Have you ever taken a picture of yourself or seen yourself in a picture and immediately started picking yourself apart? As a woman, I do it even before the picture is taken. How does my hair look? Should I stand a certain way? Will they notice if I sneak behind a tall person? For some people the idea of seeing themselves in a picture, or even the mirror, is painful. We pick out the bad things we think of ourselves instead of noticing the good things about us.
I have struggled with self-image for as long as I can remember. It is one of the reasons I feel like I connect with our students who are going through the same thing. In a world full of supermodels, high fashion magazines, and the ever growing demand to look a certain way it’s hard to listen to those small voices telling you to ‘just be yourself.’ It is even harder to listen to the still small voice that constantly whispers His love for you when you are busy picking yourself apart.
What if we all stopped detecting our flaws and started thanking Him for the positives we have? The Father created you. He knew you before the world knew you.
“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13 NIV)
God knew every second of your life before you took your first breath of air. He knew the things you would face before you faced them. The best part of all of that? He loved you. He loved you then just like He loves you now. You matter to God.
If we let things take precedence over serving God then we cannot fully experience His unending love. Being overly concerned about how you look, what clothes you wear, the size of your car/house, the amount of money in your bank account, how many friends you have, or just thinking in general about yourself before others limits what God can do. He wants to use you in ways you never could imagine. He wants you to help Him bless others. How can you do that if you are obsessed with self?
I say that because it is a struggle for me. I’m better with it now, because I have reminders. I have an amazing friend in Christ that I know God brought into my life to lighten me up. She knows just when to say the right things that I need to hear. I am blessed beyond measure in all aspects (family, health, career, etc). But there are still times I judge myself. How can I lead our female students to believe they are perfect the way God made them if I can’t believe that myself? I can and I will.
I have a tattoo of a rose on the inside of my right arm. When you get tattoos people usually want to know the meaning behind them. For this one, it’s simple. To me a rose is beautiful. It’s a flower that symbolizes love for many people. It is a wonderful creation that makes a lot of people happy. I wanted a reminder that I am beautiful. That no matter what my thoughts may think, no matter what my eyes see in the mirror…I am beautiful just the way I am just like that flower is beautiful. Whenever I look at it I remember my reasoning behind it and it swiftly kicks me out of my rut.
“I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14 NIV)
God knit us together. He knew us before the world did. We are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. He loves us. He created us for a purpose. Maybe it is time to stop seeking self-satisfaction and to start seeking His will for your life. Here is a friendly reminder:
You are a son or daughter of a King who is not moved by this world. For God is with you and He goes before you. You do not need to fear for YOU ARE HIS.
“Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks.” (1 Timothy 4:4 NLT)