This is the post I didn't really want to write. I have been avoiding writing this by telling myself I couldn't share something so personal until I had some sort of resolution. I compromised with myself. But please, bare with me, it's scary to be vulnerable.
"You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us." This amazing lyric is from the song Beautiful Things by Gungor. Ironically, ever since Austin introduced this song to me I have been obsessed with it. Like the one-song-repeat-for-an-hour kind of obsessed. I persistently requested that Austin do this song with our dear sisterfriend Camie. All this time I have been singing this song to my Creator, and unwittingly I was lying. I didn't really believe He made beautiful things out of us... well not all of us. Not me. (my heart hurts just putting that to words)
Since being pregnant, I have been so dissatisfied with my physical appearance. No, that isn't sufficient. I have lamented over my physical appearance. I have avoided mirrors. I have believed evil lies about myself. Shamefully, I even dreaded future pregnancies because of what it would do to my body. (I feel completely mortified putting words to that) I lived in bondage, whilst giving my Redeemer a slap in the face. Nothing looked good enough or felt good enough or was good enough. I had just welcomed our amazing and healthy son into the world and moved across the country being lead to an awesome church and community. I was learning so much about Him, but there was a growing spiritual cancer inside. I had come to a point where nothing in my closet was doing the job, and finally a point where nothing in any store could work either. At first I was buying new clothes and returning them the next day out of dissatisfaction. Around Christmas my sweet husband let me go out and buy a few things for myself, but I couldn't. Nothing fit right, nothing was cute enough, nothing was worth waiting in line for or paying for. We were in Dallas mind you, a place where I have had no issues blowing money in the past. This wasn't the first time that clothes or the lack thereof had broken me. This time, I was so anxious to get back to my parents' house and see Lyric. I was convinced that if I could just see him, I would remember why my body had changed so drastically and how worth it that small sacrifice was. But it didn't work. I sat looking down at him sleeping, and cried, whispering to Lyric (mainly to myself) "why aren't you enough? having you should be enough"
God had not been silent. My Savior had not abandoned me ever. He had been whispering and sometimes pleading with me to understand. He showed me that there are so many women that would give up their physique if they could just have a healthy baby in their arms. He opened my eyes to the other side of the coin, that if Lyric had been unhealthy that I too would have gladly traded my looks for him. He told me about my creation, "Katy, I did not create you as an infant and stop being your Creator. I created who you were yesterday, I created who you will be in 50 years, and I created you as you are now." And yet...and yet my sin was my comfort. My hatred of my changed body was fastening chains that bound me tighter and tighter. When I realized that this was sin that I was facing and not--what exactly was it that I thought I was dealing with? It had been so long since sin had seemed so big to me.
There was a series of events which served as a catalyst in breaking chains. In a long dark drive to a relatives' home, I finally started to understand how much it hurt my man that I completely despised my physical self while he "was obsessed with [me] post pregnancy." Being married, I almost always forget that "being one" isn't just a figure of speech. When I hate me, I hurt him. While we were in Dallas we had the opportunity to share dinner with our beloved friends the Patronellas, and after sharing my shameful feelings of inadequacy with sisterfriend, Andea, I knew that I had to move from this place. I wrote a timeline of sorts in my journal. How did I feel about myself pre-preg, during preg, and post preg. If I highlighted the number of times the word "proud" was written, you would need sunglasses to read the thing. Of course. Of course my pride had found another way in. Why did I think that this idol would just disappear from my life? While we were in Texas, we had the joy of attending my sister in-law, Tara's church, Stonegate Church. Our friend Rodney Hobbs is the pastor there and we were a little sad that he was out of town, but their associate pastor Dan was speaking in his place. Dan taught on biblical repentance, a topic that would hit me right straight between the eyes. Dan shared that sin was not just doing wrong things, it was anything that put tension between us and God and needed to be repented of. BOOM. And there it was. Finally, finally I could see the steps that were before me. It was repentance. It was not a total postpartum make over. It was not finding the most flattering clothes. It was repentance.
It seemed like God had softened my heart and taught me, like I had gotten that big fat nugget of wisdom I needed, but He was not finished. I just started the Siesta Scripture Memory Team through Living Proof Ministries. The idea is too choose two scriptures a month and memorize them, for a year (along with countless other believers). I need to arm myself with scripture to fight these lies. My Precious Lord gave me this to start "Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." Psalm 100:3. Such a simple truth, but one that shapes my identity. I just started looking for my next scripture to memorize when I read this with fresh eyes "but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious" 1 Peter 3:4. "in God's sight is very precious." Why wasn't that my approach? Why have I been living this way? While journaling away about these precious jewels, I found myself writing "It's exhausting trying to be beautiful for everyone." BOOM.(again) I was living for the world. I wanted them all to think I was beautiful, for all of them to give me a pat on the back for being beautiful. Not conforming to this world holds a stronger meaning when it means not caring what the biggest trend is or how thin I am.
This post has taken me a full week to write (not including all the "mental writing" aka lying awake at night with this looming over me). All week I have struggled back and forth. On one hand I felt like this battle was too current and fresh for me to post for the whole world to have access to. On the other hand, I needed (still need) to know that other women share this battle, so maybe if I share this then some woman out there can turn from her chains, or at least realize she is living in them. But, I can't ignore the call that compelled me to share this part of my heart.