It's a Girl Thing

A Letter to the Girl Who Doubts her Beauty

Dear Friend,
Hi again 🙂

I’ve kept my ears open and noticed that you question your beauty…a lot. I’ve heard you compare yourself to the pretty and popular girls around you, and, if you’re anything like me, the doubts you feel gnaw at you constantly.
Beautiful girl, if you’re stuck in the hole of self-hatred and insecurity because you feel discontent with yourself, I want you to know I’ve been there. I’ve let my sense of worth depend on what’s on the outside. But I’ve also escaped that hole, and goodness, I never wanna go back…Now I want to help you too.
So, I have three important questions to ask you. Ones that will help you break free from the lie that you’re not good enough…but only if you answer them truthfully.

Are you ready? Read on…
questions for the girl who doubts.pngQuestion #1: Who defines your beauty?

What shapes your definition of “ beautiful”? Flawless makeup? Keeping up with the latest trends? Public image? Approval?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then my friend, we have a problem. As long as you let the constantly-changing fads and opinions of the world define your beauty, you will be discontent and discouraged. And you know what? It’s impossible to please everyone. 

Have you heard of Angelica Kenova? She’s one of many people who have transformed themselves to look like a human Barbie™ doll.
Growing up, her parents gave her Barbies™and dressed her in the doll-like clothes, convincing her that she needed to look like Barbie™. Angelica’s mom especially pushed her to do everything she could to obtain the doll’s flawless figure. Now Angelica is in her early 20’s, and she spends 12-15 hours per week working out with a professional trainer. Her mom holds her to a strict diet and micromanages her clothing choices (she insists that Angelica’s clothes be nothing less than curve-accentuating and sexy).
A man-made toy and controlling parents have taken over Angelica’s life and turned her into the image of a piece of plastic.
In an interview, she expressed love and loyalty to her parents, stating that, while she knows they’re restrictive, it would be (quote): “purely scandalous to go against them.” She’s in bondage to their standard of beauty.

While Angelica is a dramatic example, her story still applies us. Friend, if your beauty depended on what others say—on what toys or magazines depict—you’d be changing yourself constantly. And for what? A “perfect” image that will fade with age? It’s not worth it. Instead, it’s time to listen to the voice of your Maker in His Word:

“ And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31a, ESV).

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14, ESV).

Question #2: Does “different” mean “more beautiful”?

It’s easy to compare our features to someone else’s and think their beauty is superior.

  • She has such a cute little nose, but mine is so big and pointy. If only I looked like her.
  • She has the most gorgeous eyes. If mine were that color, I’d be stunning.
  • Woah, check out her jawline. If only my face were so thin and sculpted…Then I’d be beautiful.

Whatever you compare, remember to appreciate the beauty of others without doubting your own. Different doesn’t mean better, friend. One girl’s complexion isn’t  superior to yours. 

God made us individuals for a reason! We’re all equal in value and beauty, because we have the same Maker. He doesn’t favor one feature or eye color over another. He put just as much effort and care into knitting you together as He did the next person, and you can rest in the truth that He didn’t fail when He created you. He didn’t forget any details. 

You are lovely because Jesus created you in His image–unique and perfect. Don’t ever let the enemy tell you otherwise. Don’t allow him to trick you into believing your differences are a disadvantage.


Different doesn’t mean more (or less) beautiful.
God makes no mistakes. Carry these truths with you wherever you go.

Question #3, the last and most important question I could ask: Do you have a beautiful heart?

We’ve all heard the sayings before: “It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, but rather, what’s on the inside that counts”, and,  “pretty is as pretty does.” …But do we really believe them? Do we truly worry about the inside more than outward appearance?
Proverbs 31:30 is one of my absolute favorite verses which says:

 “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (NIV, emphasis added).

Dear, sweet girl, once you understand how lovely you are on the outside, will you examine your heart? Is it unkind, judgmental, and prideful, or do you have a loving, humble, servant’s heart for Jesus? Charm and good looks are fleeting. They’ll disappear with time. But a heart that trusts in God and seeks to live like Him is indispensable.

 If you have a lovely heart, you have all the beauty that matters.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (ESV).

God says a beautiful heart is PRECIOUS and ETERNAL. Wouldn’t you rather have His approval than the applause of culture which emphasizes shallow beauty?

