I know you probably hear these words all of the time: Love yourself, you are beautiful, you are worth it, beauty is within, etc. And it’s easy to say those things to ourselves and feel good for the moment. But as soon as we turn on the television, log onto our instagram, or open up a magazine, there are a million reasons being thrown at us as to why we are not good enough (or so we let ourselves believe). From implants, to contour kits, to photoshop…society is constantly creating what they think beauty should be, and we unfortunately, believe it. As women, we want to be beautiful and we want to feel beautiful. Society makes it so difficult for us to believe that we are truly diamonds, and we battle that every day.
I want to be transparent with you for a moment to give you a brief background of why insecurity had become one of my biggest struggles before Jesus saved me from it. We all get insecure from time to time about little things, but insecurity had become such a dark cloud over my head growing up that it started ruining my relationships, hindering my work, and really taking a toll on me mentally.
When I was younger, I was a bit chubby, had terrible eyebrows, hairy legs, and didn’t really bloom into my body until I was about 18 years old. I was picked on in elementary school until high school and they had me convinced that I wasn’t pretty! I dealt with this up until high school, and I never felt pretty because of it. I started wearing makeup when I was about 13 and couldn’t go anywhere without it, to the point that I would wear waterproof eyeliner to the waterparks! I would suck my belly in as tight as I could and avoid sitting down in a bathing suit so my rolls wouldn’t show. I hated speaking in front of people because I didn’t want them looking directly at me and judging my every flaw. I was so convinced that I wasn’t good enough, that even while I was with my boyfriend (who is now my husband by the grace of God) between the ages of 18 and about 22 I was so sure he was cheating on me, I was so sure he didn’t really want to be with me and I was so sure he wished I looked a different way than I did. I would literally stay up at night creating stories in my head of what he was doing without me, what other women he was looking at and if there could have been something more going on besides him actually “studying”. Seriously! He could be just studying, and I was freaking out, for no reason! Talk about “coo coo for cocoa puffs!"
That man is and has always been so amazing to me. He had never given me reason to even think he was cheating on me or anything even close, but I created these thoughts in my head because I felt so unworthy of such an amazing man. I was so insecure that it almost ruined my relationship with him. Can you imagine what it is like to love someone so much and they don’t want to believe it? I’m sure that’s how God feels about a lot of His children. He loves us so much, and at times we are so difficult in receiving it. At one point it was so hard to give myself completely to Christ because I felt so condemned for my sins. I believed that I wasn’t good enough to receive the fullness of His kingdom. I believed that He couldn’t bring me to what His purpose was for me, I believed it was impossible for Him to transform and mold me into the woman He wanted me to be. Until He broke me…I actually started becoming convicted for how insecure I was. I would read scriptures like:
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18
I started praying intentionally about my insecurity. I would bind the devil, rebuke his stronghold, and declare that I was the head and not the tail. I was the first and not the last. I was worth the love God was offering me because I was His daughter. I was created in His image and nothing that He created was by accident or with flaws. I would wake up in the morning and tell myself I was worth it. I had to constantly remind myself that God loves me so much. I remember it so clearly the day that I felt the chains break… during a service in 2013. Our pastor was declaring strongholds to be broken, and insecurity was the first that he mentioned. The weight that lifted off of my shoulders was about 25 pounds for every year that I had struggled with it since elementary school. That is such an exaggerated weight in physical pounds, but that’s just the best way for me to paint that picture for you. The release was amazing, and I knew I would never be the same after that service.
Around this time, I had also been very into fitness. I started working out in 2012 because I was tired of being out of shape and weak all of the time. The process of weight loss and nutrition science also appealed to me, so I was interested in putting the stuff I read into practice. I started to fall in love with the process and the body’s ability to adapt to the changes I had made. I also loved it because the weights don’t judge you. When you are lifting, or out jogging, you are your own competition! There is no one else to compare yourself to when you are in the moment. It was the best thing I could have done for myself physically and mentally. When I lost the weight and decided to compete in a bodybuilding competition, I dedicated the journey to God and my push to no longer allow insecurity in my life. In a bodybuilding competition, you literally train to be judged in front of people; insecure people don’t do that! I trained and trained and trained, and the day came that I would get on stage and strut my stuff in front of 100 people and 5 judges at my first bikini bodybuilding competition. It was amazing!
That day I didn’t win anything. I didn’t even get top 3 in my category. I walked off the stage slightly disappointed, but then God reminded me of the original intention of my journey. And I cried. I cried because that insecure girl no longer existed. I cried because of how far God had brought me. I cried because I felt like a winner, a conqueror, and I felt accomplished. My trophy was God’s love for me. And I think that’s what I was missing for all of those years. I constantly tried to fill the gaps with things of the world, with people, and with material things. I was missing God the entire time. And now that I sit here reflecting on where He brought me from, it is so clear to me that it was Him that I needed all along.
So I say to you today, as a woman testifying of God’s love… If you feel unworthy or unloved, the Father loves you. If you feel like something is missing, know that you have it all through Him. He created you for a purpose. Your steps are ordered and He loves you enough to not leave you where you are. If you feel stranded, He will guide you. If you feel weak, He will give you strength. Those thoughts of insecurity are not God’s thoughts of you. Don’t accept them in your life!
I found my true identity in Christ. I found my true love in Christ. And when I did that, everything else just fell into place. I mean sure, I have days where I feel like my belly feels extra chubs or my acne looks bad… but that no longer keeps me from loving myself. I will sit in a bathing suit with my belly rolls out, no makeup on, eating a slice of pizza on the beach! My rolls, my acne, and the cellulite on the side of my thighs don’t define my worth. I am a real woman with real flaws! My worth is defined in Him. Your worth is defined in Him and by Him only. And you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Don’t let society tell you that you have to look a certain way, because there will come a day that our bodies will wither away. Don’t let society tell you how much makeup you have to wear, or that you wear too much (I love my contour *hair flip*). The color of your skin, your body type, and/or type of hair you have does not define who you are in the eyes of your creator.
There are two songs that constantly remind me of His love and goodness. These songs are just a couple of ways to remind myself why there is no room for insecurity in my life. The first one is called Worth by Anthony Brown. The chorus goes like this:
You thought I was worth saving
So, You came and changed my life
You thought I was worth keeping
So, You cleaned me up inside
You thought I was to die for
So, You sacrificed your life .
And another -Love Came Down by Kari Jobe. Here is what the chorus sings:
Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours
Lord I'm forever Yours
Mountains high or valley low
I sing out and remind my soul
I am Yours
I am forever Yours
You are a diamond, and you are so loved. Never forget that. <3
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