"I just don't want to be the fat girl anymore."
I remember sobbing to my mom in the bathroom.
For years, I had been the larger friend & I just didn't want to be that girl anymore.
This set me down a path of trying every diet plan that was out there. I remember working out for hours one day, so exhausted that I slept until late that evening.
There were many things that mattered to me at that time: I wanted to make good grades, make my parents proud & daydream about cute boys, but more than anything I wanted to be thin, smaller.
Anything other than who I was.
I wish I could say that this was just a teenage phase I went through. But I'm facing a birthday next month & while I'm definitely no longer in my teens, I'm still the girl that sometimes wants to be anything other than who she is.
The beauty industry is a booming business. In 2017, it was estimated that a woman will spend over $200,000 in her lifetime on beauty & skincare products.
We want to look young forever! We want people to see that we haven't "let ourselves go". We still matter, no matter our age!
But what if that number is saying something else, friends?
What if this desire to be “just a little slimmer, a little less aged” is saying more than that?
At the heart of it all, I believe they cover an unspoken desire. We want to be seen - truly seen. We want to know we matter-that we have value & worth.
Somehow, we have determined that to mean drinking celery juice, doing workouts we hate & wearing all the masks (although don't get me wrong, I love a good mask!)
So what then is the remedy? How do we live seen? How do we break free from the pressure to change who we are in order to be accepted?
We remind ourselves we already are seen & loved by the Creator of the universe.
I'm being reminded lately through reading the Psalms that God is with me. He is a God who never let's me outside of His eyesight.
When He sees me, he doesn't think about my blotchy skin, often unkempt hair & the weight around my middle.
No, he just sees me covered in His love. And that releases this need in me to strive so hard to change myself to be acceptable to everyone else.
Why focus on being seen by everyone else when the very One who has held every tear of mine in a bottle (Psalm 56.8) & knows the numbers of hairs on my head (Luke 12:7) says I am loved unconditionally?
He sees me. He sees you.
May you & I both remember that today & going forward. We are always cherished & we are always seen.
Here are some verses that are great reminders of the Father's love:
"For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17
"The Lord will watch over your coming & going both now & forevermore." Psalm 121:8
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I set you apart." Jeremiah 1:5
Live loved. Live seen.