An amaz­ing en­counter opened Chloe’s eyes to the true mean­ing of beauty!

Af­ter be­ing bul­lied and mocked by her peers for hav­ing a club­foot, Chloe Howard plunged into a world of shame . . . un­til an amaz­ing en­counter opened her eyes to how she could make a dif­fer­ence

Woman's World - - Start your week with a smile! -

“When you live with an open heart, un­ex­pected, joy­ful things ” hap­pen. OPRAH WINFREY

Hope blos­somed in­side 14-year-old Chloe Howard’s heart as a group of fresh­man girls beck­oned her to join their lunch ta­ble. But as she sat down, one of the girls blurted, “Chloe, take off your shoe.” “What?” Chloe’s voice snagged. “Take off your shoe,” the girl re­peated, turn­ing to the gig­gling on­look­ers. In a blur, a few girls held her arms as an­other snatched off her left shoe and sock ex­pos­ing Chloe’s foot cov­ered in scars, with five tiny toes… four of which had no toe­nails. Chloe had al­ways seen her foot as spe­cial— as proof of all that she’d over­come.

But as the girls gaped in shock, Chloe’s eyes burned with tears of hu­mil­i­a­tion, hurt . . . and shame.

Uniquely per­fect

When Chloe was born, her par­ents had known their beau­ti­ful baby girl would have to be a fighter. Doc­tors had ex­plained that Chloe has a con­gen­i­tal de­for­mity called club­foot, where her left foot was up­side down and ro­tated back­wards. By the age of 14, Chloe had en­dured five ma­jor op­er­a­tions that helped her walk, but re­sulted in se­vere scar­ring.

“Just re­mem­ber your foot is beau­ti­ful,” Chloe’s mother would al­ways tell her. “God made you this way for a rea­son.”

“My foot is my su­per­power!” Chloe would chime back. But those words had dis­in­te­grated that Novem­ber day of 2014. “It’s okay to trans­fer schools,” her dad said, see­ing Chloe grow­ing sad and iso­lated. No, I won’t run away, she thought. I have to prove to my­self that I’m strong. In the com­ing months, with the lov­ing sup­port of her fam­ily and her church youth group, Chloe fought to re­gain her self-es­teem. One night, she wrote the word beau­ti­ful across a jagged scar on her foot. Every­one is flawed in some way, but it’s our flaws that make us beau­ti­ful, she thought as she looked at the word. I want oth­ers to know this . . . but how? To lift her spir­its, Chloe’s fa­ther en­tered her in a con­test to see her fa­vorite band, U2, in con­cert. She was ec­static when she won— and even got to meet the band’s lead singer, Bono. Back­stage, her dad in­tro­duced Chloe to Bono, say­ing she had an amaz­ing story to tell. Lean­ing on crutches due to an­other re­cent surgery, Chloe mus­tered the courage to share about her club­foot, the bul­ly­ing, and how his sin­gle “In­vis­i­ble,” in­spires her to speak out. “When your words are right, true and good, your voice is like a punch,” Bono replied. “Not a phys­i­cal punch, but a ver­bal punch sup­ported by the voices of many.” In that mo­ment, some­thing stirred deep in­side Chloe. This is why God made me this

Love is the an­swer

De­ter­mined for her voice to make a dif­fer­ence, Chloe founded the Stand Beau­ti­ful move­ment to in­spire kids to love them­selves just the way they are, and she be­gan to speak about bul­ly­ing and the power of self-ac­cep­tance at schools. Her mes­sage be­came such a pow­er­ful “punch,” she was asked to join forces with Cure.org, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­vid­ing med­i­cal and emo­tional sup­port to chil­dren with con­gen­i­tal de­for­mi­ties.

“When you said every­one has some form of bro­ken­ness, it truly con­nected with me,” a teen told her through tears.

An­other stu­dent shared, “My friend was bul­lied and was sui­ci­dal, but af­ter you shared your story, she’s do­ing so much bet­ter.”

Chloe even helped one wo­man fi­nally make peace with the bul­ly­ing she’d en­dured as a girl more than 30 years ear­lier.

To­day, 18-year-old Chloe, con­tin­ues to share her mes­sage of ac­cep­tance and has writ­ten the new book, Stand Beau­ti­ful. “God makes us each beau­ti­ful in our own way,” Chloe smiles. “By first lov­ing our­selves, we can bet­ter love oth­ers . . . and by lov­ing oth­ers we can bet­ter love our­selves. I in­vite every­one to stand beau­ti­ful with me!”

— Diane Ni­chols way, she re­al­ized. This is why I went through the pain— so I can help oth­ers see their beauty!

“We were all cre­ated for a pur­pose, and your voice can change the world,” says Chloe, in­set below, shar­ing her mes­sage.

Chloe with her dad and Bono, right.

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