Feb 05, 2019 521 0 Claire Buede

The Word for This Beauty

He knows every hair on our heads. I remember the first time I ran my fingers through my hair in the shower and a clump of hair fell out. From what I had heard growing up, growing some hair above your lip was pretty normal for a lot of women, but I did not know what to make of the hair growing out of my chin or the unpleasant sideburns that began cropping up on the side of my face.

I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) when I was fifteen years old and had not had a normal cycle in more than a year. Turns out, one in ten women are diagnosed with PCOS. My blood work results said my androgen levels were through the roof, and all I could see was myself feeling less and less like a woman. But what I could not see when I was fifteen was that I would be made whole through the “brokenness” of my body.

Starting at the age of fifteen, I began to believe the lie that my worth came from my body. As I grew up, that lie manifested itself in different ways—insecurity about my appearance, reliance on make-up to feel decent about myself, and feeling unlovable because of the possibility of being unable to bear children due to my PCOS. I threw myself into relationships with boys, hoping that I could make them like me, that maybe I could earn their love. Instead, I was left more and more empty until, in my emptiness, I was finally forced to face how I truly felt about myself. Even after I met our Holy one, I still struggled to accept this seemingly unacceptable part of myself. Heck, I still struggle today to love myself because of my PCOS. But at some point along the way, between the frustrated tears as yet another clump of hair fell out and the exhaustion of hoping against hope for a normal cycle after seven months of nothing—somewhere in between the fears and the loss and the pain—I found the truth.

The truth, which is so hard to accept some days, is that for some reason, because of some providential purpose, this is how our good Lord made me. Not only did He make with broken ovaries and jacked-up cycles, but He delights in me this way. He loves the hell out of this woman, her body, her past, present and future, and, most of all, her heart. That, my dear friends, is what I have been overlooking all of my life; I have been so busy trying to have this perfect body that does not belong to me that I have forgotten to strive for a more Christ-filled heart. I have been so overcome by my past mistakes and the ways I have found my identity in nothing more than my body that I have completely brushed past the unalienable goodness of my own heart. I have been so busy saying “I’m sorry” for all my imperfections that I have lost the ability to say “Thank you” for all my blessings.

Not long ago, a dear friend of mine prayed over me as I cried in anger, feeling as if I was drowning in my own waves. I will never forget what she told me: “Know that there is nothing wrong with you. Even your PCOS belongs to the Lord, and it’s time that you reclaim it for Him.” Too often we let the evil one use our “imperfections” to beat us down and we blame it on ourselves. For you it may be a physical condition, a vice or a fear, but whatever it is, no matter how overwhelming it may seem, our Jesus has already overcome. Whatever oceans you are sinking in, reclaim them for the one that “even the wind and seas obey” (Matthew 8:27). He “knows every hair on your head” (Luke 12:7), even the ones you have lost and even the ones that grow in places they are not supposed to. There is nothing wrong with you. He made you good and it is well, even if you do not believe that yet.

Claire Buede

© is a sophomore at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. She grew up in West Virginia and is the oldest of seven children. Claire is currently studying social work and child development in hopes of becoming a Child Life Specialist in a pediatric hospital.


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