you doing?”

And I gave him the only answer I had, without even giving it any thought, “I’m getting beautiful.”

His response was a one of admiration, laced with bewilderment and indignation, spoken with all the confidence that only a four year old could muster . . . “Mommy, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.”

His response didn’t resonate with me then like it does now.

Growing up, beautiful was a word for seascapes, mountain vistas, bouquets, and other girls. I was the smart and sensible one with the ‘girl next door’ look.  Although I didn’t realize it, something inside me longed to be seen as beautiful as I experimented with make up and hair gadgets, imitating what I saw in magazines, on television, and around me in other women.  At the same time, I was striving to find my place as a wife, a mother, and excelling in facilities management and construction career.

The beginning of my journey in understanding that my son is right, that I am beautiful, came at a time in my life when I felt anything but beautiful — I had learned my husband had been involved in an affair with another woman for almost a year, he said he ‘loved’ her, and moved in with her. You can read more about that here. It was then that I surrendered my life, my plans, my desires to Jesus, and allowed Him to transform me into the woman He created me to be.

As I laid down my nature of control and striving, and learned to live my life resting in God’s sovereignty with an open hand, heart, and schedule, I became increasingly more beautiful to my husband. As he lived with his girlfriend, tossed about by the wake of his decisions, yet drifting in the current of his selfishness and sin, he saw me as more radiant, alluring, desirable, than ever. Was it because of changes to my hair and make up routine? Um, no.

Our son is almost 21 years old now. It’s taken me close to 17 years to learn that beautiful is a ‘be,’ not a ‘do.’ We are created in the image of God . . . what does that even mean? We don’t know what God looks like, the closest thing we have to a picture of Him, of His image is man and woman. God is beautiful. As a woman, I was created as an image bearer of God, and one of His attributes we reflect to the world is His beauty. I am beautiful.

Beautiful is a ‘be,’ not a ‘do.’

Be still. Beauty comes from a settled heart. Not a heart that settles for less, but a heart that knows beyond all doubt, is determined, decided, assured, resolved, certain, established and confident in who she is, where she is, and the good God is up to in her life. A settled heart chooses to rest in God’s sovereignty and goodness. That woman, my friend, is beautiful beyond words. She is the woman you want to know, the woman you want to spend time with. She is the woman whose presence draws you closer to God, covers you with His peace, offers you rest despite your circumstances, strengthen and encourages you. Do you know a woman like this? She is beautiful, isn’t she?

Think about the times someone has told you that you are beautiful. How quickly we deflect the compliment, and instead of saying ‘thank you,’ we make excuses, downplay and even reject our beauty, as if this rejection equals humility, and saying ‘thank you’ would be prideful. In this rejection of beauty, I’m teaching my son a flawed, worldly definition of beauty. Read more about my journey to learn to say thank you.

Consider what you are teaching your daughters, especially when they are told they look just like you . . . and you reject the idea that you are beautiful. You are beautiful, every hair on your head (and other places), every inch of your skin, the shape of your body, the scars, the stretch marks, the dimples, the freckles, all of it equals a beauty God created in you physically. You are the full package, the real deal, you are beautiful from the moment you wake up in the morning, before you do a single thing. Sure, shower, style your hair, but know that those things only enhance your beauty, they don’t bring beauty.

Be beautiful. Be convinced.

Be convinced that the God who created this universe, created YOU to reflect His beauty like no one else. Be convinced that He loves you, He sees you, you are never, ever hidden from His sight. Be convinced that NOTHING you can say or do could make Him love you less . . . or more. Be convinced that you are ENOUGH, you are beautiful, you are becoming who He created you to be.

God is . . . beauty is . . . captivating, inviting, alluring . . . and so are you when you know you are His, you are in His arms, and the good He is up to in your life.

Sherry Jennings Headshot 2015Sherry Jennings is a compassionate writer, speaker and listener, devoted to inviting women to know the heart of the God who sees them and loves what He sees, that they may know their hearts are good and that they have an irreplaceable role in this world. Having divorced and remarried each other, she and her husband, Scott, share God’s truth, hope, and vision for marriage through Intentionally Yours and as speakers for FamilyLife.

