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I have always been an all-natural kind of girl, with palm trees, ocean waves, and sandy toes on my mind. I feel more myself with little to no makeup, a blow out or beach waves that look effortless, and high-waisted Levis for that all-American, undone look. Like most girls, I cared about what I looked like growing up, but I didn’t spend too much time getting ready or analyzing my appearance. I truly believe my parents’ love and encouragement was a vessel in protecting me from low self value, and believing that I was a daughter of Jesus aided in focusing on developing lasting memories and friendships, rather than becoming consumed with the physical. Yet, I was very challenged on this mindset and perspective when my life took an unexpected turn.

My calendar paused, my career path changed, and my platform increased after a night of injury in 2011. I was sucked into a plane propeller; the blade cut into my brain and the left side of my body, resulting in the loss of my left eye, left hand, and half my head of hair post brain surgery. In retrospect, I clearly see how I easily submerged in destructive comparison after this life-altering experience. I felt depleted of beauty, but my foundation remained the same. My mom and dad’s love and encouragement became stronger. My faith and trust in believing Jesus loved me grew substantially. Somehow my perspective of beauty shifted, though, and I believe one of the gifts of this tragedy was revealing to me the meaningless things that I apparently held so dear. What “bothered” me most about the outcome of this accident revealed what I held as very valuable. Did I let outward beauty define me? Yes. Did I cherish attention more than I realized? Definitely. I truly had to sit back and be still. I had to reassess my foundation. I had to refocus on what was important. I quickly came to realize that comparison is equivalent to worry; it only severely hinders and limits fruition. Plus, if we really think about it, wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same?

“Physical beauty fades; attention is temporary and unfulfilling.”

The Lord has brought such healing these last five years. He has restored in me a new kind of inner confidence that is rooted in where my identity truly stands, and I have realized the following to be true: physical beauty fades; attention is temporary and unfulfilling. Yes, my insecurities are a daily struggle. I often catch myself comparing not only to other people but to my “old” self. Grief is intertwined in it all as I miss my hand and my eye daily, but a lot of the hesitation in loving the skin I am in comes from wanting to hide what has changed. I have learned to be open about this struggle to my sweet husband, family, and friends, and I am slowly realizing that freedom comes from vulnerability . I am also seeing that beauty truly is in accepting the scars, in character, in the humility of freely being you, and in loving others well. I am learning to fully accept and value the path the Lord has put in front of me, and I am learning to view that path as beautiful.

Lauren Scruggs-Kennedy

Author Lauren Scruggs-Kennedy

More posts by Lauren Scruggs-Kennedy

Join the discussion 53 Comments

  • Megan says:

    Great message; your story is inspirational!

  • Morgan says:

    Wow, this motivates me to keep loving myself for who I am because my Lord created me that way!

  • Mimm Pinson says:

    Wow!! I have read this twice already. Such beautiful honesty and spirit. and, isn’t it amazing that we have God , himself, who can show us that whatever comes, HE is there, and loves us. What a testimony for so many. Thank you, Lauren

  • Dayna says:

    "freedom comes from vulnerability"… what a powerful statement! How often do we hide our flaws and fears in hopes of presenting ourselves as perfect?

    Loved this post! Every girl needs to hear a story like yours. Thank you for being vulnerable!

  • Alexandria says:

    wow this is so good. thank you so much for sharing

  • Rei says:

    Amazing! So well written.

  • Emily says:

    This is outstanding! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Leila says:

    I have a rare skin condition where I scar very easily, a tiny scratch bubbles up and creates an ugly pink and brown scar. It makes me feel so self-conscious! I used to always only wear pants even when it was 100 degrees outside because I was embarrassed of the huge scars on my knees. I let the world’s beauty standards control me. Until I started seeing myself through Jesus’ eyes, which taught me that he loves no matter what, scars and all! ?

