I never understood why fellow Christians wanted me to hide my heart in the Word alone. However, over the years, not hiding my heart in the Word is what led to the downfall in my identity.
Ever since I was in high school, my peers told me that I was "too thin.” So, to fit in with the perfect image of beauty of society, I started eating a lot of foods that would help me gain weight. However, it didn't work. My body wouldn't gain weight because of my high metabolism. That's how God made me, so I should be okay with that. Right? I wish I could tell you that was the end, but it wasn't okay at all because my peers weren't okay with it.
As time went on, college approached and I saw girls with perfectly slim waists, skinny thighs, perfect hair, and all the trendy clothing. I didn't fit in, nor did I have the money to spend on fitting in. Nevertheless, I had a goal in mind. That goal was that when I got to the place I wanted to be, I'd be beautiful, I'd be worthy, I'd be successful, I'd be okay. On the contrast, that didn't fail to disappoint me. It was never enough. My pursuit of the goal never ended because there was always a "next" on the latest fashion and trends and way society defines beauty. That mindset led me into an even darker hole than I could've imagined.
My whole life, I felt acceptance the most when I received it from others. Someone would comment on a picture of me and tell me I was pretty and that they loved that dress I was wearing. But, with that satisfaction, I always had to keep appearances up and make sure the next image of me was even better. One couldn't have any flaw. It was EXHAUSTING. There was no peace within this mindset.
My acceptance from my appearance was never just because I was God’s beloved daughter.
That alone should be enough. But it wasn't for a long time.
Starting my junior year in college, I began to struggle with an eating disorder. First it started with anorexia, then led to bulimia. Never in my life would I have thought this would happen to me. But it did. I started out as 110 pounds and ended up at 80 pounds with my height at 5’6” in a few short months. You could say I was society's definition of beautiful at that point. But what those around me didn't see were the bruises I had to cover up all over my body that I received from not getting the nutrients my body needed. I slept through most every day because of lack of energy, I was moody, and I was unpleasant. I even lost my social and bubbly personality. I felt awful, but I looked beautiful according to society, so I put a smile on anyway. To everyone else, I looked the same as I did freshman and sophomore year....only I knew the difference and what was going on within my own heart and body. The rider knows the difference.
I had an amazing support group standing beside me to help me start recovery and during this, I realized that the definition of beauty is a heart problem and not a scale problem.
When I accepted the truth that I am a beloved daughter of God and no weapon formed against me shall prosper, that was ENOUGH. No more trying to find my identity in society's definition of beauty because, even though I don't have everything and I don't know everything, I know one thing, and that is the truth. This truth is what set me apart and set me free from the world's expectations and standards. It was and it is my weapon to fight the evil of this world that tries to trick me into believing I am less than.
The truth of God’s Word helps you and me fight the urge to fit into the world and helps us believe who God originally created us to be.
One of my best friends came up to me a couple months ago and said directly to me, "Sabrina, you seem so happy and free.” And in that moment, I knew she was right. I am happy, and I am free. Not because of the compliments I receive or the clothes I wear or the achievements I accomplish. It's because I have hidden my heart in the center of God's Word and am letting His truth overcome my everyday insecurities.