Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Growing in Beauty - Guest blog with author Camy Tang!

Something many of you may not know about me is that I was raised in Japan for seven years of my childhood. So is it especially fun for me to share today's blog with Camy Tang who describes herself as "the loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick lit." She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away five boxes of books and 25 copies of her latest release, ONLY UNI.

Welcome, Camy. Thank you for joining us to share your reflections on beauty!


Thanks for having me here, Jenni!

I love the verse for your Inner Beauty Girlz website, 1 Peter 3: “Beauty should not come from outward adornment... Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.”

It took me a long time to understand my inner beauty and to be happy with who I am. For most of my teenage years and even my twenties, I spent too much time being embarrassed for being awkward, nervous about making a social mistake, shy to put myself forward.

I knew my self-esteem was low, but I thought it was “natural” or that I needed to exert myself more in order to raise it. I knew that my self-esteem ought to be dependent solely on Christ, but I didn’t know how to go about doing that, and couldn’t get what I knew in my head to make an impression on my heart and how I felt.

It wasn’t until I reached my late twenties that I started to understand how to let Christ determine my self-esteem. I’d been under the misapprehension that I needed perfect social graces to be acceptable to other people. That mistakes on my part would make people think of me as strange or odd, and at all costs, I didn’t want to stand out or be thought of as a weirdo.

But slowly I started to understand who I really was, who God had made me. Slowly I started being happier with exactly who God had made me—a bit awkward, with an unusual sense of humor, a bit out of the ordinary.

And that was okay.

I made an effort to stop being nervous about social mistakes I made. I learned to ignore my mistakes or laugh at them. And I discovered that while some people DID think I was odd, I started making friends with people who DIDN’T think I was odd.

God sent me friends who loved who I was—awkward, strange, a bit of a dingbat. He gave me people to be my sisters in Christ, and a husband who completes me in ways I didn’t realize I needed him.

I have found my inner beauty, and realized it was there all the time, the beautiful person God had made me to be. When I could accept who I am, and stopped trying to be who I was not, He drew people to me who also saw my beauty. He helped me see myself as His child.

And because of what He’s done for me, this is my prayer for all my readers, too—that they will co me to see themselves as God made them, and to accept who they are.