While outward beauty is a blessing, it isn’t a priority. While God loves you for who you are—how He created you—your looks aren’t His main concern. His desire for us as His daughters is to cultivate a meek heart. When we do that, the inner beauty pours out onto others and gives us more radiance on the outside than anything else ever could.

So, in closing:

Your beauty must not be defined by outward appearance. Not by the opinions of others, or the image of models or popular girls. Your beauty comes from within, and when you focus your thoughts on Christ, you’ll learn to value and care for yourself without overestimating the physical part of your being.
Next time you’re tempted to doubt your beauty, ask Jesus to help you remember what truly counts, and work on beautifying your heart. He will help you ♥️

“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart’ ” (1 Samuel 16:7, ESV).

In the next post, we’ll talk about ways to cultivate a beautiful heart. I hope you’ll stick around 🙂

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It's a Girl Thing

5 Comparisons that Feed Insecurity

–> I have 2 freebies for you at the end of this post, so stick around!

You’re probably familiar with Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Such wisdom in those small words. . .

In last week’s post, we talked about the secret to confidence (you can read it here). Today, I wanna flip the tables and dig into the root of insecurity. . .Bur first, I have a bold question to ask you…

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What makes you insecure?

I know it’s tough to answer honestly. But I want to encourage you to pull out a sheet of paper and jot down your answers, because the only way to defeat insecurity is to pinpoint the cause. Continue reading “5 Comparisons that Feed Insecurity”

It's a Girl Thing

The Secret to Confidence

I have a little secret to tell you–one that, if we were to meet right now, you might not believe–but here it is: I used to be really insecure.

No biggie, right? Isn’t every teenage girl insecure? Don’t all girls spend their teen years groping for a sense of identity? Sadly, I notice that all too often. And while I watch the teens around me (including my 3-years-ago self), seek confidence in oh-so-many places, my heart breaks for them.

Sweet friend, if you’re looking for confidence in relationships, materialism, approval, or even music, you’re looking in all the wrong directions.

But here’s the good news: The secret to confidence really isn’t a secret at all! No matter what causes your insecurity—no matter what pain you’re going through that steals your sense of worth—the solution to a confident heart is the same for each of us.

I said I used to be insecure. That’s not to say I don’t feel inferior or shy at times, because I do. But I’ve found the secret to a bold heart, and I can’t tell you how liberating it is.

So, are you ready to unlock the secret to confidence?

Here it is…

the secret to (2).png
Stop looking for confidence.

Yep. That’s it. Stop trying to be confident.

The minute I stopped trying to act perfectly, be the best, or gain the approval I craved, my life flipped upside down.
But I didn’t stop focusing on those things by myself. I didn’t magically wake up, decide to stop thinking about being confident, and suddenly become secure in my own skin. In fact, I didn’t even mean to find confidence when—or how—I did.

Let me explain:
When we first moved to New York, my parents took short walks around the neighborhood every morning. After some coaxing, I decided to join them on one of their early-hour adventures. It was brisk and invigorating outside, and I happily poured myself a mug of hot coffee as soon as we got home. When I settled down in the stillness of my room, nothing seemed more inviting than my Bible. In fact, I longed to open it. So I did. And I couldn’t stop reading.

Nearly every morning after that, I woke up with a quick walk and locked myself in my room with nothing but Scripture and my coffee. Now, subtract the shivery walks, and my mornings are just about the same. 

Little did I know that my decision to take a walk in the freezing cold would transform my whole life. I didn’t plan to read my Bible that morning when I got home. More than that, I definitely didn’t expect the radical changes that took root in my life as a result. The more I dive into the Word, the less time I have to focus on my insecurities, and confidence comes naturally. 

Sweet friend, the secret to confidence is so simple. We make things so much more complicated than they are, and it’s not helping us.

I’ve seen the Pinterest quotes– “Just love yourself, and everything else will fall into place,” or “stop caring about what others think and fall in love with you.”–But those things aren’t working. Girls aren’t becoming confident by loving themselves–or doing anything else the world suggests.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7, NIV).

Let me tweek those confidence tips a bit: 

“Seek JESUS and everything else will fall into place.”

