Today, I’d like to introduce you to Tiana. Tiana is 14 years old and she runs a blog for girls called, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.” Tiana has a passion for showing girls the truth about the ways they were created. Though I know most of my readers are over the age of 14 (some of us by several decades!!), I wanted to give Tiana and opportunity to share so you can connect your daughters, grand-daughters, nieces and little sisters to her ministry or encourage the teen girls in your life that they can make a difference in the lives of others by taking a stand against comparison.
God used Psalm 139:14 to minister to Tiana. I’ve written a lot about that passage and why, for some of us, that scripture hasn’t been as effective in dealing with our root image of body image issues. But, it’s exactly what God used to minister to Tiana and show her the light.
Here’s Tiana’s story:
About 2 years ago, I found myself looking into the mirror every day and desperately wishing that I looked different.
My dad and his side of the family are from Hawaii so they all have dark hair, brown eyes, and brown skin. My mom is white with green eyes and red hair. I look like my dad. Brown eyes, brown hair, and brown skin. I wished every day that I looked more like my mom.
My best friend also had red hair, so that made me wish that I had red hair even more. It was also hard for me to look the way that I did because I was literally the only dark person in my entire youth group. Everyone else in the youth group was white. So I always felt like I didn’t fit in.
I’m also not the skinniest girl out there. I was constantly comparing myself to every other girl around me. Wishing I had their hair. Wishing I had their skin color. Wishing I had their weight.
I kept letting Satan tell me that I had no worth because I didn’t look like the “other girls.” I let him convince me that he was right.
I told myself every day, “Tiana, you’re ugly. You’re fat. You’re worthless.”
And I believed it more every time I said it. I didn’t realize that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I didn’t realize that God created me exactly the way He wanted me to look. I didn’t realize it until I went to winter camp with my youth group last November.
One of my friends came up to me and started talking to me–keep in mind that I’d never talked to her about any of my beauty struggles–she told me, “I know you’re struggling with your body image. I just really feel like I should tell you that you are beautiful. I know you’ve been hearing that a lot, so I know you probably won’t believe me. But you are fearfully and wonderfully made. God created you exactly how He wanted you to look.”
For some reason, when she said it, I believed it.
Even though I had my other friends and my youth pastor telling me the exact same thing, I never believed it until she said it.
And I am so glad that I believed it.
After that weekend at camp, it wasn’t easy to stop comparing myself to other girls. It took a lot of hard work and prayer. Lots and lots of prayer.
Every time I looked into the mirror I’d hear Satan’s voice in the back of my head saying, “You’re ugly, remember?” But every time he told me that, I’d just turn around and tell him, “No, I’m a fearfully and wonderfully made child of God, remember?”
There were a few steps that I took to ensure that I wouldn’t fall back into Satan’s trap of lies again.
First, I started praying on my own. Like really praying. I didn’t want to go back to believing that I was worthless.
The next thing I did was go to my friends and youth pastor, tell them what was going on, and ask them to keep me in their prayers. They promised that they’d pray for me.
Then I copied Psalm 139:14 on a bunch of strips of paper and hung them all over my house. I hung them on my bedroom ceiling over my bed so it’d be the first thing I saw when I woke up every morning. (I have a bunk bed and I sleep on the top so I’m really close to the ceiling!) I hung them on every single mirror in my house. I stuck them on all my school notebooks. Everywhere I turned, there was the scripture. I read them all throughout the day and just like how the more I told myself that I was ugly I believed it, the more I read the scripture I believed it.
Every time I saw a girl that everyone thought was pretty, my first reaction was to compare myself to her. But then I’d stop myself and repeat the scripture over and over and over again to myself until I stopped the comparison.
Now, 2 years later, I don’t compare myself hardly at all. I still sometimes compare myself to other girls, but it has become a whole lot easier to stop. I’m still one of the only dark complected people in the youth group, but I don’t wish that I looked different anymore.
A Body Image Blog for Teens?
I got the inspiration to start my blog when one of my friends started telling me about all her beauty insecurities. How she compared herself to every pretty girl she saw. How she cried herself to sleep because she thought she was worthless and ugly.
Then another friend told me that she was going through the same thing. I told them how I used to go through the same exact thing, and I told them everything. Then I realized that me and my two friends weren’t the only girls who felt that way. There were thousands of girls who feel like they aren’t beautiful, or feel worthless.
And when I came to that realization it broke me. I realized that I had to do something about it. I wanted a way to help end the beauty insecurities in the girls around me. I just didn’t know how.
So I prayed. I told God that I wanted to help other girls overcome their beauty struggles like I did. That night, I had a dream that I started a blog and in the dream I had girls from all across the world messaging me online and telling me that through my blog they were able to overcome their beauty insecurities. I woke up and God said, “That’s what I want you to do.” So I said, “Okay God, I’ll do it.”
I got to work writing my first posts and that night I got on my computer and signed up for a website and set the whole thing up. Then I came across a problem. I had the website set up. I had my first posts. What I didn’t have was a name for my blog. I started praying that God would tell me what He wanted me to name the blog. Out of nowhere, I had a sudden urge to open my Bible. So I grabbed my Bible and just randomly flipped it open and I saw that the book and chapter I had flipped to was Psalm 139. And there in the middle of the page was Psalm 139:14 highlighted in bright pink highlighter from the night at winter camp when my friend talked to me.
“Of course,” I thought, “the scripture that started it all.” I asked God, “Is this what you want me to name it?” He said “Yep. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.” Couldn’t have thought of a better name myself.
So I wrote this post and I write my blog because, as I said in the beginning, I have a passion for showing girls that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Don’t let Satan, friends, peers, or anyone else tell you otherwise. Don’t give Satan the satisfaction of knowing that you believe the lie that you’re ugly, too fat, too skinny, too dark, too light, or not worthy. God had a purpose in the way he designed you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Tiana is a 14-year-old Christian writer/blogger from Louisiana. (She’s the one in the orange shirt!) She has a passion for writing, photography, reading, and singing; she sings on her youth group’s worship team. But most of all, she loves Jesus and praises Him every day for what He helped her overcome!