To find beauty in Haiti you have to make a choice. You have to choose to look at the mountains and not the streets. You have to choose to see inside people, find out what the original intention of God's heart was for them and for their nation. You also have to learn to let the definition of beauty change a little bit. Is beauty determined by a set of physical standards, or is beauty a point of view?
One of the biggest things that has been difficult for me is that I never feel physically beautiful here. I have to fight to feel beautiful physically or to believe that I am beautiful. There are things I do in the physical here that I never did before. I wear dresses here, just to feel feminine. My fingernails and toenails are usually painted very girly shades of pink. I wear a different color or style headband everyday. I have to wear a hand band or my sweat mixes with my hair and well that's just a mess. Some days I feel like I have to fight to be feminine. I don't straighten my hair every day, I don't even always brush it, I don't wear make up, I don't get fun haircuts, I just look pretty much the same all the time.
Somehow haitian women seem to always look so classy to me. I show up to meetings in my colored headbands and maybe a dress that day and I think how do they look so classy and sweat so much at the exact same time?
Being here has challenged my definition of beauty. Is true physical beauty the addition of fun accessories and super fun haircuts (which I will always enjoy), or is beauty more about the refinement that I have been going through. I really believe now that I physically look more beautiful because of what refinement has done to my insides, heart, mind, soul, spirit. He has changed me inside, and I look different outside. When I was in North Carolina in July my grandfather gave me one of the highest compliments I've ever received. He said, "Amanda, you've changed." He saw a change. Oh lord, search me and know me, find fault within me, and bring me to a greater place of seeing BEAUTY in your kingdom.