For the past 26 years, I hated myself. I faithfully read scripture and devoted all my energy to loving God and others. But loving myself was a completely different story.
Although, as God has been refining and reshaping me from the inside out, I am beginning to see myself the way He sees me. And for the first time, I can genuinely say “I love me”.
As these words escaped from my mouth in counseling this past week, I couldn’t help but tear up realizing the journey it’s been to reach this conclusion. The abuse, bullying, eating disorder, anxiety, shackles of shame, medical complexities- Just a few of the many obstacles I have and continue to overcome.
I also see the humour in this truth’s timing.
For in the physical, worldly sense, I have never been more broken in my life.
I don’t have a job or bank account full of money.
I can’t walk or eat or see.
My organs are failing.
I don’t even have hair.
Still, I have never been more free.
I indeed recognize the scars and the baldness. The wheelchairs and medications.
Although, I am learning to look beyond to a story and God’s glory being magnified, even in suffering.
While it isn’t always easy and I am far from perfect, it is truly humbling.
I am beautiful.
Not because of a number on the scale or ability to run a 7 minute mile. Not because of make-up or fancy wardrobe. Not because of hair or pristine figure. Not because of a boyfriend or anyone telling me.
But because that is what God says of me.
He created me in HIS image (Genesis 1).
My body and its uniqueness is no accident. In Him, I am “wonderfully complex (Psalm 139)”.
And you know, I don’t have to waste another minute of my life or energy fighting for anyone else’ attention or approval.
God knows me and sees me. And HE is more than enough for me.
I share all not to boast or say “look at me”. Rather, my heart is to reach across the table or screen this very minute and grab your hand and invite you, too, into freedom because it really does change everything.
The beautiful thing is loving ourselves isn’t conditional or contigent on the physical state of our bodies. Instead, it pierces the core of our being and challenges us to begin rooting out the lies from the world and the enemy, so we can make room for the TRUTH of who God says we are.
While I wish we could merely snap our fingers or check a few boxes to make the self contempt vanish overnight. I can personally testify that there is purpose in the process.
We can trust the one who designed us to bring this reality to fruition in HIS timing.
So, don’t give in to the enemy’s attempt to make you skip on through or focus on a friend or relative this may apply to “better”.
Dear one, it is no accident the out of all reading this, it is YOU.
Therefore, may we press in, to even the broken and messiness. For I promise with God and His truth and grace each step of the way, you too can learn to love yourself which will not only be a gift to you, but to all those around you.
Much love and prayers always, Alisha