Do you ever just feel…. ugly? Maybe you just feel uninteresting, annoying, plain, one-dimensional… Me too. And, if I’m being honest, I’ve felt this way for a long time. I feel that the Lord put it on my heart to talk about, so here I am — ready to navigate this difficult realization with you.
Feeling this way has been ongoing for as far back as I can remember. I know there was a time that I liked who I saw in the mirror, and when I was confident in who I was as a person, but that “me” seems to be so far gone now. I’ve been avoiding admitting it for a long time now, but I finally got honest with myself on Sunday.
You see, Sunday, I thought to myself “I want to dress up. I want to feel beautiful for myself and my husband, and I want to wear my new lipstick I treated myself to last week.” So, I did. I felt like a woman, for the first time in a long time, in my wedges and new lipstick. I even thought to myself, “maybe Kaiden will feel proud to show me off today.” (<–This is what insecurities sound like — my husband has informed me that he is always proud to show me off.)
Sunday service ended and we were out in the parking lot by noon. I pulled down my passenger seat mirror (Kaiden almost always drives us) to check on how my new lipstick held up through the worshipping and constant “amen!” my mouth was giving, and there it was. My front tooth had chipped. My front tooth had chipped more than it had already been chipped. Right in the middle, next to my other front tooth. Clear as day to me.
And so, commenced my meltdown.
My dear husband tried to console me as best as he could, but I was having none of it. After all, I just wanted to feel pretty that day.
As insignificant as this chip may seem (and as insignificant it looked), it held a major significance to me. It was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” All at once, a mountain of insecurities that had been building up over months (maybe even years) came tumbling down in a landslide. When I say this has been building up for a long time — looking back on my life, I can be certain it’s been, at least, two years.
When I share this with others, I am often reminded that God created me in his unique and perfect image. I believe it, I truly do. However, oftentimes, I hear a little whisper that “if God made you and everyone else unique, what does that prove?” How hurtful does that sound? Yep — that’s how deep this is. So, since Sunday, I’ve done some seeking within myself and with God to help me overcome this.
Am I a perfect Christian? Absolutely not. It hurts me to know that I get lost in this rabbit hole of insecurity, when I know (as much as I’m able to comprehend) how much my God loves and cares for me. I truly believe that many people struggle with this same inner battle; I also truly hope that every one of you know that you are not alone, and that God loves and cares for you just as much as he does me. But, when we’re lost in these thoughts and battles, how do we overcome? We’re all told that to love (one of God’s biggest callings on our life), we first need to love ourselves, but where on Earth do we start?
I think the first step is prayer, and then, constant reminders (and belief) of what and who God says that we are.
In Psalms 139:14, God reminds us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are uniquely set apart. Matthew 10:31 says that we are more valuable than many sparrows. 2 Corinthians 5:17 lets us know that the old has passed away, and the new has come. One of my favorites, Romans 8:39, tells us that “You are utterly secure in me; nothing will be able to separate you from my love in Christ Jesus.”
One of my favorites, Romans 8:39, tells us that “You are utterly secure in me; nothing will be able to separate you from my love in Christ Jesus.”
While we are feeling insecure, we are reminded that in Christ Jesus, we have security. God tells us that in him we are secure. Beauty and outward appearance vanish over time. Wrinkles come. Under eye baggage and sagging in places we’d rather not mention are a guarantee. When our security has been placed in these things, and what other people say of these things (in my case, for far too long), we stray away from thinking of ourselves the way the God thinks of us. Only in God can we find the security that we desperately need. I don’t know if it is a battle that is ever truly won — but I do believe we can get better and quicker at stopping the thoughts over time. Building that relationship with God is vital. Prayer is vital. Delving into God’s word as a constant reminder of our path is vital.
It’s okay to like yourself. It’s okay to know your worth and your value in Christ. I’m on my own journey to realizing and accepting this.
As part of my journey, I’m going to put sticky notes of scripture up around my house. My coffee pot, mirrors, fridge.. Anywhere that I access daily will have a reminder of who I am in Christ and what it means to be a child of God. I hope that, if you’re struggling like I am, you will do the same.