Beautiful because I'm His

When I was an infant, my mother died and my father was absent for the majority of my life. I grew up with my grandma, whom I love dearly, but she drank. When she drank, she had the habit of telling me I wasn't good enough and pointing out my flaws. As I grew up thoughts of worthlessness sprouted in my heart and head. My young mind attributed my parents absence and my grandmas words to something that I had done, or rather who I was. If I was different, then my mom would still be alive or my dad would be around. And I began a search to find someone who would stay, someone who would say that I mattered and that I wasn't worthless.

I found that in seeking after relationships. My first boyfriend cheated on me which continued to feed these thoughts of worthlessness. I started going to church shortly after that. But I wasn't looking to Jesus for these issues, I was looking for "good boys" who wouldn't hurt me because they went to church. Obviously, that wasn't a the best thing to be doing and time and time again I faced rejection and the ending of relationships and each and every time I attributed it to me. Something must be wrong with me. I started regurgitating the things I had heard from my grandma as long as I could remember: I'm not pretty enough. I weigh to much. I'm going to turn out just like my mom. She didn't like me, so who else would?

After I graduated High School, I got into a relationship with a guy who I was crazy about. I gave myself and my heart to him entirely. Looking back, I can say it was such an unhealthy relationship but all I wanted was to be loved so I overlooked it all because I loved him. After about a year and half, we parted ways for good and I was broken. I got lost in a world I never wanted to be in: boys, parties, using my body to get what I wanted, alcohol, eventually some drugs, sleeping all day, staying out all night. I got fired from my job. I dropped out of school. I was succumbing to who I thought I was: worth nothing.

Through a lot of circumstances that I don't have time to go into, the Lord brought me to the end. He pulled me out of the gutter, washed me, cleansed me and made me new. That was in the beginning of 2009. I was 20 years old.

I wish that at that moment that all those thoughts stopped, but they didn't. These lies were so ingrained in me that it wasn't until my birthday last year, when I turned 25, when a woman I love called me out. She told me that I was beautiful, and I shrugged it off. She looked me right in the eyes in that moment and told me, "You know, I could tell you repetitively that you are beautiful, but you don't believe me." That stuck with me because it was true. I didn't. Although my relationship with my grandma had gotten drastically better, the words she spoke were still haunting me and I still believed them.

The past 10 months since that conversation have been life changing in more ways than one. A lot of it, though, can be summed in this: I am not my body.

Who I am as a person is not affected by how much I weigh or don't weigh, what I look like or what I don't look like, what size clothes I wear, what guys like me or find me attractive.

I am a soul that was created, intimately and delicately my the hand of my Father. Every speck of personality was directly given to me by Him for His purposes. My heart and desires are His in me. I don't have to look a certain way, act a certain way, talk a certain way, behave a certain way to find worth. I am worth something because I was created by God. I am worth something because I am a child of God.  I am worth something because my Savior went to the cross for me.

Circumstances don't define what you are worth, other people's sin doesn't define your worth.

Learning this has been the most freeing thing.

I pray that if anyone who is reading this is struggling in this area now, that you would allow God to show you how much you are worth to Him, how much you matter to Him, that you are beautiful because you are His.

"Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I bestowed on you," says the Lord." - Ezekiel 16:14

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