I was scrolling through Pinterest one day and found the Christian Body Image Awareness Quiz. Out of curiosity, I took the 5-Day Email Challenge and it confirmed something I already kind of knew: I have a problem.
No one would be able to tell, but I struggle daily with my body image. I don’t wear trendy clothes, rarely wear jewelry and only wear make up on special occasions. Who would think I care so much about the way I look?
My husband thinks I’m crazy. He does not understand how I could possibly have a problem with body image. He thinks I’m perfect just the way I am (Silly man). My friends don’t get it either. When I make a comment about my thunder thighs or mom gut they just roll their eyes.
What they (and I) often fail to understand is that it doesn’t matter how I look–it was never really about that. It is about more than wanting to look good. It is about trying to feel accepted in a way that only God can do for me.
I often find myself ducking behind shelves at the grocery store because I have spotted someone I knew from high school. I hide because I am ashamed of the way I look: ashamed of my yoga pants, unkempt hair, and the weight I have put on over the past 12 years.
Wait: didn’t God say something about letting our light shine? How am I supposed to do that from behind a cart of French bread?
Matthew 5:14-16The Message (MSG)
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
“By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God.”
Wow! I contacted Heather about being a writer on her blog. It is scary to open up, to show the world that I am weak. But if through my weakness I can show others that they do not struggle alone and that there is a God who wants to walk with them while they discover their true beauty and purpose, it will be worth it.
Thoughts of inadequacy and self-doubt still continue to creep in on me on a regular basis, but I have found a mental practice that helps. It puts my issues into perspective to think about my family having a tragedy. (Sounds depressing I know, but I promise it works!).
If my two daughters were in a car accident and hurt, would it still matter that I am getting a “belly pooch”? If I found out my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness, would I still fight with him over how much he spent on that bag of cheese at the grocery store (Yes, this has really happened to me)?
The things that we cling to during tragedy, such as our family and our faith, are most important in life. Those are the things that we need to be investing our time and energy into; not being a perfect size 2 or looking like the very airbrushed models on our Pinterest boards.
We need to let it shine.
Amanda Wihebrink is married to her favorite person, Brad, and they have two bright young daughters, Sage & Ivy. She is a self proclaimed lyricist, coupon Nazi, and would monogram everything if she could. She loves making people laugh with her goofy sense of humor and quick wit. Her happy place is on a beach with a book and mess of chocolates.