Things have been a little quiet here on the blog. That’s because I’ve been busy enjoying my life and putting more of my thoughts strictly on Facebook. But today? Today, I feel like teaching again.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time here, you’ll know that Jesus and I have been working through a whole bunch of body issues. Body shame, what’s the truth, why porn’s no longer a threat and other complicated and painful stuff.
Anyway, the upshot of this deal is that I’ve come to a whole lot of healing and freedom. God has been just that faithful and kind, and Jesus is a Miracle Worker. Yes, amen! So where I’m at today is what I’m about to tell you. And you know me; I’m gonna shoot straight, so here we go.
For years and years (shoot fire, way too many!), I carried a load of shame roughly the size of the Indian Ocean. Falling prey to culture’s lies, I felt that since I didn’t have the “right” body type, I couldn’t be happy, couldn’t be grateful, and, Lord help me, couldn’t love my own body. Much less–now I’m preachin’–to truly love other women.
You know, the *perfect* kind? Yeah, those.
I did what I’ll bet the rest of you have done, too. That is, I’d compare myself to every.single.woman that came across my path. Size her up, size her down, and if I came out skinnier or better somehow, I’d feel kinda smug. A little bit happy. (Just confessing it all here ’cause it’s safe.)
However. If, in my hellish comparison game it seemed to me that someone else was more attractive, I’d fall to envy. Jealousy. Discontentment with myself. And then, yes, at times, to hatred. Of her and then, girlfriend, of me.
Now, truth is, there isn’t a lie that’s buried too deep. Not a wound or a habit too big or too yucky. There isn’t one captor that can keep a girl bound unless (two things, which He told me last summer) a girl doesn’t know that she is. That’s one.
And then this: that a girl doesn’t want to be free. That’s two things.
Because I have given Christ access to every area of my life, which I’ve told Him out loud different times; because I no longer hold anything back from His loving, searching gaze; because He’s that loving and wonderful and kind, He’s taken me at my word. And He’s healing me.
Here’s the thing. If I was trapped in comparing and envy and hatred, ruled by my own in-secure-ity, then I have to believe that many other women are, too. We all just want to be loved, to be worthy. Which is why I’m going to be a bit vulnerable here and give you a fresh example. This happened to me just days ago.
My beloved Mister and I were in a sandwich shop. We were standing in line behind a couple, and all at once, Mister leaned forward, and he whispered in my ear. That lady just in front of us, the one with the tatted-up, rugged and bearded boyfriend? She had just given me the eye. Swept up, swept down, and then…
She turned to face her man. Wrapping her arms tightly around his waist, she pressed up against him as if to say, “He is mine. I am his. I belong. I am safe.”
I knew how she felt. A million times, I had sized up someone else and instantly felt in-secure. Regardless of the truth (Mister’s faithful). Regardless of what he tells me (that I’m lovely). Regardless of the cost (it really hurts him), I had done it, and that’s why I knew how she felt. So here comes the teaching point.
Being the Girl Who Loves Colors that I am, I absolutely noticed her shoes. They were a bright, spunky, happy shade of turquoise. Cute, little loafers (I caught that), and since the shop was busy, I had time to just wait, and observe.
All at once, she looked over. Our eyes met. So I just opened my mouth and said four words. “I like your shoes.”
Her face! Ahh, her eyes. Her whole face just broke into a huge grin. Her eyes were smiling. Suddenly, life and light shone right there in that shop. “My children laugh at me,” she said. Still smiling. Of course, I’m smiling, too, and applauding. “No, no! It’s perfectly reasonable.” You hang in, girl, ’cause I get it.
One girl to another. Then, life.
I am intentional, now, in doing this. I look for things to “life” others with. “I like your hair,” I’ll say over here. “I like that color,” I’ll say over there. And mostly, the women just beam. They light up. And I walk away, beaming as well.
That’s how you can love other women. You love and accept what you’ve got and Who made it, and then you reach out, speaking life.
If I can do it, you can, too. Jesus has all the healing we need.