While growing up I was poor, dysfunctional and very chubby! This awareness did not come to me until I entered first grade. Even at age six, it did not take long to figure out others did not want to be around me so much. It did not take long to figure out that I did not have clothes and shoes as good as the majority of kids in my school. I learned first-hand the pain of feeling less than because I overweight. Often I was the subject of many jokes especially from guys.
I was embarrassed at who I was and wanted to be anyone but me. That thought process followed me around into high school, college and even into my married life and pastoral ministry. I spent a good bit of time and energy trying to hide all my flaws and inadequacies, and over time it wore me out! It stole any joy that I tried to have It ripped away my confidence that God actually wanted to use me. I would compare myself to other pastors’ wives, speakers and leaders, and always came up short. For years I never did anything in the church and hated going to social gatherings. In my mind I was neither gifted nor a sought-after friend.
One day the light bulb came on for me. If I was going to overcome this negative disposition, I had to believe what God said about me. What did His Word declare about my life? The following verses are just a few that revealed how God felt about me.
I knew you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart for me before you were born. Jeremiah 1:5
- I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
- For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10
- God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6
As I began to repeat and proclaim those verses, I realized that God did not ask me to be anyone but me transformed by His Spirit. BUT, that must be accepted by faith. (But the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Hebrews 4:2) I must choose to believe that God is, that He made me and that He truly accepts me. That can only be done through faith. If you try to reason it out, you will not be able to accept it. Faith must be mixed with the Word! That which we receive from God is received by faith in God and His Word.
My heart is pained as I see how many people, women in particular, are losing the image of who they are in Christ. As we walk down the toy aisle and see the skinny dolls, or as we stand in line at the checkout and see the airbrushed picture of a “star”, it is easy to feel inferior. Or, if we see that gifted woman, who seems to have it together at home, church and work, it is so easy to sink emotionally when we look at ourselves.
As Christian women we answer to a higher calling than trivial pictures on a magazine. We look to the Lord for our worth, and our acceptance. Here’s the great news: God loves us. He adores us! He created us to be wonderful, different, and nothing like the world’s call to be skinny and perfect. God calls us to be His sons and daughters. The Almighty God loves us – loves you – just the way you are. And you are beautiful to Him!
So today, why not stop and thank God for you!