For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my
mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
- Psalm 139:13-14
When I was first asked to write about a God moment, I thought, “There have been so many. How will I choose?” But God pretty quickly honed in on what He wanted me to share. I will confess, opening up this part of my life is scary. It is something I’ve guarded closely for more than three decades. It goes straight to the heart of my identity, where I sought to find worth, and how He met me in the lies that had enslaved me for so long.
To say I was awkward as a teen is a gross understatement. Braces much longer than all of my friends, a back brace for scoliosis, and generally a lack of confidence in anything about myself left me searching for anything that would define me as worthy.
I distinctly remember at age 14, sitting in the cafeteria, looking around our lunch table and thinking I am not: the smartest, the prettiest, the most outgoing, the best liked, but... And here is where it begins. But I can be the skinniest.
This began a thirty-plus year journey of distorted body image. I was never quite brave enough to be full-blown anorexic or bulimic. But I was smart enough to control what I ate and when I ate it enough to control the number on the scale and keep myself wearing the badge (in my mind at least) of skinniest.
At 18 years of age, I was 5’7”, and 98 pounds. At 22, getting married, I weighed in at 104. But in my mind, I was anything but skinny. I could dissect my body and find faults abundant. I could look at any other woman, regardless of size, and find her more perfect and therefore more valuable.
I became a believer at around age 17. I had grown up in the church and had always believed, but it was in my teens that I called on the name of the Lord as my Savior.
However, I had some confused theology that left me questioning my salvation. So instead of surrendering this debilitating lie at His feet, I continued to allow it to hold me captive, dragging around a chain of lies about myself that grew heavier year by year.
It was shortly after I was married that my theological mistake was corrected. God began to slowly and gently work in me to mature me. Over the next two decades, I experienced an ebb and flow of struggles with my old friend “my distorted body.” I continued to dress in ways to camouflage and to closely guard this deeply kept secret.
So, to my God moment. I was preparing for a trip to Aruba to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I was once again fighting my old foe who was in fierce attack mode. To pack for any trip, I had to try on everything that I planned to take (I don’t know if you all do this, but I suspect you may). I was so discouraged that everything I tried on seemed to emphasize everything I wanted to hide about myself, everything I hated.
God and I had been talking about this A LOT lately. I broke down in my bathroom floor, crying out to Him, “Please let me see myself as you see me.” And I was not referring to my inside. I knew I was seeing a lie in the mirror before me but I could not seem to change what I saw. It was like looking at yourself in a funhouse mirror where one part of you stretches grotesquely thin and others become squat or misshapen.
I got up, stood before the mirror, and for the first time since I don’t know when, saw myself in realistic terms. God removed the scales that had covered my eyes. He reminded me that I was fearfully and wonderfully made, that He does not make mistakes, and that He did not make a mistake when He knit me together in my mother’s womb. He reminded me that I am His creation, made in His very image, and that He loved me and chose me and that this truth alone made me worthy. He reminded me that He made all things and He proclaimed them good. And He reminded me that that included me, inside and outside.
I would love to say that from then on I was no longer a slave to my scale. But like every prodigal, and we all are, I still struggled to break free of that chain. But what I found was from then on the chain broke free a little easier. Each time I laid that chain back down at Jesus’ feet, it held a few less links. I began losing weight. Not on my bathroom scale. But weight from the lies that debilitated me for years.
The past few years, I’ve gone through an amazing journey with God. He has brought me to an incredible place in my relationship with Him. And I am in a healthier place with myself than ever before. My goal is truly no longer to control a number on a scale, but to care for the physical body He has given so that I am able to follow His call on my life and serve Him. Perhaps sharing this will be the breaking of the remaining link in that chain. But if not... I will no longer bend a knee to that lie. I will trust in my Savior to go before me and listen to His voice above the lies.
Dear sisters, may I encourage you, whatever your “badge of worth” is, whatever it is that you seek to define yourself by, would you ask God to open your eyes today to any lie that might be hiding within it.
Would you ask Him help you to begin the journey of truly finding your worth in what He says about you. Because: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
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