Worthy Women Project: Karen Jewell

“The WORTHY WOMEN PROJECT aims to ignite strength in ALL women by sharing their stories. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!”

– Ashley Nicole

What do you remember learning about beauty from a young age? What impacted you the most that you’ve carried with you into adulthood (positive or negative)? 

My sister was 17 when I was born. As a child, I remember people commenting on her beauty. She also had an amazing personality and was very outgoing. She was my standard of beauty, which included looks and personality. At various times my beauty was compared to hers. Once, when I was around ten years old, my grandmother told me that I should not wear shorts because I did not have pretty legs like my sister. That was such a strange statement to me because even at that age, I knew my legs had a prettier shape than hers. When I was twenty, I had a guy friend a year younger than me that made the comment “your sister is adorable, i would marry her any day. What happened to you?” All I could say was, “I don’t know.” It was at that point that I realized the world did not see me the way I saw myself. I understood that I could not be like my sister, so I would have to be different. And, so I was.

Tell me your story! What life experiences have made you who you are today? 

While I have had many experiences by the age of 66, no doubt the greatest one has been my embracing my Christian upbringing. The way I think, see myself, reason with world issues, is all from a Christian world view. I believe everything happens for a reason, or another way of putting it, is God never wastes anything in your life. Although I grew up with a negative image of myself, my relationship with God has changed my thinking and way I see myself. I am a glorious work in progress.

What is your definition of beauty? 

Beauty is when the inward qualities of the heart are manifested in the outside of your body. You can be beauty full or beauty less depending on your heart. Your outward appearance reflects the inward thoughts and heart.

Do you think you are beautiful? 

Yes, I am created in the image of God and He is the standard of all beauty. To deny my beauty would be to call my creator a liar. And, God cannot lie. This does not mean that I always feel beautiful, but it does mean that by His standards, I know my beauty. Feelings and knowings may not always be the same.

What is your favorite NON physical feature about yourself? (After all, beauty is a light in the heart!) 

I love sincerity and honesty wrapped in a nice package of grace and mercy.  Those are traits of one of my greatest attributes. I am very loyal and long suffering and I can be a good friend.

What words of wisdom, based on your personal experience, would you like to share with others who struggle to see their own beauty? 

Beauty starts in the heart. It is found in reflecting on God’s love for you and realizing that you are created perfectly in His eyes. The real work comes in accepting yourself and realizing that perfect in His eyes does not mean flawless in the eyes of others or even yourself.

Why are beautiful photos important for you right now? 

Beautiful photos for me, at this time, serve as a doorway to the next phase of my life. I want a record of me standing at the doorway ready to embrace all that life has for me in this new phase called senior.

How does being the woman you are today make you uniquely powerful? 

I really believe the more life you have lived, the more powerful you are! The wisdom and insight gained during a lived life is totally immeasurable. Compassion for others comes from a life lived, both in the winning and losing seasons you have accomplished. When I look back over my life and reflect on the goodness of God, both in happy and sad times, that empowers me to embrace the future with confidence.

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