When Beauty is a Beast.
Posted by Joy Cannis
Some days, when standing before my reflection, stripped of everything…motives, guilt, expectations, past images…I can honestly look at my body and speak the words of Psalm 139.
I do well most of the time, but when the body image monster sneaks up on me, it does so with a vengeance. I go from being comfortable in my skin to feeling like the reflection in a fun-house mirror. I wonder whose body I’m trapped in and when the merger occurred. I see my curves as too curvy. My hair appears dull. My laugh lines are deep and obvious. My image is distorted.
It’s no secret that my relationship with food and exercise is less than ideal.
On the days when I’m not appreciating my laugh lines, the curve of my hips or the scar on my belly (that provided a safe delivery for our son) I remember the verse that I have given out to so many women and girls. “I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation!” Psalm 139:14
And then, I think of the girls who have entrusted me with their story. The ones who have cut marks
into their skin with razors, stuck their finger down their throat to purge the pain, starved their body in hopes of starving the monster within and numbed loneliness with substances. The ones who count on me to speak wisdom from my life experiences into their heart and mind. I think of their faces and their fragile image of self. The fact that I have been chosen to speak truth about their incredible worth is confirmation that I cannot go down the road of ego induced thinking. I have to continually humble myself before the Father and ask Him to speak what is true directly into my spirit.
I am not the crease in my brow or the lines encompassing my eyes. I am not the stomach lacking definition or the thighs that will never fit into a size 4 again. I am not the arms that hide from sleeveless shirts or the chest that is, at times, less than manageable. I am not the chin that is no longer well-defined or the insipid, brown hair on my head. The fact that more things jiggle when I walk than I would like, does not decrease my value or deflect me from my purpose. All of these things make up my physique, but they no longer define me.
I have to be vulnerable and honest about the fact that I still struggle. What better way for the evil one to derail our ability to positively influence others than by attacking our self worth? We need to know that we’re not alone in the struggle. We need to remind each other of the truth that never changes, “My Creator knows me and He calls me by name.”
I am a child of God. Made in His image. Created with great purpose and craftsmanship. I am His masterpiece. Dearly beloved. Beautiful in His sight. Purchased with His blood. Worth dying for.
And darling, so are you.
Beautifully said Joy!
When we receive a gift we may acknowledge that the gift is wrapped nicely and looks good but what is of most important is what is inside. It is what we cherish, what we really want, it’s what is of most worth. Once we see that we hardly think of the wrapping anymore. Those that I love the gift they give is who they are not the wrapping they are in.
I know you are a great gift to those who know you and those that love you.
Yes, yes, yes! I wrote about body issues earlier this week, too. We are not the sum of our insecurities. Love this!
Thank you so much for your comments. It is always a great encouragement to know that my struggles, experience and hope resonate with others and spread hope.
Blessings to you all!