Did you read my post on Saturday? It was happy, excited, hopeful.
What changed between Saturday night and Sunday morning? Nothing physical, but everything spiritually, psychologically and emotionally.
I did something I said I wouldn’t do. I stepped on my scale again and saw no change. I would have measured every area of my body to see if maybe I had lost inches, trading fat for muscle, but have no measuring tape. So instead I took progress pictures. Wearing nothing but little booty shorts and a sports bra I stood infront of my bathroom mirror and took pictures of every angle. I then lined those pictures up to my last “progress” pics and stared in horror as I saw. . . no change. I quickly grabbed my phone and opened my calendar. 7 weeks?! It had been 7 weeks between those photos and I had lost no weight on my scale and saw no change in my photos.
That was it. Literally nothing. But my entire person instantly shattered. I don’t know if you reading this believe in the epic battle between Christ my Lord and the dark Prince of this world, but I do. And the moment I stepped on my scale, Satan found his foothold.
Instantly I hated myself. I was fat. I was ugly. I was a failure. I was a fraud. I had nothing to offer this world. I hid in the shower and cried. And cried, and mentally abused myself, and cried. An image I had seen on FB Saturday afternoon came to mind.
This was exactly me. In that moment I was a little girl again. Hating my body. Desperately wishing I was capable of cutting away my excess belly skin. This is a powerful image is it not? Please take a moment to just let this image roll around your brain. It is a depressing and hopeless place to wallow.
This is my heartbreaking reality. I am that little girl.
BUT I AM NOT THAT LITTLE GIRL.
I was able to quote some scripture while in the shower. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 It didn’t help.
I told myself that my body has NOTHING to do with my value. That my husband LOVES this body, exactly as it is. Just the other night I told him to not touch my belly, and he grabbed a big roll instead; he proceeded to make love to me the way all men should make love to their wives. Even that was not enough to change my headspace.
So then I started repeating what I am.
First and foremost,
I am the DAUGHTER OF A KING.
He desired me, me exactly who I am so much that he says to me “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart….” Jeremiah 1:5
I am a daughter. A grand daughter. A great grand daughter. A sister. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a friend.
I got out of the shower and texted a very dear friend. I told her I was struggling. That I needed prayer. She responded “That would feel very defeating, and feeling how you are I think is very understandable and ok! Just let yourself and don’t judge or shame just sit in it, and God will speak into your heart what he needs you to hear. I love you and I think your doing amazing, Satan knows that to, and this is him trying to stop you from changing and growing. I will be praying friend, I love you!” Thank you friend. I decided to just sit in what I was feeling, and expect to hear from God.
And oh did I hear from God!!!
In no audible voice, merely thoughts upon waves of thoughts. Ideas and understandings.
I started to do what I often do when I am feeling disappointed with my appearance. I chose what clothes I would wear to church, I put on a full face of great makeup. And I made myself look as best I could on the outside. After changing my outward appearance, I immediately realized that this was my full body mask. This was me making the problem worse. My problem was with my outside body, but it came from inside. The realization of what I had done came too late to change before leaving for church. But God spoke to me in church.
The sermon today was in Acts. And although it was not speaking exactly to my situation, the message was absolutely applicable. A few words came up on the screen. I kicked myself for forgetting my phone at home, I needed to remember these words! They are not Scripture, but they are TRUTH. So I repeated it multiple times in my head in hopes that I would remember. “Nothing smothers and quenches the Holy Spirit more than hypocrisy and pretense.” I had dressed myself in hypocrisy, my smiling face and answers of “I’m fine” were pretense.
I was in church! Wasn’t this the place where we as Christians are supposed to come for fellowship? Community? Knowledge both spiritual and mental? And yet I was smothering the Holy Spirit by hiding the turmoil my very soul was experiencing that morning.
But the Holy Spirits words whispered louder in my ears than the devil had yelled at me that morning. You are mine. You are loved. You have value because you ARE. We worshiped to a song with lyrics about living in His deep love, and I was! I was deeply immersed in his ocean of love. Though the waters above we’re high and stormy, I was being rocked by his never ceasing all encompassing love.
And so, I am beginning a new challenge today. For 30 days I am giving Satan a great big “up yours!” and stripping away ALL forms of outward beauty. No more succumbing to pressures from social media, Hollywood, fashion magazines, or the Joneses. For the next 30 days I will put absolutely zero thought towards my outer appearance. I will wear no makeup. I will wear no brand names. I will not do my hair. I will wear plain white t-shirts, one pair of my old and baggy in the butt maternity jeans, one black pair of no name tights and one grey, and one grey no name sweater. This will mean more laundry as I have two young kids and seem to get spit up on, or grease stains, or food spatters on my apparel every day.
Now I want to make this clear. I LOVE makeup. I enjoy dressing in flattering, stylish clothing. I am in no way saying any of these things are negative, or should be shunned by anyone other than myself right now. In fact, I think God created us women to be beautiful and to thrive among beautiful things (art, nature, fashion, music etc.) but obviously my head is not in a healthy place. So this is strictly between me, Satan, and God.
What I WILL be doing in the next thirty days is posting a picture a day of myself, or something I have done or experienced that expresses either something about myself that I love (that has nothing to do with my outword appearance), or a gift/experience that God has blessed me with that shows my worth as his beloved child.
This blog post is absolutely NOT about getting views, shares, likes or comments.
Instead of you who are reading this doing any of those things, I would like to ask you to join me in this process of discovering and embracing your self worth. I want no comments that have anything to do with me. I want no likes. What I want, is for you to share a picture of yourself, if you’re able to in the moment you are reading this, and comment on where you find your value! Tell me something you LOVE about yourself! Tell me a skill God has blessed you with! I have decided to create a fb page in affiliation with this blog where I will be posting my 30 photos every day (so that I’m not blogging every day) and asking you to share yours! I started this blog “morethantheskinnyfriend” as a written account of my year long journey making healthier decisions. Although up until now it has been mostly about my nutrition and fitness, I am taking it in a new direction for the next 30 days. Please join me in learning to love yourselves no matter what your thoughts or feelings of your physical appearance may be. You can find the new fb page here.
I am stripping down, in order to let my real self take the spot light for a while. When you next see me, I want you to see a woman confident enough in herself to go without makeup or clothing to hide behind. A woman who knows she is deeply loved, and incredibly valuable.
Let’s be a community of people who see each other for who we REALLY are, not just the fiftieth photo we actually like enough to share!!