Susie’s Smile by April Brooks

Susie’s Smile by April Brooks

 

“Oh! It’s Susie’s birthday!!” I inwardly exclaimed as a broad smile spread across my face. Facebook can be a mess at times, but I am so grateful that it keeps me connected to dear friends, family, and co-workers that aren’t so near in time or location. Susie’s husband had made a beautiful post about her for her special day, and it brought joy to my heart to see their bright and shining faces-so full of love for each other.

For whatever reason, I caught myself studying the joy in Susie’s eyes. I felt the warmth of her smile…Susie has always had such a beautiful and authentic smile. You see, Susie’s smile has been THROUGH some things. Years ago, in the midst of her last pregnancy, she found out she had brain cancer and I remember praying for her health and protection as she endured brain surgery and cancer treatment…all while pregnant. Every birthday is a miracle and I rejoiced with them for yet another year of God’s grace and mercy.

As I scrolled through the comments, eager to add some birthday blessings, I noticed another picture her husband had added, but this one was a picture from 10 years ago. He was giving God glory for all He has done in their lives and ministry together, and I took note of how their faces in that picture were just as bright and shining as the current picture. It struck me that when I look at pictures now, as I’ve gotten older, I notice very different things than I did when I was younger.

The depth of kind and compassionate eyes drowns out the crevices of laugh lines. An authentic smile beams resilience louder than the wrinkles that come with aging. A joyful countenance wrought from weathering adversity glows brighter than any skin product you can buy from Sephora or Ulta. Now, I want to notice things that tell the story, not things that put on a production.

The Holy Spirit brought to my mind the truth of Proverbs 31:30, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.”

A couple of years ago, during Bible study, one young woman shared a simple but yet profound quip that she learned from her Mother: “Pretty is on the outside but beauty is on the inside.” I loved that because while we can appreciate the things that make us pretty and enjoy them, the greater, more impactful, and longer lasting thing is to invest in the things that make us beautiful. True beauty comes from within, and while people look at the outward appearance, the Lord looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

He has fearfully and wonderfully created each one of us and every person is made in the beautiful image of Christ. No matter what size or shape you are, or what scars, blemishes, or wrinkles tell your story, YOU are beautiful my sister! Let your soul glow!