Saturday, June 25, 2011
Thus, when I was asked to write my testimony for a personal tract when I was in an Evangelism class at CFNI, I was a little worried about what to write. I know so many people that have had these crazy things happen to them and while I've gone through my own share of crap, it's never been something astounding or even something I'm cool with sharing.
Finally I decided on an experience that actually happened to me while I was in attendance there-- the Lord dealing with my insecurity. It's a journey and this was only the catalyst. I still deal with insecurity and likely will have to fight it for the rest of my life, but I'm okay with that because I know Who I have beside me.
So here's my story:
I sat in a chair in the middle of the room, tears streaming down my face as my body convulsed with sobs.
Two minutes ago, I'd been avoiding my youth pastor's eyes, desperately hoping I wouldn't get picked next for prayer. I knew I needed it, but that was exactly why I didn't want it. It had been my mentor who ended up calling me out, though.
Two minutes ago, I'd been focused on holding in my stomach so everyone wouldn't see how fat I was. I'd been focused on keeping myself from crying so no one would see how ugly I looked when I cried and so no one would know what I was feeling. Neither mattered now. The only thing I could think now was, "I'm in so much pain! It hurts so bad!"
I'm sure I looked a mess. No one else sat down in the chair and started sobbing before anyone started praying. But it didn't matter anymore. All I knew was that a burden had been wrapped around my shoulders for so long and I just wanted it off. I wanted nothing more than to be rid of this pain that encompassed nearly every waking hour.
That night, the Lord healed me from my self-hatred, self-condemnation, and massive insecurity. I carried that burden of feeling worthless, disgusting, and ugly for so long that the burden had become a normal weight- I can't remember a time before then when I didn't shoulder it.
The emotional scars came the way scars usually do: careless words; a comment here, a rejection there. As a child and later as a young adult, I had unwittingly harbored these things in my heart. Satan whispered his little half-truths until I would accept the full-blown lies as truth.
"She's so skinny, yet she keeps talking about how she needs to lose weight. She probably thinks you look like a cow."
"No one's ever going to like you. I mean, what is there to like?"
"You're just irritating them. Why would they want to hang out with you?"
"Ew. Look at that stomach. No one will ever find you attractive."
"All those people who rejected you before? They obviously had a pretty good reason. Get over it."
On and on they went, spinning their little webs around my heart until it was entirely ensnared. I had my good days, where I thought a dress looked pretty good on me, or hung out with that one person that I knew actually liked to hang out with me, though I couldn't for the life of me figure out why.
I knew that God found me beautiful and fun to be around. I knew He loved my personality and my body. I even knew that thinking badly of myself was insulting His handiwork, figuratively spitting in the face of God. Still, I groaned when I saw myself in the mirror. Still, I cried when I finished a beautifully romantic movie, because I was certain that could never happen to me.
But on that night, the people on the Paradigm leadership team called it out of me. They "read my mail" and cried with me when they saw what I was going through. They helped me give up that little girl who saw a whale when she looked in the mirror and that young girl who couldn't figure out why no one wanted her around.
Then we were silent as I listened to what the Lord was speaking to me. It was one sentence, but it sent me into an entirely new set of tears- tears of joy. In the deepest part of my heart, He whispered, "You are worthy of love."
My countenance changed immediately and I knew that the pain had stopped. I felt so light. I've never felt that light in my entire life. The weight slid off and I suddenly felt like I could fly because I didn't have to carry that burden anymore. Jesus had picked up up, thrown it over His back, and I don't have to carry it ever again.
It's so easy to listen and agree with Satan when he feeds you lies. He's constantly doing it. He uses people to make little digs at the things we struggle with the most. He whispers half-truths that seem whole, all the while using it to eat away at our souls. He masks condemnation as conviction, hiding behind twist Scripture and twisted Truth to prove a point.
You don't have to believe Him!
God finds you beautiful/handsome! He sees you as worthy of time, effort, love. He finds you intoxicating when you worship Him with your whole being. He cries with you when your heart is heavy-laden. He cares about us in a world that would rather cover up our flaws than help us fix them. He calls you His treasure and sees you as more valuable than life.
That's why He gave His life for you on the cross so many years ago. He thought of you as He was executed for sins He did not commit- sins you did commit. He died so you could have a life with Him, because He enjoys your heart! He loves you enough to want to spend an entire eternity loving on you and spending time with you. How can you feel worthless or of so little value when the King of Glory calls you beautiful and His own?
It doesn't matter what anyone else says. Your family, your friends, those people who shaped your insecurity, they're all just as jacked up as everyone else. They don't know what they're talking about and through that, Satan will take whatever foothold he can get in your heart. The lies of Satan are potent and the longer they are left without dealing with them, the more they fester, the more they grow, until they threaten to take over your whole world.
Hand it over to God. You know what those lies are.
What's holding you back?