  • Kayla Brown says:

    Comparison is never good, yet I fall prey to it numerously. I’m not as smart as them, I am not as pretty as her, I don’t have as much money, or there have even been tinew I have compared myself as being better than someone else. NOT GOOD. Truth is, God made me. When he finished with all he had done, God said it was good. I am good. I am his creation. So is everyone else. To say someone else isnt as good as me is demeaning God’s work. To wish I was someone else leads to unsatisfaction with my own life. I’m sure it hurts God to see when we don’t like the body we are in that he designed. We are all equal in his sight yet we all have different gifts and stories. Ever heard the saying, Don’t die a copy, be original? Just be you. That’s who God created you to be. A God fearing you!

  • Mardi Ehrmantraut says:

    Such an inspiring story. It helps me, as a 16 year old girl, to realize how comparing myself to others is counterproductive. Thank you so much for sharing! ❤️

  • Mari Balamaci says:

    Lauren,

    We can ALL learn from this. Your honesty is so well articulated and hits home for all of us. Thanks for opening my eyes. You are an inspiration and role model to all (as well as your husband).

    Mari

  • Madison says:

    Your so beautiful! What an inspiration you are to me through this little passage. Your such an amazing person! I wish you the best!❤?

  • Allisyn says:

    Lots of girls have trouble with the same things, including myself, so it’s an encouraging message! Thx for sharing❤️

  • Cadence Lynn says:

    Wow what a powerful story! AMAZING!

  • Julie says:

    "I am slowly realizing that freedom comes from vulnerability." ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!

  • Stephanie Helsen says:

    You are a strong and amazing hero! Thank you for sharing your story, God bless you and the LO blog!❤️❤️

  • Courtney Bosold says:

    I have always been intrigued and drawn to your story, I first learned of it in a special your husband did and he briefly explained what happened to you. I can’ t imagine going through something so traumatic and making it beautiful. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story and showing us all that its okay to have those thoughts, but that we are created with purpose and although the insecurities are there we should not let them define us. Thank you for sharing your heart Lauren!!!

  • Savannah Buckingham says:

    I struggle with insecurities daily about my body and this was something I needed to hear today. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • PLR21 says:

    My daughter has scars on her face from her life before we adopted her. She is 7 now. I pray that beautiful people like you will help inspire her to see past those scars as she grows and develops. I pray that she can see the beauty of the creation God made her to be. Thank you for your openness.

  • Olivia Wilbanks says:

    Insecurities is my number one problem I face every single day. I constantly compare myself to others, and I have chosen to accept the awful things people have said about me affect how I view myself. I have prayed consistently for God to heal my heart and let me love me exactly the way He does. You are very brave! And so beautiful, as well! God bless you dearly.

  • Courtney says:

    Wow!! Thanks so much for this blog post today!! I have struggled with insecurity pretty much most of my life. I don’t see myself as beautiful as others are. I’m definitely no model. But it also isn’t fair for me to compare myself to others. Which is what I constantly do. I even tell my best friend that I think she is the prettier one. Which is also not fair to say to her. She would never think that in ugly and nor should I! I am a daughter of the Great God Almighty. He sees me as beautiful! He loves me like crazy! I don’t want to get my beauty from the world but from God! That’s where true beauty comes from anyway! I want my beauty to be found from the inside, and my character! I want others to want to come to know God because what they have seen in me. Thanks so much! You all are doing an outstanding job and these daily blogs, every single topic has been much needed for me. God is good and God is working! God bless you sisters

  • Jade says:

    This is really special, it really made me think about what is important in life. Thank you

  • Meredith says:

    Love this post. I, too, am beginning to see the path as beautiful. You think, if I do the right things/be a certain way everything should turn out wonderful…and that’s not the case. The journey and life is messy, but acceptance and gratitude make it beautiful.

  • Prestelle says:

    So great. That is awesome! You’re doing great. ??????

  • Jesse Eggemeyer says:

    Thank you for sharing Lauren! I can truly appreciate your testimony of what you have went through and still deal with. Thank you for growing stronger through the whole ordeal, and encouraging others to find that inner Beauty ? ? I lost fingers from an artillery shell and understand to a minor degree, the confidence, self value, and self esteem issues. Proud of you for rising above worries and doubts, great job keep it up and God Bless

  • Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. This is has truly touched my heart. May God continue to bless you and shine through you! Love and blessings to you ❤️

  • Ethan LeBlanc says:

    Wow

  • Jen says:

    Thank you for sharing today! I am so grateful that you have wonderful parents that have shown you love and encouragement along the way not for themselves, but for the Lord 🙂 Excited that you didn’t let 2011 define who God wanted you to be.

