I was harboring absolute hatred for myself, I hated the creation of God-me. -Beauty Beyond Bones
That was me! I thought. I was just like that!
For years I hated my body more than words could express and my actions reflected my feelings. I treated my body badly. I starved and binged and spoke to myself in ways that I’d never speak to a friend.
I could hardly stand to live in my body. I was angry that God had made me to look the way I did. I was angry for the personality that He gave me.
I was so full of rage that when I looked in the mirror, all I could see was one big, fat ball of ugliness.
I picked apart every imperfection and flaw and drove myself farther and farther into deep discontentment with the way God had made me.
If someone happened to compliment me, I’d smile while inwardly thinking, Whatever. They have no idea what they are talking about. I look awful.
If my family complimented me, I was much more vocal. “No,” I found myself saying many a time, “I’m not [whatever compliment had been given]… I’m fat.”
I continued to live in perpetual anger with the way God made my body. I was swimming in negativity.
One day,I was once again freely expressing my utter dislike for my body during a conversation with my mom.
“You know that’s like a slap God’s face right?” She responded, looking me steadily in the eye.
Uh-uh. That’s not true. Plus I don’t want to hurt God. I reasoned. I love God but just hate my body.
I dismissed these thoughts and continued life as usual–my life of perpetual anger and disappointment with my body…
That is, until I came across these two verses in my time with God.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. -Ephesians 2:10 NIV
I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well. -Psalm 138:14 NKJV
Apparently God wasn’t finished with the topic. There was something He wanted me to hear and understand.
After I read those verses my thoughts went something like this:
Me? God’s handiwork? That sounds so serious. Wonderfully made? Yeah right. I’m supposed to praise God for my body? Ha ha! And I know this stuff well? Hmmm…
Instantly I was convicted.
The truth is, I did know this stuff. Deep down in my heart I knew that God created me just the way I was. I’d read these Scriptures before. I knew that I was His creation. Still, I simply hated the way I was created.
But that sounds so bad, I thought. I don’t want to hate God’s handiwork.
God definitely spoke to my heart that day, inspiring me with uncomfortable thoughts.
How must I feel when you say you think you’re ugly? I created you. What must I be thinking when you stand in front of the mirror and criticize my handiwork? How can you truly love me and hate what I’ve made? -God
“It’s a slap in the face of God!”My mom’s words came flooding back to my mind.
As much as I didn’t want to acknowledge it, she was right. God was right. I needed to stop hating my body.
Yet I wasn’t ready to change. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to.
After years of allowing and believing lies about my body they had become my truth.
After years of habitually hating my body, it was hard to let go.
I was sure that I could never genuinely say with the Psalmist that I as God’s handiwork was marvelous.
And then God took it a step further. I felt strongly impressed to memorize Psalm 139:14 and recite it whenever I looked in the bathroom mirror.
Ugh! But I don’t want to God! I hate how I look. I hate my body.
The idea was new and strange. It was so not “me.” I felt both hesistant and challenged. Yet I determined to give it a try.
To be continued. 😉
Have you struggled body hatred and/or discontentment? What do Ephesians 2:10 and Psalm 139:14 mean to you? Have you ever considered how God feels when we hate our bodies or treat them poorly?