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Cancer Didn’t Steal Your Loveliness

Cancer Didn’t Steal Your Loveliness

My grandmother, GG, was a glamorous woman. She came from the generation of ladies who wouldn’t even imagine leaving the house without lipstick on. Her blonde hair was always perfectly coiffed, and I honestly don’t know if I ever saw her natural nails because they were always painted. Always. The scent of her Elizabeth Arden Bare Shoulders perfume mixed with hairspray would drift from her bathroom through the entire house as she got dressed. Like I said: glamorous.

 

She instilled in me her love for living a feminine life. GG filled my closet with pink dresses and helped me develop a strong sense of fashion. According to my mother, before I could even talk, GG would hold up two dresses, and I would point to which one I wanted to wear. (I feel the need to add the disclaimer here—she spoiled me just shy of rotten!) I would frequently go “plundering” through her collections of jewelry to choose what I wanted and now I treasure those memories more than the diamonds she passed down.

 

However, each of those beauty lessons were outnumbered tenfold by heartfelt discipline on loving Jesus. Truly, this woman taught me how to live for Him. Fast forward through a lifetime of school pick-up sermons and pre-church makeup sessions sitting on her bathroom counter, my precious grandmother fell sick with cancer. 

 

I watched her fight—hard—as the indignities of cancer ravaged through her body. One afternoon will live forever in my memory. GG had started chemo and was distraught about not being able to color her hair. She sent me to Sally’s Beauty Supply to pick up a chemo-safe hair color. As I applied the color to hair, she hung her head and cried. With each brush stroke, I pleaded with God to heal her, but clumps of fragile hair fell into my hands. I could tangibly feel her despair. But she got up out of that chair with determination to believe in God’s Truth, repeating to herself as she washed out the color: “by His stripes I am healed.

 

GG was a glamorous woman, but she was also formidable and fierce in her faith. In fact, her last name was “Garrison,” meaning a group of soldiers. She had the strength of an entire troupe of soldiers, not just one, that was earned through a life of fighting hard for God. The loveliness of her heart outmatched the loveliness of her physical appearance, always.

 

My GG was not miraculously healed on this side of Heaven; she was healed with a touch directly from her Maker as she entered eternity. Her legacy lives on through Hope Beauty. The blue butterfly logo on each piece of makeup in our line is a tribute to her bright blue eyes and the hope she shared with each person she met. 

 

Earlier this year, I received an email from a customer asking for help choosing a color of lipstick. She recently finished chemotherapy therapy and radiation, so she could start wearing makeup again. As I sent my recommendation, I heard the Lord whisper, “Tell her, ‘Cancer did not steal her loveliness.’” 

 

A few weeks later, I was getting ready to speak at a women’s conference, and I felt God remind me of that woman. “You need to share that message again today. Someone needs it,” the Holy Spirit said. I made the mental note to do this during my message, but in a rush to get through my prepared notes, I forgot. A woman approached me after to ask about the products and shared that she had just battled cancer. The lightbulb went off in my head and I blurted out: “God told me to tell you that cancer didn’t steal your loveliness!” The precious lady burst into tears and threw her arms around my neck. “I have felt so ugly for years,” she sobbed into my shoulder, and my heart broke. 

 

Daughter of God, cancer did not steal your loveliness either. It does not have the power to. Your beauty is a precious combination of God’s physical design for you and the sweetness of Jesus in your heart. Your loveliness is the love of Jesus in you. And God promises in Romans 8:38 that nothing could ever separate us from His love.

 

Your body has been a battlefield, but God will bring you a crown of beauty for the ashes, just like He says in Isaiah 61:3. Honey, put down the ashes and receive the crown of beauty from Jesus. You may have lost your hair for a time, but your crown of beauty is the Lord’s love over you. Strength will return to your body, right down to pretty nails. 

 

Your femininity isn’t gone, it’s in your DNA. Your womanhood is still valuable. Your face is radiant because the Light of the World shines through you. Your heart is strong with the joy of Jesus. Your eyes sparkle with the love of the Lord. Your body is God’s beautiful creation.

 

Song of Songs paints a beautiful picture of how God sees you. Save this scripture and tuck it away in your heart so that when the doubt and self-deprecation come, you can silence the lies with Scripture.

 

Song of Songs 4:1-4;9 TPT

Listen, my dearest darling,

you are so beautiful—you are beauty itself to me!

Your eyes are

like gentle doves behind your veil.

What devotion I see each time I gaze upon you.

You are like a sacrifice ready to be offered. 

 

When I look at you,

I see how you have taken my fruit and tasted my word.

Your life has become clean and pure,

like a lamb washed and newly shorn.

You now show grace and balance with truth on display.

 

Your lips are as lovely as Rahab’s scarlet ribbon, 

speaking mercy, speaking grace.

The words of your mouth are as refreshing as an oasis.

What pleasure you bring to me!

I see your blushing cheeks

opened like the halves of a pomegranate, 

showing through your veil of tender meekness.

 

When I look at you,

I see your inner strength, so stately and strong.

You are as secure as David’s fortress.

Your virtues and grace cause a thousand famous soldiers

to surrender to your beauty.

                          …

For you reach into my heart.

With one flash of your eyes I am undone by your love,

my beloved, my equal, my bride.

You leave me breathless—

I am overcome

by merely a glance from your worshiping eyes,

for you have stolen my heart. 

I am held hostage by your love

and by the graces of righteousness shining upon you.

 

 

Love,

Hope

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