I was self consumed. My mind thought about nothing but the person staring back at me in the mirror. My biggest concern was not my family, or my boyfriend, or my schoolwork, not even the upcoming season or any excitement towards my future, but rather the biggest weight upon my shoulders was stitched with concern over myself. I criticised my height, my face, my arms, my stomach, my back, my legs, my thighs, my smile, my eyes, and my weight. I told and reminded beautiful girls of their self worth and how it breaks the heart of Christ when His daughters pick apart the very parts of themselves that were molded delicately by His hands, yet I didn’t believe my own words when it came to myself. My largest concern was eating less, excercising more, and striving for a type of beauty that man would admire. As I decreased my daily intake, my mood changed. I didn’t care about my neighbour or the hurts of those closest to me, but rather was only focused on how I was feeling. I wore baggy sweaters and walked around with a smug look on my face, because nobody knew of the bones hidden beneath the fabric. No one knew that I could run my fingers up and down each rib, or could feel the ridges of my spine through my shirt. My insides begged for nourishment, my tired heart knocked quicker than usual, and even my bones groaned for rest, but I saw these things as proof that I was winning. My dearest relationships were held by thinning and delicate thread. I got into silly arguments over things that didn’t matter, and I judged people who only spoke to help. My boyfriend constantly and gently reminded me of the truth, of my worth and of the person that I really am and was created to be, but I’d choose to tuck his voice into my pocket and promised myself to believe him later. I never did though, because I was consumed with hate towards myself and content in thinking that I was right.
I love words. I love writing into the late hours of the night until my fingers shake, and during this time I wrote and wrote, but my words were filled with hate. Hate towards myself, and over the very breath in my lungs and the voice in my head. I wrote of my past over and over again, and about the things I have done to hurt myself and the moments where I tore the hearts of others in half, and I convinced myself that I deserved to break - that my past defined me and that I was not worthy of joy or health, or life. With tired eyes and frail fingers, I’d hide my words in the space behind my dresser and would read them every night, adding to the places where I felt that I was too easy on myself. I knew God was there, but I didn’t want him to be. I was so convinced that my past and my bad decisions were enough for Him to look the other way. I could feel Him on those nights where I’d check for my hipbones or check to see if the measurements were really correct, but I’d push Him away and tell him that I deserved to feel this way. That feeling empty was worth it, because nothing felt as lovely as bones and skin.
There is so much more to say, but perhaps those things are better kept where I left them. They don’t matter because I’m not writing this to lay out what my body has been fighting these past few months. I’m not writing these words for pity or for a reason to get noticed. I write them because I need you to know that Jesus saved me, and I want Him to gain all the glory for taking me out of that place, and showing me truth again. Jesus picked me up and whispered love stories into my ears. He took the eyes that criticize and replaced them with His. He took my regret and shame over my past and forgave each moment where I fell short. He picked up each piece of me that was convinced that I was unworthy of all things beautiful, and told me that He takes great delight in me even though I am made up broken pieces. He reminded me that I was created intricately with a specific purpose in mind. A purpose that was carefully laid out for me to strive after. Though I was afraid of Him and what He might say, He came with more love than I can describe with words. He wrapped me in all that He is and peeled away the layers that this world has painted onto me. Layers constructed with words of self hate and selfish strivings for physical beauty and skin and bones written on every inch, He peeled them away and I watched as they shattered at my feet. He held me, though I tried to pull His arms from me, and He breathed Truth into me again and I felt it.
I am worth so much more than what this world and its king has convinced me to believe. Because of how focused I was on myself, I missed out on helping a lot of beautiful people. People who needed a friend and needed someone to listen. I was selfish and self absorbed, and I forgot about what I am here to do. I forgot about the lost souls and the people who are trying to fill themselves up with temporary things only to find that those things are ever enough. And so they continue on with their searches to fill the parts of themselves that they know are empty, and it always ends the same way. I too was empty, and instead of filling myself with truth and love and with the hope that comes from Christ, I filled myself with goals to gain the admiration of man, and to prove to myself that I was strong enough to be in control of something - even when my health was at risk, and even when it was affecting the people that love me the most. Even when it was breaking the very heart of the one who created me. I lost my purpose and I lost my direction. I had it all wrong because my goals of beauty were the most important factors of my life. What was I doing? My life is worth so much more than such trivial things! This world got to my head, and I lost focus on what I am really here for. My life was meant to consist of more than what I have been living for. I have purpose, and it is stunning and gives me more hope than anything else. And I am beautiful because of who I am in Christ. My outward appearance will pass away and crack, but who I am - my character, my soul - is going to last for all eternity, and it is the inward parts of me that I want to be beautiful. I want a heart that God sees as humble and kind, and honouring to Him. I want my life to reflect Him, to glorify Him. Concerning myself with the way I look has only made me incredibly selfish and self serving. This life is not about me - it is about Him, and my greatest desire is that He would increase, and that I would decrease.