Jun 25, 2012

How does God see me?

So I'm gonna be very real here - I have serious body image issues.  A psychologist told me about 4 or 5 years ago that I was flirting with the border of an eating disorder (anorexia namely) but my symptoms were not strong enough to actually warrant a diagnosis.  According to her, I would have to rely on my friends to tell me if I was having problems with food because I would be unable to recognize the symptoms in myself (denial is a major factor in making such a diagnosis).

I just had a kid.  While I adore my child (seriously, I'll keep talking about him if you let me), I'm less than fond of the changes that he caused in my body.  I don't recognize myself - there are bulges where I've never had bulges, softness where I have never been soft...and stretch marks.  Pesky things.  The latter item on that list didn't show up until after he was born.  They don't warn you where you can get stretch marks. Traditionally, we expect them on women's tummies after they birth a child...and I do have some there.  I also have them on my upper torso and the back of my legs....it seems the only place on my person that was unaffected by stretch marks were my arms and face.  Aargh.  AND I weigh more right now that I am accustomed to weighing.  Yeah yeah yeah, I just had a kid, I shouldn't be worrying about that (Dahmon tells me that all of the time) but I can't help it.  Many of these changes to my body bother me and make me feel much less than anything resembling attractive.  Please understand, I'm not a vain person - it does not require undue amounts of vanity to care about one's appearance.  I had even made the decision to not pursue any acting roles until I get much closer to my pre-baby weight.

And then I went to church yesterday.

Tommy Wesley was the person giving the sermon yesterday morning.  He is not the regular pastor at my church, but the pastors have been taking turns giving the sermons lately, and this Sunday it was his turn.  He's awesome - he likes to rattle peoples' boxes.  His sermon yesterday was all about how God sees his children...well-timed for this chica.  Now, I know that physical attributes mean nothing to God.  He does not care how tall, short, fat, skinny, blonde, brunette, freckled, dark, pale, whatever we are.  In fact, I tend to think he likes variety and that is why there are so many different kinds of body types.  He does not care that there are now roadmaps on the back of my legs, nor does He care that I have now run into the true meaning of vericose veins, nor that I have bulges and am obviously fluffier than I was at this point last year.  I care, but He does not.  Those physical things that bother me, those preexisting and those caused by baby, are mental baggage I carry around that God wants to take off me.  I knew this, but sometimes it helps to be reminded.  While my favorite shirts and pants don't fit right now, that is not what matters - what matters is how I operate as the hands and feet of Christ.

Now, the sermon yesterday did not help me completely overcome my self-image problems.  While that is baggage, it is baggage that I have carted around a long time.  Do I believe God can heal my brain in that sense?  Yep.  But I will continue to live and love even if he does not.  The reminder that God's ways are not my ways, and God's ways of seeing his kids are different than his kids ways of seeing themselves is helpful.  I'm glad he is not as picky about my physicality as I am - yeesh!  :)

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