I have a secret. I don’t like myself, more specifically, I don’t like my body. I’m too short. I’m too fat. My mouth is too loud. My eyes are always red and puffy. I can’t wear make-up because I’m allergic to every. Single. Thing. On. The. Planet. I don’t like my smile. I don’t like my short stubby hands. Certain body parts have always been saggy as long, as I’ve been aware of having them. My thighs rub together. My feet are always dried out and crusty looking. I’m not pretty. I’m just too much everything….fat, loud, short, ugly…
I’ve done a complete inventory of myself and always disliked what I see.
Recently it really hit home when I saw a picture of myself. I’ve put on about 12 pounds since starting nursing school. I’m a stress eater. Now not only do I see all those other “flaws” in disgust: now I see even more fat, more tight clothes, more weight I’ll have to work again to get off. I hate my body. I hate that I can just watch a thin person eat and I gain weight. I hate seeing the size 2’s pig out on the candy bowl and try to remember the last time I had a piece of candy.
So, I’ve thrown a big huge whopper of a pity party. Poor me! I have slow metabolism. I have no thyroid. I cannot afford to surgically fix all the saggy, droopy body parts. Even when I lose a lot of weight, I still look short and fat. Poor me!
What I’ve learned is that these thoughts can easily translate into feelings of frustration at God. There, I’ll admit it. I think: THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE made a mistake when He made me. (If David can be a man after God’s own heart even while committing adultery, I think I can complain a little about my body.)
I know I’m not alone in these thoughts because ten’s of thousands of magazine’s world-wide are devoted to the topics of weight loss, body building, looking thinner in fat jeans, dressing for body type and much more. The American Society of Plastic Surgeon’s reported that in 2010 13.1 MILLION minimally-invasive, surgical cosmetic surgeries were performed. That a ton of nose jobs, boob jobs, liposuction, lip enhancements, etc. all for people wanting to look different than how they were made.
Recently I was re-reading Psalm 139.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
And I realized I’m not feeling it. I’m not really buying it. And I’m certainly not experiencing satisfaction with His amazing creation, my body. Somehow along the way, I lost focus on the truth of God. Somewhere, I began to devote all my time and attention to all the things that are wrong with me, rather than focusing on the fact that the very God of all the Universe, accept no substitutes, the One and Only, Alpha and Omega, made ME! From scratch! He picked me, picked my parts. He picked my nose (Ewww – not what I meant), He picked the length of my legs. He put this smile on my face and 10 fingers and 10 toes on my hands and feet. Just like a builder, building a house, He picked every detail to be exactly what He wanted it to be. And He knew, He knew when He picked these legs that I would complain about being short. He knew when He picked this metabolism that I would complain about being fat. He knew when He put antibodies in my body that I would complain about my allergies. Because He wrote my entire life story, word-for-word, beginning to end.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to get from point A to point B. I don’t know how to move from complete dissatisfaction with my weight, my height, my allergies, etc. to praising God that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that His “works are marvelous”. Some days I’m not even entirely sure if I believe those verses in my heart of hearts. But I want to. I want to cling to them with every fiber of my being. I want to look into His eyes and see what He sees. I want to stop measuring myself next to my friends and their seemingly amazing perfect bodies. I want the glorious, resurrected body described in the Bible, but I want it here and now on earth. I don’t think that’s too much of a request for God.
At the end of the day though, what I want more than anything, is to believe what David wrote about God’s creation in Psalm 139. I want to praise God and believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And that when I was in my mother’s womb, He created me with loving thought over the selection of each and every body part.