Welcome to my new series that I feel so blessed to share with you.
I had a calling a few months ago to do something.
I had created some art entitled "You are Beautiful and Brilliant" a few years ago and changed the format of the work to just include the words.
It became apparent to me that I needed to give these away.
To people who needed them.
To people who needed to see them. To Hear the words.
To validate the truth that we all know deep down in our hearts.
Sometimes we get so bogged down by our insecurities.
By our hurts.
By things that have happened to us, or choices that we've made.
No matter what you look like, or what you have or have not done, no matter the color of your skin, the size of your bottom, no matter where you were born or how you were raised, God wants you to know this:
"YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND BRILLIANT"
I asked some women if they were ready to share their authentic selves with you.
Women who were ready to share a story about themselves.
A story that may be easy or difficult to tell.
Most importantly, a story that would resonate with someone and validate issues that we all deal with.
My beautiful friend Kate, has a story to share.
I would love to tell you that nothing really upsets me.
But that wouldn’t be true. That wouldn’t be true in 242 different ways.
For many years, I’ve told myself that it is ok, because I’m a really nice person with a kind smile. I’m a good friend to people and I love to make people feel special.
As I run past full length mirrors, I’ve whispered to myself that those qualities excuse everything else. As I order clothes online to avoid trying things on in a dressing room, I comfort myself that God loves me anyways.
I could blame it on the stress of moving or the sadness of five miscarriages. I could blame it on one of those miscarriages being beautiful twins that decided they would wait for me in heaven.
Growing up, there were a few in my family that struggled with weight, but not me.
That wasn’t my story. I wasn’t supposed to have to deal with weight struggles, right?
Before marriage, I was a dancer – high school was filled with drill team practice and ballet recitals. I’m not sure what I weighed.
I asked mom to proofread this for me – the most vulnerable post I have ever written – and she told me that one day the school nurses called concerned that I was underweight. My friends that I went to prom with cornered me in the bathroom and asked me if I was anorexic, which I wasn’t.
I can remember when I was pregnant with Nate; I prayed that I would not hit 200 pounds. At my last weigh in, I was 199. I felt triumphant! That was the heaviest I had ever been. Ever.
Before we moved to Arizona, I was at my thinnest after having children and I felt amazing – size 10 and 164 pounds.
Then, the next time I stepped on the scale I was somewhere in the 220s. I had skipped right past the 200s and the 210s. What?
For a few years, I dressed in blacks and greys, just ignoring what my body looked like.
I should tell you that I have always felt that those of us that have weight struggles have this unfair disadvantage.
Everyone can see what we struggle with. I don’t get to look at others and know their vulnerabilities, but everyone gets to look at me and just know.
I hoped that if I was nice enough, then everyone would overlook what I looked like.
Forget what I know in my heart about showing others God’s love.
Apparently, I had taken ownership of His love as if it was mine to dole out and hide behind. The more kind I was, the more of His love I would have to dole out. The more of His love I doled out, the more people would see what I wanted them to see.
Yeah, that’s not quite how it works, huh?
And you know what?! Now that I am taking baby steps into His amazing arms of unconditional love, I’m leaning that it is ok to ask for help with my weight loss, too.
After a long journey of prayer and many talks with my mom, late last summer, I finally realized that God loves all 242 pounds of me. Just writing that number seems astounding and embarrassing. There is a teeny little part of me that thinks – I bet people reading this think I have no self-control or they are embarrassed for me. But that’s ok.
I am blessed that I’ve come to this point. I know that my God truly loves me.
Not like – “hey God loves all His children” but He has given ME talents and gifts and wants to grow ME.
What? He wants me to pour His love on others – absolutely, but He also wants to fill ME with His love.
It is ok to ask for His strength and wisdom in this, too. God wants His children to come to Him with all things – even those things we think we are not supposed to pray for. When He told us to lean on His strength, He really meant for everything! Even that super cute cupcake in the window or the extra large bowl of queso.
If I can encourage you on this journey, please let me know! I am learning that I am beautiful and I’d love to help you discover that truth, too!
Learn more about sweet Kate here:
Kate's Twitter: @SongsKateSang
Kate's Facebook: facebook.com/kate.t.eschbach
Kate's Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/songskatesang/
Send Love. Expect Nothing in Return.™
Send Love. Expect Nothing in Return.™
***************************************************************************************(If you'd like a free Beautiful and Brilliant 5 x7 print and have a story you feel led to share, (or know a group of people who could benefit from these prints) please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)