“Read Scripture and understand what GOD thinks of you, and the world’s opinions won’t matter.”

“Love Christ and love OTHERS, and you’ll know exactly how to treat yourself.”

You see, when we focus on ourselves and try to feel better in our own skin, we only end up in a mess of constant overthinking and anxiety.
When we try to find security in ourselves, everything falls apart. We forget that Jesus never said to look at ourselves for help. In fact, Galatians 6:14 says our eyes are to be on the cross of Christ. Our boasting—our confidence—is in Him alone.

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (ESV).

Confidence comes from knowing who you are in Christ, and clinging to His grace when you fall short.

Confidence comes from a heart that trusts the Lord and cares about the things of heaven more than the things of earth.

Confidence comes from trusting that Jesus loves you, and no one can ever change that.

Ever since that morning of Bible study, one simple truth has rung clear in my mind: A relationship with Jesus brings all the security in the world—even when everything else falls apart.

The minute I chose to ground myself in Him, my confidence grew, and it continues to grow every single day.

Jeremiah 17:7 says “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him” (NIV).

Look to yourself –> lose confidence.
Look to Jesus –> be victorious.

“With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles” (2 Chronicles 32:8a, ESV).

Let me tell you a story:
In November, I took a trip to South Carolina for an art festival at a Christian university. My friend and I were competing in music, and we spent every hour together. We woke up early, ran to breakfast, rushed to the practice rooms, played for the judges, hung out with friends…it was awesome.
But, as the hours of that week wore on, we lost energy. Our supply of adrenaline ran low. And, the more we interacted with other people and compared notes, the more we overthought every minute.
My friend and I spent our days feeding off of each other’s insecurities, and the more we talked about our weaknesses, the weaker we felt. We started focusing on our problems and worrying about people’s opinions.

By the end of that week, I wasn’t the same Abigail I usually am. I had no peace. My moods were a rollercoaster. And I kicked myself constantly because nothing I did–no pep talk or amount of self-comfort filled the gaping hole of insecurity.

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I realized what happened (Other than the fact that I was sleep-deprived): I spent zero time with God that week. I prayed for my competitions now and then, but that was it. I didn’t read my Bible or even take notes in chapel. As soon as I stopped focusing on Christ, my focus turned inward and I spun myself into a pit of insecurity. I inflicted pain on myself and my friend for no reason. All in 5 days.

Though I wish I could redo that week at times, I’m thankful for the valuable lessons I learned. One of them being this: Building confidence takes time, but losing it is a split-second disaster when we take our eyes off Jesus.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.”

I know the miseries of insecurity. I’ve gone through the tears and journaled my feelings of self-doubt. I’ve kept my mouth shut in public because I was scared what others would think. I’ve chickened out of activities because I didn’t want to look bad.
Insecurity is a vicious cycle, and it cannot be defeated without the Word of God (both the written Word, and Jesus, the living Word). 
Sweet friend, I don’t want you to waste your life searching for confidence. I don’t want you to fall apart in tears because you’ve tried so hard to hold everything together. Not when you have the key to confidence at your disposal.

More than anything, I want to see you thrive and enjoy life to the FULL, because you found security in Jesus. Will you please, please, run to Him?

“Allow your desperation to direct you to the one who satisfies.” -Jonathan Pokluda

I know it sounds cliché. It seems too simple–too good to be true. But believe me, it works.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.”

Remind yourself of this truth. Post it on your wall, repeat it in your mind. This is your key to a confident life.

Let’s talk!

Do you struggle with confidence? Maybe you’re battling self-worth or perfectionism. Sweet one, I would love to talk with and pray for you. Feel free to contact me here

If this post helped you, feel free to leave a comment! I love hearing from you.

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It's a Girl Thing

1 Simple, Effective Way to Study Scripture

Hi friends!

I’m so sorry I haven’t come on the blog for a while—my only excuse is homework and traveling 😉 To any of you who emailed me recently, please forgive me for not responding yet. I will reply as soon as I can! I haven’t forgotten you 🙂

________________

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, ESV).

In July of 2016, I decided to dive into the book of John, combing through it verse-by-verse. I just finished reading it at the beginning of this month, and I’m so excited about all that I learned!

