|Posted on November 20, 2017 at 5:10 AM|
"Who whipped you with an ugly stick?!?!" they teased. My step-dad came from the hills of Kentucky, so his family all had strange ways of showing they cared about family. When I asked why they teased me so much, they replied, "If we didn't tease you, how would you know we love you?" What was normal to them seemed strange to people outside of that setting. They meant well, but I grew up believing I was ugly because I rarely heard anything positive about my appearance. The feelings of ugliness were solidified by some of the kids in school who called me ugly. Those words still sting deep down inside me. We are terribly misled about our true value when we believe what people say about our appearance.
My hubby is so sweet. He tells me I am beautiful almost every day. My first husband did, too. I still struggle to accept their appreciation for my appearance, but I do love those heart-shaped, rose-colored glasses! When my body doesn't cooperate with my workout agenda, I don't feel very beautiful. I had been athletic just a couple of years ago, but autoimmune disease has relegated me to walking and light bodyweight exercise 2 to 4 days a week. My fitness level is not where I want it. I especially feel ugly when my hair falls out from gluten contamination. At times, I have dark circles under my eyes because I was awake most of the night with pain and flare-ups land me on the couch. Feel beautiful? No. At those times it helps to hear these words from someone who loves me. Both godly men could see a beauty in me others did not. Loving words have been helping me learn to make peace with my body all over again.
Our mental images of ourselves become distorted when we believe what others say about our appearance, though. Their views are all subjective. Of course, if we grow up with positive messages about our appearance, we have a better sense of our value to others. Yet a distortion lingers because we hear it from an earthly perspective. To make it even murkier, some women will say to a beautiful woman, "I hate you! There ought to be a law against looking like you." They don't feel beautiful so they tear down others the world says are beautiful. When we base the value of our appearance on the opinions of people, we will never an accurate portrait of ourselves in our minds and hearts.
The world's view of us is not God's value of us. God didn't make a mistake when He created you or me. He didn't use substandard parts. He didn't have a bad day when He started putting you together in your mother's womb. In fact, He had you in mind even before you were conceived (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139%3A13-16&version=NIV" target="_blank">Psalm 139:13-16). Asking God, "Why did you make me like this?" in disgust is about as out of line as asking a world-famous artist what in the world he or she was thinking when creating a masterpiece that takes our breath away https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+9%3A19-21&version=NIV" target="_blank">(Romans 9:19-21). If you come to Him out of curiosity to understand His plan and His purposes, "Lord, why did you make me like this?", then He eventually will answer your question. He has a plan and purpose for how He created you. Learning these truths about yourself will help you make peace with your body.
We can make peace with our bodies when we accept God's value of us. It doesn't matter if people think you are beautiful or not. It doesn't matter if your body works they way you believe it should or not. God love you and has an amazing plan for you just as you are. The more we become at peace with our bodies as a wonderful creation of God's, the more able we are to take proper care of it. As you sit down with family and friends this Thanksgiving, thank God for how He created you. You are beautiful in His eyes. Accept and take care of His wonderful creation of you.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!