I just looked at the clock and it is after 2 A.M. and I am wide-awake. I’m not sure if you have ever had those moments when you feel like God is just trying to speak to you or wants you to do something so you can’t sleep until you do it. Well tonight seems to be one of those nights. Being new to this amazing panel of writers on Self Talk Gospel, I have been debating on how much to share or how personal to get but again, when you feel God tugging at your heart to do something, you need to do it.
I’m not sure if you have ever had those moments when you feel like God is just trying to speak to you or wants you to do something so you can’t sleep until you do it. Well tonight seems to be one of those nights.
I have struggled with what I call a “disfigured” self-image for as long as I can remember. I fell into the trap of trying every single thing that promised a quick way to lose weight or get the body I always wanted. But instead of rapid results and the ripped body that was promised, all I was left with were horrible eating habits, a flawed idea of nutrition, and guilt that washed over me every time I put food into my mouth. Not only did my body have no idea what it was like to eat “normally” because I had put it through the ringer of fad diets and quick weight loss programs, but I felt like I was internally carrying just as much emotional weight as I was putting it on externally.
Thinking about my weight and body had become so consuming that I couldn’t think about anything else. When I walked into a room, my mind would immediately think that people were judging me and looking at me because of how I looked. This became so crippling that I would not go to events or see people because I felt utter shame. Unlike most other struggles, mine was right there for the entire world to see. I tried to cover it up with the newest fashion trends or cutest hairstyles, and fix it by believing that the infomercial about the newest diet would fix everything. This only pushed me into deeper and deeper shame because every time the diet didn’t work it just became another notch on my belt of failure.
Finally one day as I was looking disgustingly in the mirror with tears running down my cheeks, I recognized that all I was doing was trying to find the quickest way to fix the outside when in reality, it was the inside that needed fixing the most. At that moment, I realized that I couldn’t hide anymore and I had to be honest. Honest about the cage that I had been living in for so long; the cage of a disfigured self-image. I had been looking at myself through the lens of the world, a world of fakeness, airbrushing and impossibility. The lens that told me I would never be pretty enough, good enough, or skinny enough and it was time that lens was changed. It had to be changed from looking at myself through the world’s eyes and start seeing myself through the eyes of Christ who says that I am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made (Ps. 139:14).
When the number on the scale or the image in the mirror staring back at us becomes an idol in our lives, we need to re-evaluate our mindset.
I have come to understand that no matter what size, shape, or number on the back of your clothing tag, we all struggle with a disfigured self-image in some way or another. All of us at one point in our lives, perhaps even some of you today, have looked in the mirror and asked God to change something about the way we look. There have been many nights that I laid in bed and prayed that God would do a miracle in me and that I would wake up thin (yes I know how selfish that sounds!), but what I am coming to appreciate is that the miracle isn’t in the quick fix, but in the journey that God has taken me on. Please know that I am not saying that we don’t need to take care of our bodies because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16), but when the number on the scale or the image in the mirror staring back at us becomes an idol in our lives, we need to re-evaluate our mindset. It’s only when we stop telling ourselves that we need to look exactly like what we see in the media, or define ourselves by the number plastered on the scale and start believing that the God Most High beautifully created us, that we find true freedom. Freedom from unrealistic self-expectations, worldly lies, personal guilt, but most importantly the freedom to be who God has created us to be, women that love God deeply because we have been fearfully and wonderfully made.
Ladies, do you truly believe that? Do you believe that God made you with His own hands? I know that I may still struggle with a disfigured self-image but knowing and BELIEVING what God’s Word says about me is true, helps me to daily battle those internal voices that tell me I am no good. I pray that you find the freedom through Christ and in the Word to see yourselves as God sees you, His beautiful daughter, made to be His hands and feet to this world.
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