Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hi. My name is Alissa...and I'm a Self-Slander Addict.

First, you may have noticed there haven't been many posts lately about my "purpose."  I'm kind of stuck on that one, and I think I'm okay with that.  I've come to the conclusion that if I'm praying for God to show me that purpose and guide me in my life, then he's going to do that...but it's going to be in His time, not in mine.  Therefore, any frantic search for it is going to be fruitless.  He'll let me know what He wants me to do and when He wants me to do it.  I'll just have to be patient and make sure I'm preparing myself spiritually for whatever task He needs me to carry out, be it BIG or small.

That having been said, let's talk a bit about my appearance.  Doesn't sound remarkably spiritual does it?  Let me explain...

To most people I look REALLY confident...chunky, but confident.  Those who know me best, however, know how horrifyingly insecure I can be, especially in regard to my weight...my belly in particular.  For example, Josiah and I have been dating almost a year now, and it still makes me really uncomfortable if he gives me a hug from behind and touches my stomach.  Normally, I'll squirm into a different position or just move his hands.  It's really bad.

I say I'm working on getting rid of the insecurity, but if I'm being perfectly honest with myself, I think I secretly protect and nurture it.  This insecurity is my friend...deep inside somewhere I coddle it.  I feel like it keeps me safe.  It's my wall and my security blanket.  Do I know how this works all the way?  Not so much.  I just feel this indescribable need to hang onto it...despite the fact that it's unhealthy and hurts Josiah very much.

Over and over he has told me he loves me...just as I am.  He wants me...just as I am.  On some level, I believe him.  But somewhere in the deepest, darkest recesses of my heart I keep my insecurity and I feel like if I ever truly and completely trust in his love, if I let every guard I have down and let him love me completely, he'll see that I'm not as great as he thought and he'll be repulsed...and leave.

I know, I know...I'm jacked up in the head.  This is not news, people; I've been this way for some time.  But the time has come to exorcise this demon because ya know what?  Josiah is freaking awesome and I can't imagine how much it must hurt him to love me and have me continue to keep this wall up after this amount of time.

Furthermore (and more importantly), God can't be too pleased with it either.  He gave me this body that serves me every day.  I can sit, stand, climb, run (or jog a bit), breathe, laugh, stretch, see, hear, think, and touch without even really thinking about it.  He's blessed me with this body and somewhere inside me I tell myself over and over that it just isn't good enough.  I imagine God shaking His GIANT finger at me, saying "Excuse me, young lady, but I made that body and I'll thank you to stop taking it for granted and speaking badly about it!"

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." ~ 1Corinthians 6:19-20
 I am not my own, but my body belongs to God.  Thus, hurling disparaging remarks at myself about my body dishonors Him, and I'm not really a fan of that.  This body He provided carried and bore three beautiful children, and while it has the battle scars to prove it, I wouldn't trade one of their little smiles for the flattest stomach in the world (not even if it came with great thighs and arms without jiggle!).  I need to be kind to it, mentally and physically.  I've been going to the gym, and that's good, but I definitely need to be more mindful of the junk that goes through my brain...and my gums, frankly.  I haven't exactly been counting the calories lately.

The other fact I'm begging myself to consider is that my body is temporary, but my soul is not.  I will age and things will sag, but if I continue to seek His face, then the parts that matter will be beautiful.  I think women, in particular, are susceptible to forgetting this, which is why we are specifically warned of it in the Bible.

"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4 
 Will I stop wearing makeup or caring about my appearance altogether?  Not likely.  However, from this day forward I have decided to make a true and honest effort to remind myself daily that God sees the ugliest parts of me, but still thinks I am priceless and loves me...just as I am.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. ~ Psalm 139:13-16

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