I have found myself in a place of deep thought. I am deeper in thought than the average day. Prior to being immersed in thought, I was in a state of denial about the way I am living. Living in a city surrounded by oblivious people can be hard. To live outside of this world and outside of judgement is difficult. The past two days I have wanted to give up. I decided to wallow and I honestly strayed from work, God, my challenge journal and I simply excluded myself. I slept, watched puppy videos, researched conspiracy theories about area 51 and slept some more. The thoughts that rattled through my brain were of my own self worth. Some common thoughts are self comparison to other women. All the young women in my school are beautiful girls and I have loved living with them and getting to know them. But for some reason, I feel so less than them. I will compare myself to them. And it’s not just them, I do this whenever I go anywhere. It hinders my day to day experiences. I’m often not in the moment because I’m self conscious and I’m always afraid that others are judging me by how I look. Or my thoughts become consumed if I see a woman who is beautiful and I think, I’ll never look like her. Some other thoughts include,
I wish I looked thinner, prettier, sexier
Your arms, waist, thighs look huge today
Why even put on makeup, you look awful either way
These thoughts are just scraping the surface. They sadden me but I say them knowing that it not only helps to name them but I want other women and men to know that they are not alone if they have these thoughts too.
The challenge of the day is openness. Not just openness with others but with Christ. Being open about the things we feel most vulnerable about can break down walls of judgement and instead bring us together. I spoke about my thoughts and physical insecurities before because it is probably the hardest thing for me to admit to others. For some reason, people like to tell me I am beautiful. I often think it’s because they feel bad for me or something but that just shows how twisted my thinking is. The strongest and most powerful thing I have found in combating these thoughts is knowing I am made in the image of Christ. Knowing that He chose to create us and that I am beautifully and fearfully made by Him. I came across another form of combat today from an incredible author named Anne Lamott. If you’ve never heard of her, look her up because she is an outstanding woman of God. She mentioned how much of an impact that two simple words can have on a person. The words, me too. Two simple yet powerful words. By saying these two small words, it can open you up so much. It creates vulnerability, connection, empathy. Me too is allowing yourself to say, I understand because I’ve been through it. You’re not saying it to make the other person feel like their issues are less significant but to show them that they’re not alone in their pain. I reflected on this idea because many moments where someone has made me feel better about my situation have been moments where they have said, me too. They were open with me and were able to say, I understand you, it’s not easy. These are moments that I have held dear to my heart, they are moments that have been pivotal in my friendships.
Openness with Christ wasn’t something that came easily and it still doesn’t. I find myself attempting to be open with Him but for some reason I don’t fully submit. So I prayed for openness. I prayed for a connection with Christ and that’s what I found while watching my church service. I found myself on my knees after the service balling my eyes out and I’ve never felt so close to Christ. I submitted in every form of the word. I layed myself at the feet of the king and so much weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’m not saying that everything is gone, no. I’m not saying that I wont fall again, that I wont judge others, I wont fall into self loathing. I’m not saying that at all because most likely I will but what I can say is that Christ will be there to catch me in His hands. He will be there for me when no one else in this world cares. When I am lonely, he will be my shoulder to cry on, when I have anxiety he reminds me that there is nothing to fear but Him. When I begin to hate my appearance He reminds me of Psalm 139:14.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
I know all this to be the truth. I pray that I can keep reminding myself of this when terrible thoughts invade and my heart grows hard. I pray I can keep growing with God and that He wont let me go. I pray my will aligns with His. And through all of this I pray I can find rest in Him. Openness, always openness.
God bless you and remember, you are beautifully made in the image of God.
Side Note: I run am planning on running a marathon with Team World Vision, an organization that runs to raise money for clean water for kids in Africa. If you’d like to donate you can go to this link Donate Here. Besides that, prayer is always appreciated if you feel so inclined.