I don’t know about you, but I have had seasons where I have avoided the mirror altogether.
I struggled with accepting my stretch marks near my bum, my hormonal break outs, and the gap in my teeth. I was the queen at avoidance. I avoided all social gatherings, photos, and attention. I had read books, talked to mentors, and committed to prayer but it still wasn't fully working. Hating myself plagued me for years. I felt ashamed to be me. The word "sorry" would come out of my mouth more times than I could actually count. Insecurity was my anthem.
I ask myself a lot of questions about that time of my life. Mostly because I never ever want to go back to that dark place and in order to do that, I must fully understand why I was feeling that way.
Why was I spending over thirty minutes a day in my skincare and foundation routine?
Why was I always wearing a ball cap and avoiding eye contact with people when they spoke to me?
Why did I automatically start crying when another girl entered the room?
The reason to all of it was my great lack of appreciation of real beauty and God's love.
Because I grew up with a skewed perception of worth being shoved down my throat, it stuck with me through adulthood. Because I grew up without a present dad, I longed to be accepted.
I have very slowly been learning to love myself. Regardless of any bump, lump, pimple, purple mark, or dark circle. I've decided that they all just tell my story. I've decided to attempt to rock it. I am committing to uncomfortable situations because I believe that being uncomfortable can bring forth growth. And growth is profound and the whole point of this whole life anyway.
Wanna hear something gross? One time I dropped $1000 in a single week at Sephora. I was burning through cash to try and make up for my emptiness inside. I was overcompensating and self deprecating God's work by trying to alter myself. Yet, no amount of products that I had made a difference to how I felt. My makeup may have been on fleek but my inner beauty was so hidden. I was defining myself so much by my outward appearance and by what society was telling me, that I was becoming ugly on the inside.
It was a long journey and to be honest, I'm still on it. It's hard. But I needed to learn how to love myself. I needed to learn what it meant to be made in God's image. I needed to learn that God doesn't make mistakes and He wasn't going to start with me.
My entire freshman year of college anybody would have thought that my major was "isolation". I spent every single day in my room without ever leaving. That was until I was forced to leave my room because I ran out of food and I was hungry. I was attempting to hide my face under a hat and I had a huge jacket on. My mission was to get in and out without being seen. Then I heard a friend from across the cafeteria scream my name, run over and hug me, and proceed to tell me how loved I was. She begged me to sit with her and talk, so I did. I told her everything that was on my heart and she prayed over me. That's when things actually started to change.
Friends, if you are struggling with loving things that you hate about yourself, I can't give you better advice than getting people to pray over you. It's just an absolute miracle that my mindset is slowly changing and I can tell you honestly that it is only because of the warriors praying for me for my mindset to change. I spent so many years trying to fight this on my own and nothing ever worked, but once I reached out to others and became vulnerable, God moved.
No words that I say will ever change your toxic mindset. But hopefully, once you get people praying for you and you are cured, you'll remember what was written in this post and you'll continue to be encouraged.
Beauty is only skin deep. It is not everything. It doesn't determine your worth.
There are so many other things that are just as important. You may not be the most beautiful human on the planet to every person you encounter, but that is okay. I cannot wait to tell my daughter "You are so strong. You are so smart. You are so capable. You are so loved. You are so resilient" instead of "You are so beautiful! Look at that smile! Your hair is gorgeous". That latter isn't necessarily bad, but for some reason, that's really the only way we compliment young girls. It needs to change and the change needs to start with us.
Whether you hate your nose, lips, eyes, or chest size, know that God made it that way specifically for His purposes. He will use it for your good. He will use all of the things you hate about yourself, to glorify Himself, which means you will wind up thanking God for it all and loving them. Also- please remember... When you love Christ more intimately and deeply, you will radiate. Be confident in Him. Know that you are so lovely in the eyes of our Father.