A friend of mine has been posting inspirational videos on Facebook from the website http://www.upworthy.com. I finally clicked on one that caught my attention. It is a 13 minute video of a motivational speaker at a women’s conference. Her name is Lizzie Valasquez and she was born with a rare condition, that if I remember correctly, only two people in the world have. She is one of them. It is a condition in which she cannot gain weight no matter how hard she tries. She could eat ice cream and twinkies until the cows ran dry and still look emaciated and severely anorexic.
I really encourage you to watch this video. In today’s day and age our attention might peak at a 2 minute video, but I assure you that this will be worth your time. Lizzie was bullied, as you can imagine, in some of the cruelest of ways while growing up. Perhaps a climax of the brutality heaped upon her was a video that some high school peers took of her, labeled as World’s Ugliest Woman. The Youtube video received a massive number of views and the comments rolled in with earth shattering force. Some of the comments she mentions in this conference video, which were made on the high school video, include things to the effect of “burn it alive”, and “do yourself and the world a favor, get a gun and just shoot yourself.”
I can’t imagine living the life this woman has lived. She is only 25. If the disease failed to take her life, you’d think the hate and scorn of humanity would have by now.
So what helped Lizzie not only survive the world’s condemnation, but thrive in the midst of it?
When she was born the doctors said she’d never walk or talk or have any sort of normal life. Her parents took her home with a vow to love, care for, and raise her to the best of their ability. She speaks in the conference video of the amazing impact her parents love and strength of character had on her life. It shaped her. It gave her courage to endure and press on, to realize that no matter what people thought of her, she was beautiful, valuable, and was going to live the dreams that were alive in her heart. She has learned what few people do in life: not how to look beautiful, but how to be beautiful.
Beauty is, and always will, come from the inside out. From the heart of all that is beautiful, God’s heart, came forth the outer beauty of all that was made. True beauty manifests from the beauty that is within God, and the beauty that is within humanity. Age will always ravage the physical beauty that people have, or death will steal it young. But the beauty within will only blossom with time and nurturance. All of us are born with an inner beauty. If we cultivate it and surround ourselves with people who help cultivate it, we will find ourselves shining as God intended, like stars in the heavens, highly esteemed, lighting a darkened and broken world.
Any woman who lives like this, like Lizzie has the courage to live, will find herself among the world’s most beautiful women. Any man who lives like this will likewise find himself among the world’s most beautiful men. May those of you who read this be blessed by a beautiful Father who longs to fashion and manifest your true beauty in this life and the life to come.
Here is the link to Lizzie’s inspirational video … she’s a joy to watch as she tells a small part of her story with courage, humor, and the desire to help others realize their worth and dreams:
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. – Confucius
Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting. – Ralph Waldo Emerson