A week ago, I started a devotional study called “Exploring Identity.” Over the next 10 weeks, I will share with you how each post has spoken to my heart and boy, has it?! I will be posting 2 devo responses each week. I pray that they will speak to your heart too!
Day 1 KNOWN
Who are you? Do you really know? Do others know who you really are?
As many of you know if you read my About page, I struggled with severe negative body image in 2011-2012. I can proudly say that I am a survivor, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a daily struggle still. Yes, I can fight off stinkin’ thinkin’ with prayer and positive thinking (which was near impossible in the depths of negative body image depression a couple years ago!). Still though, it is a daily struggle. And sadly, that experience has killed off my confidence, which I am trying so hard to get back. I want my children to know Mom believes in herself, because she has a God that believes in her.
Doubts about who we are can play on our minds.
Doubt. I know something about doubt. Although I can look at my body now and see the flaws and be ok with them, my past body image struggles have cast doubt into many other aspects of my life, hence my confidence issues. While I was in the depths of negative body image, I saw those flaws and they DID DEFINE me. I thought to myself “I’m ugly. I’m fat. I will never look any better than this and because of that, I am a horrible person. No one will ever accept me.” Ahhhh. I can’t believe I said those things to myself!!! DO NOT say those things to yourself! It will only dig your hole of despair deeper! Overcoming negative body image is a mind game. You have to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. Replace them with affirmations. Replace them with prayer. You need to find your beautiful. That is the only way to avoid letting that ugly little word doubt destroy your mind.
Before you know it, you’re wearing a mask: not the true me, but the me that I want everyone else to see, designed to cover up the deficiencies in my character. Why do we do it? Because we would rather be that person. We’d rather be slimmer or funnier or more fashionable or in a relationship. Those are the things that this world around us values, and we long to be valuable. To be worth something. To be noticed, or at least to be the same as everyone else and not stand out so much.
But shouldn’t we WANT to stand out. I don’t mean standing out because of worldly standards. I’m talking something spiritual. Don’t we want the world to know that our values are not earthly? They are heavenly. We should not strive for worldly standards but divine ones. We were created in God’s image. Our identity should be found in Christ, not the size of our clothes or what we see in the mirror. Our identity is found in our hearts because He lives there.
If only we could have the security of being completely known and understood by someone.
God knows me. And He knows you. He knows my struggles. He knows my heartache. And when I let stinkin’ thinkin’ consume me, I let Satan know me. And that is scary. So so so scary. I don’t want him to know me. I want that intimate relationship with Christ, my King. He understands me. And He understands you too. Strive to be more like Him. Replace that stinkin’ thinkin’ with affirmations and prayer. He will help you overcome.
John 16:33- I have told you these things so that in me you find peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world!
Do you wear a mask? Is there something you struggle with? If you feel led to, share in the comments and I will certainly pray for you!