The Second Continental Congress officially adopted the final version of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring the American colonies’ official independence from Great Britain. Congress established Independence Day as a holiday in 1870 and in 1938 Congress reaffirmed it as a paid holiday for federal employees. Today, communities across our nation mark this as a major summer holiday with parades, firework displays and picnics.
Using “independence” as this month’s theme, persons were asked to respond to the prompt: ‘What Do You Want to Declare Independence From’ and then provide their declaration of independence. The responses have been personal and candid.
This week’s Declaration is from a young adult woman. Due to the frankness of her response, she asked to be identified by a pseudonym.
I declare my independence of not feeling beautiful enough
I want to declare my independence of not feeling beautiful enough. All of my life I have looked at others and I see their beautiful faces and I’ve wished I had that beauty. I grew up looking in the mirror and saying to myself, “if only my forehead wasn’t so big, my nose wasn’t so wide and my ears weren’t so big, maybe I would be counted among the beautiful in society.” During the pandemic, I felt wearing the mask was not only protecting me from the virus, but it gave me the chance to cover up my face. I began to feel a false sense of freedom and comfort. Eventually, when the restrictions began to ease, it was hard for me to remove the mask because in my mind, now people will see my full, ugly face again.
During the pandemic I made friends with one of my elderly neighbors in my apartment building. I would stop by to see her because she lived alone and I wanted to make sure she was okay and she had the things she needed. When I would stop by, she always wanted to share the Scriptures she read that day. I wasn’t much of a Bible reader even though I am Christian. Not sure why, but I shared with my elderly neighbor my insecurity regarding my looks and wow did she have a lot to say to me on that! To make a long story short, after prayer and regular Bible study, I am feeling so much better. I realize I have been created in the image of God and God loves me because God made me! I cannot express my joy at just being reminded of that. I keep a mask in my car for places that still require masks, but the mask is no longer used to cover up what God has made. Because, I am beautifully and wonderfully made!
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:14)
Next Week: Series Conclusion
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