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How Do You See Yourself?

I was spending time with a friend a few months ago and she was really excited to have a new smart phone. While we were bargain hunting at Goodwill she showed me her phone’s screen and an avatar on it. Have you ever seen WeeWorld characters? They’re all a bit on the pudgy side. This WeeMee had plain hair and was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, she was a bit frumpy and I thought it was one she’d made of me. In reality that was one she’d made of herself and she showed me the one that she made of me that pops up anytime I called her. This one had beautiful, flowing blonde hair, blue eyes, flashy clothes, and was holding a microphone. She looked as much like a superstar as any WeeMee possibly could. I didn’t think it resembled me one bit. I thought, “I don’t sing anymore, my hair isn’t that blonde and there isn’t anything glamorous about me”. This was during a time in my life when my health had tanked, I was struggling with my weight and I felt as un-glamorous as anyone possibly could. How on earth could that be the way my friend sees me?

The thing is, many moons ago, I saw myself the same way she did. I was in college, I was the mother of one and wasn’t carrying around any extra weight. I had no health issues, I could workout for hours without passing out and the world looked promising. My mind was focused on my current studies and my future career. Fast forward, gulp, 14 years (this month), and I’m nearing “the big” birthday, I’m coming out of a season of being sick all-the-time, I am carrying around extra weight, my college dreams are nowhere to be found, walking seems to be the extent of my workouts, and I feel like I’m constantly running behind. I used to dress up for no reason at all and now I wear t-shirts and jeans…almost always.

Here’s the thing, the way I see myself now is a big disappointment compared to the way I used to see myself- if I’m only looking on the outside. If I take a moment to look inwardly I can see that I’m much more compassionate toward others now than I was before I got sick. I had no sympathy for those who didn’t pull themselves up ” by their boot straps” and keep going until I literally couldn’t stand up myself. I was proud of my strength until I had no strength left. I had no sympathy for those bogged down in their circumstances until no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t change my own. God used those circumstances to bring about things in me that I lacked. Compassion, sympathy, grace, peace, love, joy- hmmm… this is starting to sound like the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). So even though “outwardly I was wasting away”  inwardly I was being renewed (2 Corinthians 4:16). I truly believe that’s far more beautiful than if I was physically glamorous. Although I’m not hoping to replace the troll under the bridge anytime soon either (wink).

And that, my friends, is God’s purpose being accomplished in us. These bodies we walk around in are in a constant state of wasting away. But God, who sees the end from the beginning, sees us in light of eternity. He knows who we were, He sees who we are, and He sees who we will be- tomorrow and for eternity.

What’s your story? Has your view of yourself changed over the years? Do you like what you see? I think that the most important question is how do you think that God sees you? I’d like to encourage you to ask Him how He sees you and ask Him to speak to you in a way that you can hear it and understand.

Food for thought:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18- Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I want to encourage you today: When you’re running to car line, grocery shopping, homeschooling your kids, if you’re up to your elbows in snotty tissues and greasy dishes, whether you’re carrying around extra pounds or not…You are beautiful.

Blessings,

Amy

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4 thoughts on “How Do You See Yourself?

  1. Thank you for the encouragement. Here lately I have been feeling like I have let my self GO! And I am not in a place in my life where I can devote lots of time to getting back to my fit state. And often times I don’t feel bad about it but then other times I beat myself up about it. I don’t see myself as overweight but need to do a lot of toning up. So thanks for the reminder to see things that are unseen, temporary and eternal.

    • You know I’m always surprised when someone else tells me they feel like they’ve let themselves go…especially when that’s not what I see in them. Of course, I don’t see that in you at all.

      I don’t have a lot of time to put into it either but I’ve put working out on my schedule today. I may not be able to do 4-5 days a week like I’ve done in times past but I can probably do 2-3 and I’m thankful for that. Taking a walk with the kids and the dog doesn’t get me to the “feel the burn” state but it’s relaxing and fun and we make memories so I try to do that during the week too.

  2. I have oodles of confidence one day and then in a quick (and probably unintentional) slash from a biting tongue, I’m a puddle of illegitimacy.

    I don’t worry about my looks very much, until I see a picture of myself, then I’m completely ashamed of what’s become of my once athletic and toned body, so I avoid cameras. Isn’t that intelligent?

    I feel like I have a lot to offer, until I’m met with what is needed, then I’m suddenly at a loss for anything valuable that I can throw in the pot.

    In all honesty, I have no problem with believing what the Bible says about me, but I do struggle with people. God looks at the heart, I’m good with that, man looks at the outward appearance, I despise the idea of having to cater to that. So I mostly don’t.

    • I mostly avoid cameras too. Although I’m going to have to get past it otherwise my kids will have no pictures of me to look back at. I don’t cater to people because I only care what a few think. But I’m not comfortable going out without at least having makeup on. I’m sure it’s my imagination but when I have done it, I feel like everyone is staring at me.

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