"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:4
Guest Post from Hannah at Curvy Christianity.
This morning I woke up, shuffled lazily to my closet, and groaned in dismay as I tried to find something to wear. I tried on outfit after outfit, many of which I had felt great in before, but ended up throwing everything I tried on off me in a huff of despair. I finally landed on something that I didn’t completely hate and walked out the door in a bad mood - all because I felt the opposite of beautiful.
Sound relatable? Did you think that you are the only one who struggles to find joy in yourself? Friend, let me tell you, you are not alone. I wrestled with body issues for years, but I kept it close to my chest. We live in a world that tells us that we have to have it all together. We are supposed to take selfies and share them with the world, we are supposed to look great for our 8am college classes, and we are supposed to be strong women who radiate confidence.
Because of the societal pressures, we tend to keep to ourselves about our insecurities, which causes feelings of loneliness and heartache. I’m here to encourage you and tell you that you don’t have to live like that. There is such freedom in sharing your vulnerabilities!
One day I decided that I didn’t want to hide anymore. I decided that I wanted other women to know that they were not alone in their struggles and that we can share in the ups and downs together. So, I took to Facebook and wrote up a long post, pouring out my heart alongside two photos of myself. One photo showed my 18-year-old, thin and trim frame, and the other displayed my current, less than trim build.
The response was overwhelming! So many women began opening up about their struggles, and some even shared how the post gave them the bravery to speak out themselves! It was truly beautiful to see what kind of community and vulnerability sharing my heart had created.
I felt free.
Something about simply opening up and sharing the different ways that I have struggled with feeling beautiful and comfortable in my own skin gave me sweet sweet freedom. There is something so beautiful and wonderful in choosing not to live in secret shame.
It is certainly not God’s plan for us to live in secret shame and agony. The Bible is full of verses about encouraging and lifting each other up (Hebrews 10:24-25, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Galatians 6:2, Matthew 18:20, just to name a few).
It is literally God’s plan for us to be in community with other believers, so it is no wonder, that when we are in God’s plan, healing takes place!
God loves you, He loves your flaws and what the world would consider “imperfections”.
Whatever it is that you feel is wrong with you, too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, whatever, God wants you to know that you are His creation, and nothing that He creates is anything less than perfect.
You don’t have to share some long vulnerable post to facebook to experience freedom, I realize this may be a huge and intimidating step for many! Start small, but start sharing. Write your honest thoughts or feelings in a journal, share with your husband, or a sweet trusted friend.
Once you begin to open up and share, others will follow, and you will find that you are not alone in your heartache towards yourself. Share with God, and allow Him to speak to those dark places of your aching heart, allowing Him to speak His love over you, and I promise it will be transformational.
About the Author: Hannah is the creator of CurvyChristianity.com. She is passionate about helping women develop a Godly body-positive attitude about themselves, which is a journey that she is also currently on herself. She is deeply in love with her Creator, and also her husband, the handsome youth pastor. They live in Connecticut where she helps her husband in his youth ministry, while also working as a nanny. Hannah can be a bit obsessive, especially when it comes to Christmas decorations, diet coke, and Star Wars. She and her husband are also a little too obsessed with their kitty, Cleocatra.