  • Darla Baird says:

    I can’t wait to share your blog with my thirteen year old daughter who is beginning to deal with the pressures of physical self/beauty, and the on-slaught of heartbreak that comes along with social media. I can only imagine your struggles and the daily choice it takes to be positive, to grow in Him, and to ultimately encourage others who need to hear from you. God bless you. You are beautiful. ?

  • Savay says:

    Wow! Thank you so much! Your story helps me to remember that beauty should not come from the outside but from the inside! You are able to inspire others with your story!

  • Sandy Monsivais says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your story as your words have helped me! May God bless you always ❤️

  • Abigail says:

    This is what I needed! Thank you! Your story has impacted me in so many ways!

  • Lauren Lampke says:

    Amazing! You are truly a rare gem. Beautiful on the inside and out

  • Shay says:

    Great message

  • Lindsay Kate says:

    Wow, amazing story! You are a true champion! thank you sooooo much, you gave me a totally new perspective!

  • mary kate says:

    Lauren is the best!

  • Emily Hyun says:

    Incredible story; a truly beautiful person inside and out. Your trial has given many encouragement and hope.

  • Sharon says:

    May God bless you

  • Faith Ryan says:

    What an encouraging story and message! This blog is such a blessing <3

  • Nicki Sheirn says:

    Lauren,
    You are truly an inspiration to all! I remember hearing about your story years ago. I remember thinking how brave and strong you were. I still think that today. I follow both you and Jason on Instagram and you guys are an adorable couple! You both set an example as to what a marriage with Christ at the center looks like.
    I have a lazy eye, my left eye actually, and I at times am very insecure about it. I am legally blind in that eye and have been for as long as I can remember. I have been able to adapt and I can actually hear really well because of it. I used to really dislike my eye that was my main insecurity. And, while it still makes me insecure I’ve learned to joke about it. If I miss something or walk into something (like mirrors on cars in a parking lot) I just laugh and say, "I have one eye!" It’s worked so far ? Most importantly, I’ve learned to accept it. God blesses us each with different challenges and this is mine. I am better because of it. God knew what He was doing on December 3, 2011 and He was making you a nationwide spokesperson for Him. Thank you for using this accident to be such a light for Him. ❤️
    You’re gorgeous and have impeccable style, BTW.

  • Grace Pindi says:

    Such an encouraging and meaningful story. You are beautiful in so many ways❤️

  • Lee Lois says:

    Praise the Lord! Thank you for sharing Lauren 🙂

  • Mary Bonaparte says:

    Good words. Thanks for encouraging. We need encouragement at all ages.

  • Shelby O'Connor says:

    Thank you for sharing! God bless you! <3

  • Hope Hall says:

    To God give glory and praise. Thank you for opening up your story to the public. God bless you and your beautiful family.

  • MacKenzie Woods says:

    This is amazing! So many girls need to hear this!

  • Maddie Colon says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! Having a scar from surgery last summer that I have been subconscious about ever since, I appreciate the reminder that physical beauty fades and that our worth is in God.

  • bella frabotta says:

    "I truly had to sit back and be still." I LOVE THAT!!! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Maegan Gunner says:

    Absolutely and purely b e a u t i f u l. Your vulnerability and willingness to show your scars is genuinely inspiring. Thank you so much for this, I definitely needed it <3

  • Kaitlyn Rogers says:

    Wow. This was so perfect for me. Thank you for sharing your story. It was so great!❣️

  • Dylan O'Dea says:

    God bless you Lauren! You truly are an inspiration!

  • Kylie Coldren says:

    Inspirational. I struggle with feeling that my beauty is rooted in how everyone else views me, everyone else but God. And that’s something I need to work on. Something I need God’s help to heal me of.

  • Tiffany Villarreal says:

    "He has restored in me a new kind of inner confidence that is rooted in where my identity truly stands, and I have realized the following to be true: physical beauty fades; attention is temporary and unfulfilling." Beautifully written and so true.

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