Something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember is shame. To me, shame is that bubbling insecurity that rises up in the pit of my stomach, reminding me that I’m not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, worthy enough. I know right, what a drag. While I wish I had five easy steps to help you overcome your own insecurity and shame, the best I can do is offer myself. I’m here with you, struggling, fighting, eventually overcoming and conquering and striding forth in glory. Because when you really think about it, those last three are what God really wants for us.
In these last few months, probably starting in August of 2016, I was working through, and conquering, so many demons in my life that had stuck around for far too long. While I was pursuing victories and triumphs, one particular demon just grew and grew until she (I imagine this as a she, who knows why) became a part of my every day life. Her official name is “Shame,” but she manifests herself in many different ways. from not being able to pick out what to wear in the morning because I don’t feel confident in anything I own to not being able to post on my blog because I don’t feel like anything I could write is good enough. I’ve always experienced mild shame and insecurity, but what I was experiencing this time around seemed like a whole new battle. Eventually, I stopped questioning what this voice inside my head was telling me and became comfortable in telling myself daily how unworthy I was.
I don’t know the day when my insecurity struggle got so much worse but dang, that became a hard load to carry. Generally, the insecurity surrounded my body and how I looked. This shame lead to over exercising, restricting what I ate, calorie counting, and general stress. I came to realize that if I’m planning my whole day around when I will exercise and what foods I will eat, something must be wrong with my priorities. It just shouldn’t be that hard. Even though I was leaning out with all over exercising and under eating, I wasn’t happy. I was never satisfied. The whole in my heart that Shame herself dug was never going to be satisfied by something as shallow as losing those last five pounds. I rested my heart on the belief that once I feel like I’m skinny, I’ll be happy. But it never quite works out like that, does it.
So now, I’m on a journey. A journey to live a healthy lifestyle, no matter what that looks like, flat stomach or rockin’ the rolls, thigh gap or mermaid tail. A journey to love what God has given me, whether that means exercising out of thankfulness for my body, or maybe even eating that honey butter chicken biscuit because I know it will bring me a heck of a lot of joy. A journey to end my unhealthy relationship with eating, because eating is the way my body gets energy (besides coffee). A journey from being the ashamed to being the beloved.
At the end of the day, the only person you belong to is God, and I really don’t think He cares how many pounds you’ve gained since that one time years ago when you felt like you were at a really good weight. Because, let’s be real here, even at that one time you can think of where you liked your body and didn’t feel the insecurity you feel now, you probably still weren’t satisfied. I can tell you for sure that it didn’t fill hole, no matter how great it is to look back and think “Yeah, I looked good that one time two years ago.” The only way to fill the hole is to stick Jesus and His Truth in there. Our worth isn’t even our worth at all, it’s the infinite worth of Jesus, who is in us.
So Shame can kick it. I know that’s easier said than done, but I think that through prayer and pursuit of Christ, Jesus will help us and heal us. All things, even conquering shame and insecurity, can be done through Christ.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.- 3 John 1:2
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8