Be You Bravely

I have no fancy or eloquent way to begin this post.  Just this raw, unedited thought: I have been feeling ugly lately.  Unworthy.  Less than.  Utterly imperfect.  And these feelings have affected me more than ever before.  Normally I am able to move past them, knowing they are lies trying to tear me down, but this week that just hasn't been the case. And honestly, it really comes as no surprise that all of this has hit me so hard just a few days after watching this video .

I am all too familiar with the fact that we as women struggle with body image and self-worth.  I have grown up dealing with these feelings of insecurity since I was around ten, and now, almost fifteen years later, I am still dealing with them head-on. Between the number on the scale and dreaded swimsuit shopping and zits that pop up outta nowhere and going to the gym and the stupid concept of thigh gap and everything in between, it's hard to not let the lies get to us.  I wish I could tell you that it gets easier with age, but it doesn't (or at least hasn't yet).  With age does come wisdom, however, and thus the ability to better distinguish a truth from a lie.  These lies - that we are ugly, overweight, unwanted, not enough, worthless, untalented, hopeless - they are just that: lies.  They are things that we hear, read, and even begin to believe, but they are not the truth.

The truth is that you and I, we are beautiful, just as we are.  Our flaws, our imperfections, the things that we wish we could change… all beautiful.  Even if we don't always love them, they are what make you you and me me.  Perfect in our imperfection, y'all, and fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:14
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."  

Psalm 139:13-16 (MSG)
"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb.  I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking!  Body and soul, I am marvelously made!  I worship in adoration - what a creation!  You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.  Like an open book, you watched me grow… all the stages of my life were spread out before you.  The days of my life prepared before I'd even lived one day."

Replacing the lies we hear with the truth can be so much more powerful than we often believe (and even more so when those truths are coming straight from the Word of God).  We often become what we believe we are, so let's get after it together!  Rebuke the lies and tell them to get behind us.  They don't belong in our heads, and most certainly not in our hearts, so let's ditch them on the side of the road and keep moving forward in truth.

And when we are feeling beautiful and good about ourselves, we do not need to be ashamed of it.  If you or I want to document that moment by taking a selfie, we shouldn't feel guilty about it.  You heard me: #longlivetheselfie.  You are beautiful (and that will remain true regardless of how many "likes" you get, by the way) and may we not forget that real, true, lasting beauty isn't external anyway; it radiates from within.  Love yourself, flaws and all, and then you'll best be able to love others around you.  And that's what this life is really all about anyway, isn't it?  Loving others well.

So get it girl.  Rebuke the lies.  Take that selfie.  Love with abandon.  And be you, bravely.