I believe that the Devil is real and uses the things we want most to haunt and tease us. He uses them to create doubt within us. Doubt that we are enough today, that we will ever be enough. I believe that the tools the devil uses are different for each of us and we have many cracks and crevices that he exploits. Some bigger than others.
For me, I believe my issues with body image and weight have always been an easily exploited avenue the devil uses against me. I have never been thin. As a child, I was always chubbier than my peers. I believe subconsciously, I took in the images around me and began to doubt my own beauty and self worth even from a young age. The clothes that were trendy never fit my body, and the body positive movement had not begun, so there were no real role models for me to turn to to learn to dress the body I'd been given.
In high school I also was curvier than my counterparts. Introverted, but not shy, I struggled to make the deep friendships that I craved. High school can be a time of tremendous superficiality and I never quite fit in. Internally, I digested the lies that my weight was tied to my ability to make friends and that because I was heavier, I was unworthy and unable to be appreciated and loved by my peers. The extra pounds I carried, turned into a burden of shame. I felt that I was not attractive enough to secure a group of girl friends, let alone any romantic relationships.
I believe the Devil is crafty in his deceit. Those lies he whispered in my ear, that my weight somehow equaled into my worth were falsehoods that have found strongholds in the recesses of my soul. Even today, I often struggle with my appearance and try to disavow the thoughts that my singleness is tied to the three digits on the scale. When I try on a pair of jeans, I have to remind myself that the number on the tag does not indicate the beauty of my spirit or the gifts I bring to the world.
They say wisdom comes with age, and I suppose that's true to an extent. For me, age has provided the opportunity to shift (at times) my focus away from merely shedding pounds to a greater appreciation for what my body can accomplish. I've hiked to 12,000 feet in the peaks of Colorado and hauled scuba gear up ladders and across beaches. I've completed 5k and 10k races and recently finished a 1,000 rep workout challenge. I've learned to embrace exercise and diet, not because they make me skinny (they haven't and likely never will), but because they make me strong and healthy.
Some days, however, I still believe the lies whispered to me in the darkness. I believe the lie that I won't be good enough to find a spouse until I'm "beautiful." On those days, I lean into the promise of the Lord that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I believe that beauty is so much more than skin deep, but believing that is a continual choice I must make. I choose to believe that I am enough because I'm endowed by my creator and He is sufficient for me. Lord, help my unbelief.
What do you believe about yourself?