Let’s take a look. This series that we are finishing was aimed at one thing. Re-evaluation of ourselves. We have looked about our relationships, our direction, our hearts, and to close this, I want to take a look at ourselves.
So, Let’s Take a Look.
How do you see yourself. When you walk into your bathroom in the morning, and see yourself in the mirror, and see your bedhead and dried drool hanging off the corner of your mouth, what is the first thing that goes through your mind?
I am going to be straight up honest with all of you. Something that you may find shocking, and never thought of, but……I am not the smallest of people. I know. Shocking. I can put it in a lot of different ways to dance around what nobody wants to hear. “There’s more to love” or “You are better to cuddle with” or “God made you with something more to live with.” I have heard it all. But I will admit this fact.
I am fat.
As vulgar as this sounds, I am saying this as the truth. Or you can take it as a scientific fact, if you want to, and say that my Body Mass Index percentage is higher than most. Feel free to, but the way that I see it, it’s all true.
I weigh over 300 pounds. I am bigger than most of my family and friends, and it’s been like that for a long time. I have never been small for my age. I was born nearly the size of a 2 ½ month old baby, at almost 11 pounds, and have continued that legacy since.
This is something that I have had to deal with. Going through middle school, I was bullied for this. I have heard all the names. “Tubs”, “Fatty”, “Fatso”, “Tub-of-lard”. More times than not, I was referred to as this for several years. Living with this legacy as a middle school boy, the reflection that I saw of myself was tarnished. I believed what they told me. I was a worthless. I had nothing to live for, and was a waste of the air I breathed.
I love mirrors. I think they are so cool. The fact that whatever comes in front of them, they show whatever it so fast, you can’t even tell there is a delay. But sometimes when I take really hot showers, I get out and look in the mirror, and it’s so fogged up that the silhouette isn’t even recognizable. I am sure this happens to you.
When I took a look in the mirror, I hated what I saw. I saw my imperfections. I saw myself, and that’s where I found my value.
Since I have come to know Jesus, I don’t face this problem anymore. In fact, I embrace it. I love the fact I am large for several reasons. #1 I am super cuddly, which is good for Alex. I am very comfortable with this, and love this fact. #2 I am very warm. Again, a good thing for Alex, and myself, especially when embracing the Michigan winter every year.
I love myself, I am confident, happy and affirmed that I am the way I am because God loves me, and He wants me to know that my identity is found in Christ, not my body. If you actually take a look at yourself, you will find that you are the way you are, because God made you that way.
Now I am confident in saying, especially in the tainted culture we live in, that a lot of you reading this will have struggled with this issue. This is why we want to write about this.
Coming from a similar experience growing up, my self image has always been a reflection of how others saw me. Mirrors are pretty cool and I don’t shy away from them, but I struggle to not stare at myself and wish I could change things.
I wasn’t bullied nearly as much, hardly at all really. My “bullies” were my own family though. I was average size for my age until I hit freshman year in high school and my Colombian hips started showing. Being mostly flat and boring, and a little on the tall side, this meant that my jeans stopped fitting, and my clothes got a little tighter. I couldn’t wear shorts higher than my knees because of my “thunder thighs”.
It was only made worse because my parents always told me to “put more clothes on” and wear longer skirts and shorts. I am still not confident enough to wear bathing suits without some sort of covering around my family and friends.
As if my teenage self needed more self esteem killing, my so called “friends” rarely complimented me. Daily, I was getting bombarded with the media saying that I wasn’t pretty because I didn’t use makeup(or even know what that was), or have the nicest clothing, that my smile wasn’t the whitest and that my hair was frizzy. I wasn’t skinny like the popular girls and even my own family judged me for how I looked.
My self image has been skewed for so long that I still don’t like being in pictures. Looking in mirrors is still difficult to do without judging myself and pointing out flaws. I’ve had to come to the point where I just stopped caring so much what other people would think of everything, and just try to focus on God thinks of me.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…….. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27
God says He made us in His image and therefore he values each and every one of us.
“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.” Psalms 139: 13-14
He formed each one of us individually, giving us our own unique images, modeled after His. And since God is good and he cannot makes mistakes, that means he made us to be who we are.
I’m reminded of the song Who Am I? by Casting Crowns. The lyrics remind me that He is there for me when I need Him, because He loves me.
“Still you hear me when I’m calling, Lord you catch me when I’m falling, and you’ve told me who I am. I am yours, I am yours.”
God values each and every one of us so much that he sent his son to die for us, so that we could be called his sons and daughters. He wants us to be part of his family because he LOVES us. Every single one of us. Not just the righteous and the devoutly religious. Jesus came to be with the sinners, the poor and broken, the outcasts and criminals. He loves everyone, no matter what.
So the next time you go to look in the mirror, are you going to let the opinions and judgments of your peers drag you down? Or are you going to remember that God made you to be who you are, and that you have value as one of his children? He formed you in His image and sent His son, a part of Himself, to earth to die, so that you can be with Him forever.
He loves you for who you are, and who He made you into. He doesn’t love you for the number on the scale, or your stretch marks, or even the way you think you are. God loves you for you, and for whom He made you to be. Embrace that, and take a look at who you are in Christ.