14 thoughts on “Be Beautiful with Sherry Jennings

  1. jody-lynne

    I cannot believe how amazing a journey it has been to know you and to grow with you. YOU are absolutely beautiful and I so appreciate having been invited on the journey to know I am too. 🙂 (AND while I am not shallow, I must say that photo of you is really, really good and you ARE BEAUTIFUL in it…sorry, random squirrel trail).

    Thank you for sharing your story to BEAUTIFUL and for inviting others to go with you.

    Jody-Lynne

    Reply
  2. Christy

    Sherry has such a way with words. She has such a heart for each of us to know God’s truths. This article is so true & yet due to our upbringing so hard to believe or trust. God truly did make each of us beautiful & I need to do a better job showing this to my 8yr old. I never want her to doubt the beauty she posses in Christ. Thank you Sherry for the reminder!

    Reply
  3. Amy

    This is a great read and reminder of how special we are to God! How beautiful we are to God. We are captivating! Sherry you are beautiful inside and out.

    Reply
  4. another J

    Wow…just wow. What an amazing reminder.

    “Beautiful is a ‘be,’ not a ‘do.’”

    I think I should write that on an index card and put it both in my Bible and on the mirror. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  5. B

    This is a great post, but it is really hard to take posts like this to heart when they are written by beautiful people. I don’t mean that to sound mean. What I mean is, Sherry, you are so pretty! It makes it really hard to believe you ever struggled with feeling beautiful. Sometimes I think if beautiful people don’t feel beautiful, then there’s no hope for someone like me, who really is quite plain looking. It would be like reading an article called, “I didn’t think I was a good runner” written by an Olympic sprinter.

    Reply
    1. Sherry

      B!! My heart hurts to have you dismiss your beauty because you see me as beautiful. Don’t we often compare our worst days to someone else’s best? And boy, that sure does go for photos, too. I love this photo- the photographer caught the beauty I know God has blessed me with, even though it’s not what I see in the mirror every day. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, B!! Hear that!!

      Oh, and watch for an upcoming post of mine on Intentionally Yours about running, LOL!! I’ve run one marathon, and although I don’t feel the need to run another, I get pretty excited about encouraging women to run through sharing my running journey. 😉

      Reply
  6. Kj

    Thank you for sharing your story. As women, we are quick to see beauty in others, and not ourselves. When we think of the beauty of our Creator, His beautiy is so big and so great, and so beyond ay other, that we cannot imagine that His beauty would be imparted tto us. But we are a reflection of His beauty. Barry McGuire told a story about treflecting God’s light, but I am going to adapt it to beauty. So, the Sun is a big, glorious ball of burning gas. Too big for us! The light of the sun is cast abroad through space for miles and miles. For the purpose of our story God is the sun, beautiful and glorious. The moon on the other hand has no light of its own, but reflects the sunlight. The moon’s reflected light shines on our earth. So in our story, we are the moon! We reflect God’s beauty, and then we caste His beauty abroad in the earth. Barry says, “O Lord I want to be full moon” Me, too! I want to be a full moon reflecting His beauty and light.

    Reply
    1. Sherry

      KJ, I love that!! I so want to reflect His beauty to the world around me, that women will know it’s not from my make up or clothing choices, but from my settled heart. Love you, girl!!

      Reply
  7. Jem

    I’ve been told I was beautiful 2, maybe 3 times in total (not in response for me telling someone they were beautiful) it’s really hard to hear all the time that you are ‘sexy’ from someone who used to have a porn problem, and never that you are beautiful, or pretty, or even good looking. Sexy isn’t a great compliment, as it’s used by the world. To me, it means he sees me as someone to have sex with. I am really learning that beauty comes from the heart and soul of a person. I want to become more beautiful for my Father in heaven at this point, as I’m pretty sure I never will be to my husband.

    Reply
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