At times, I thought about just moving on to another book of the Bible because John was taking so long, but I’m really glad I finished it.
After taking so much away from each chapter, I thought it would be fun to share the method I used for studying John (and any other part of Scripture).

So, in three parts, here’s one simple, effective way to study the Bible—and get more out of each verse!

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Once you’ve chosen your chapter…

Part 1: READ
Read a couple verses at a time (enough to gather context).

Part 2: WRITE
Write out individual verses that speak to you or offer practical applications.

Part 3: PONDER & APPLY
Jot down notes or prayers  below the verse to fully absorb it.

You can do this for as many verses as you want—sometimes I just write out one verse at a time and scribble down my thoughts about it, and then move on to the next verse. Other times I’ll write out a few verses and draw general applications.
When I was studying John, I read anywhere from 5-20 verses each day using this method. Sometimes I would read the whole chapter after studying in small increments, just to tie everything together 🙂

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11, ESV). 

5 Reasons I use this method:

1) Simply reading words on the page doesn’t do a whole lot for me, because I get distracted and tend to skim over the pages.

Writing down Scripture keeps my mind engaged, because I’m actively looking for bits to write down. It also keeps my focus because my hands have something to do.

2) Looking for things to write down makes me notice verses I wouldn’t usually see, because I’m actively seeking out applications and gathering information.

The book of John was great for stretching my creativity, because a lot of it is action (miracles, historic events, etc.). I had to look for significance in each verse and think of ways I could learn from every chapter. Some verses simply helped me grasp the nature of Jesus better, and I took notes on what I noticed of His character through certain things He did/said.

3) Writing verses down helps the words stick in my mind.

I’ve found that on days when I just read through a chapter, I remember a lot less of what I read than when I journal verses. Getting different parts of your brain involved by reading and writing is a great way to remember verses throughout the day.

4) It personalizes Bible study time.

When I read, I’m constantly searching for ways I could apply verses to my life or learn from actions of other people. After writing down the verses, scrawling out my thoughts and adapting verses into prayers really helps me process what I read and it keeps me involved in conversation with God. It’s always special hearing sermons or talks on the chapters I’ve read later on, because I remember how various chapters spoke to me, and what I wrote about them. It’s really sweet 🙂

5) If I don’t have much time for devotions, I can just jot down one quick verse, and then turn it over in my head or pray it throughout the day.

I never feel like I’ve missed out on time with God because I’m able to squeeze in a little truth before my day is started 🙂

Here’s a little sample of what my devotions journal looks like—just to show you how this method works:

“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” Proverbs 2:1-5, ESV).

One last thing…

Maybe this method isn’t appealing to you—or you have your own way of studying Scripture, but you wanna add a little extra flare. That’s great! Here are a few other ideas for you to try…

1) Take notes from a commentary on passages you want to understand better.This is a great way to stretch your understanding of the Bible, and keep your mind involved.
–> My favorite commentary is Matthew Henry’s commentary, available for free in the Bible Gateway app

2) Keep a journal or sheet of paper to record definitions of words you come across in your Bible reading. They could be words you don’t understand, or just ones that are really special to you and you want to access their definitions quickly.

This is a really fun way to absorb everything you read–and those words take on more meaning for you as you continue reading.

3) Listen to the Bible!
I have a lot of Bible reading to do for one of my college courses, and I don’t have time to comb through and write applications down for each verse 😉 So, to keep my mind focused, I listen to Scripture.
–> The Dramatized Bible (only available in NIV and KJV) in Bible Gateway is my favorite one to listen to. It’s SO good.

“That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:17, ESV).

That’s all for now!

Remember that spending time with Jesus in His Word is the most important thing you could ever do. Without the guidance and understanding of Scripture, we’re lost and defenseless. God gave us His word to instruct and help us, and we need to take advantage of that gift!

If you don’t have a reading system down yet, I hope you’ll try some of these ideas. I promise you won’t regret it ❤

–> Would you do me a favor and share this post with friends and family? It would mean the world to me!

Feel free to leave a comment or contact me with any questions–I love hearing from you!

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P.S. If you want to read more on Spiritual growth/get further Bible study ideas, you can check out these posts 🙂

–> 3 Ways to Draw Near to God

–> 5 Ways to Boost Spiritual Growth