You…yes you…are beautiful.

She walks into the room. Thin and with a perfect figure. Her clothes coordinate and fit perfectly, and her shoes are so cute! Her personality is bubbly and when she enters, everyone is drawn to her. She makes her way around the room, effortlessly talking to those around her.

In one corner of the room, there I sat. I look down and tug at my shirt feeling more dowdy as time goes on. I wrap my arms around my waist in an effort to hide my fluffy postpartum middle and try to sit a little straighter, while I silently wish I was more out-going. Thinner. Prettier. (And where did she find those cute shoes?!) The more I dwelt on my “imperfections” compared to this “amazing” woman, the more sullen and withdrawn I became, until I didn’t feel like myself at all! I was so “ME” focused.
Does any of this sound familiar?

I often wonder why we as women compare ourselves with other women. Thus gauging our worth. To feel insecure because we don’t feel we measure up in some way, instead of finding our worth in the One who made us so wonderfully complex. (Psalm 139:14)
Who knew us before we were even born. (Psalm 139:16)
The One who has the hairs on our head numbered. (Matt 10:30)
Who loves us. Enough to die for us. (John 3:16)
Jesus.
Without Him, I will never be enough, because in Him I am so much more.

I dare to write, because I feel like I have learned to embrace these truths. I honestly don’t think I could have written this two months ago.
Do I still struggle when I see a woman who seems to be perfect? Sure! But I have learned to realize my worth is so much more IN Christ. He didn’t make me for the purpose of imitating another woman.
This quote says it well.

    God made you an original. Don’t die a copy.

So often I had challenged God for the way He made me.
Why didn’t I talk more?
Have the right words of wisdom to give someone who was struggling?
Why wasn’t I thinner?
More beautiful?
It must have hurt my Lord to hear me complain for the way He fashioned me.
I was so inwardly focused I wasn’t even close to becoming what I was meant to be in Him.
That is, till truth slammed me like a ton of bricks. And in the right way too.
Just a simple,

    “You are enough in Me. For without Me, you can do nothing.”

I love this by Holley Gerth, in her book ‘You’re Already Amazing‘ She writes;

    I think the enemy tricks us into believing we are not enough because he knows if we discover the truth, we’ll be unstoppable.
    If you’ve embraced that lie like I did, then together we can start trading it for the truth. We are chosen, cherished, created women who have all we need to fulfill God’s plan for our lives. he has made us just as He wants us to be. We have something to offer no one else can bring.

To grasp this ladies.
The truth.
That we are His. Beautifully made. Loved with an everlasting love. Chosen by Him for good works. We will become unstoppable, and the devil is defeated. We don’t have to hide in the corner of our own insecurities and fear. We don’t have to doubt His design for us. There is so much more to life than that.

Dare to believe you are beautiful. Because you are. I believe you are and so does the One who made you.

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Broken, but beautiful?

I pushed my bowl of cereal away. It wasn’t even a 1/4 cup. And without any milk.
“I hate myself.”
“I’m so ugly.”
“Why was I even born?”
My mind screamed a horde of accusing thoughts.
Anorexia.
I had been diagnosed over a year earlier.
For as long as I can remember, I never thought I was beautiful.
Thoughts like, “You’re not pretty enough.” “You’re not outgoing enough.” “Why are you not more like so-and-so?” Would be the constant commentary running through my head.
Depressed.
Alone.
I spent most days in bed. Crying. Refusing to talk. To eat.
Doctor and hospital trips were becoming the norm.
The words from the doctor, “You are not able to drive anymore.”
Anger.
Resentment.
60 lbs lost, yet still when I looked in the mirror I cried.

But today?
I’m free.
Gloriously free.
Yes, my God is a God of miracles.

It happened one day. Lying in bed. Tired and weak.
My Dad walked in, placed his hands on my head and prayed.
I don’t remember his exact words, but instantly something in me snapped. I felt it. Was it hope? Freedom?
I went and drank a cup of skim milk.
And that was the beginning.

Sometimes the drive to be someone you aren’t created to be, leaves you broken inside. Hurting.
So you try harder. That voice whispers so taunting, “You’ll never be enough.”
You’re not thin enough.
You’re not outgoing enough.
And sadly, most of us believe the lies.
I did.
It controlled me.
My insecurities revealed themselves through my anorexia. But a lot of you hide it well. Trying. Yet failing.

I’ve been free from anorexia for almost nine years now.
When I wrote that down it shocked me. Nine years!
I am married to a beautiful man. He goes by the name, JR. He pastor’s a small church in town and is in love with God.
We have the privilege of being parents to our four-year-old son, Bradley.
God has blessed me. Blessed us.

It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago, after still struggling through years of insecurities, I realized. I am enough! In HIM.
What took me so long to grasp this? Why all those wasted years of trying to be someone I wasn’t created to be? Why did I not realize sooner He created me because He has a plan for me. A plan no one else can fulfill.
And I weep.
Revel in His love.
And He whispers, “My daughter, I love you. You are enough for me.”
I still have a long way to go. Still learning. Failing, yet striving.

Yes, out of brokenness comes beauty.