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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Learning to Love Myself

I stood in front of the mirror and smiled.

It was the first time in my life this had ever happened.

I turned to the left and then to the right. I even did a 360 degree turn just to see the whole picture for myself.

I smiled.

I couldn’t believe it.

For the first time in my life I was wearing “skinny girl” clothes. And, boy was I proud!

I paraded myself in front of that mirror. Walking closer and then backing up in order to get a glimpse from different angles.

I smiled some more.

Yes … I smiled on the outside, but on the inside my heart was full of uncertainties- would this be enough? Would he like me now? Will he ever truly love me?

Yes … My outside was lookin’ pretty darn good, but my heart was twisted in knots.

My thoughts going into this whole “diet” thing were that if I just shed a few pounds everything would be all better. He would like me. Maybe even love me. And, I would like myself too.

He had said it to me on more than one occasion, “You have a beautiful face, but you really could stand to lose a few pounds. Really, it would make you look a whole lot better.”

I took his words to heart, the guy who I thought hung the moon, and began doing all I could to lose those “few” pounds that I thought would make him like me more.

I dieted. I ran like crazy. I took diet pills. I went days without eating. I lost weight. Over 60 lbs. to be exact. People oohed and aahed. I bought clothes in sizes I never dreamed I could wear. I was proud. But, he wasn’t.

I’ll never forget that day. He stood in front of me after greeting less of me with a hug and said, “Wow, you sure have lost a lot of weight. You look like you’re sick.”

I stared at him, absolutely dumbfounded. “Sick!?! SICK!?! I did all of this for you. You said I needed to lose weight. You said I would look better if I lost a few pounds. And now that I have, you think I look SICK?” I said in response, tears streaming down my face almost unable to breathe.

I turned around and ran back to my dorm room. My heart was shattered into a million pieces. I had done what he wanted and once again, it wasn’t enough. I cried myself to sleep that night and many nights after. I don’t think I will ever forget the conversation I had with this guy whom I believed would make all my dreams come true. He wounded me. And, it was a DEEP wound.

Years have come and gone. Yes, the scar is still there, but the wound from that day has been long healed. I have been healed by Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals. He took my broken, battered heart and put it back together one piece at a time.

“For I am the LORD who heals you.” Exodus 15:26a, NKJV

Not only has God healed my heart but He’s also taught me that I’m not defined by what others think I should look like. My self worth is not based on their opinions. Who I am, who He created me to be, is what’s important.

I’ve learned that in Him I am loved unconditionally. God’s love for me is great! It doesn’t matter if I’m a size 4 or 14; He loves me and accepts me, period (Ephesians 2:4)!

I’ve learned that I don’t need a guy to make me happy or to complete me. God is the One in whom I find completion and everything I need (Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10).

I’ve learned that God chose me to be His bride and that guy who didn’t sure has missed out (1 Peter 2:9).

I’ve learned that He thinks I’m beautiful, face and all (Psalm 45:11).

I’ve learned that it was El Elyon, the God Most High; He hung the moon and not the other guy (Genesis 1:16).

And, I’ve learned to love myself and others and to forgive all men because God forgave me, saved me, and restored me unto Himself (Colossians 3:13; 1 John 4:11).

Jenifer welcomes you to visit her at By His Grace Ministry.

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