Though I attempt to remain cheerful and unmoved not only in my blog but throughout every aspect of my life I confess I feel to have a moment to let my hair down and relate some things I ordinarily would not. I don't know why the Lord has brought my mind so much to bear on this topic of late but I feel He would have me pen the words that have flashed across my brain, as much as I would truly rather forget them and move on.
I learned a lesson some time ago and certainly had the concept nailed but I feel the Lord would have me revive the pain of said lesson and discuss it on my blog today. It is the very simple concept that we all know but sometimes have difficulty sustaining in our lives. It is the one regarding self image. I don't enjoy admitting this but I had a time for several years during which my appearance was continually berated and criticized. I was taught repeatedly that I was ugly, substandard, a sorry excuse for a woman and the like. I was told that my body was worthless and that no man in his right mind could possibly be satisfied with me and for some time I took this as simple truth. I wasn't offended by it as much as I might have been because I accepted it so much as factual. I was taught that I could never be as pretty as my older sisters and that because of my lack of beauty I could never expect loyalty or devotion from any man; indeed, I found myself taught that this was not from any weakness on the man's part but because of my own lack of physical perfection in every respect. And I completely believed it.
God taught me differently little by little until my psyche had entirely altered and I came to think of myself in an absolutely arrogant sense. I knew I was special to the Lord and I knew He had made me gloriously. I knew that in His eyes I was worth everything and I delighted to treat my body well. I loved to eat healthily and work out, taking as perfect care of the physique God had allowed me in reverent gratitude for the health and beauty He gave me. I became something of a perfectionist about my appearance, declaring and finally believing that I was exquisite in His eyes and His was truly the only opinion that mattered. I gained something of a reputation amongst the men at the gym for "walking like I owned the place." Well, in a very real sense, my Father owned the place and He loved me. So in truth, why not walk like I owned the place? A manager may have been in charge of the gym but my Heavenly Father owned the land, building, manager, equipment, and the very air within the building. And He loved me. So why not?
I love this picture and am grateful to my sister for giving me the Scarlet O'Hara robe I'm donning in it. I love how it feels to wear it and it illustrates the lavish, passionate regard I have come to feel from my Heavenly Father and the fact that He seems to delight in spoiling His daughter rotten at times and treating her like an absolute goddess. Oh, granted, one may argue that I don't look perfect in this shot - my expression could include a smile, the folds of my robe could be more graceful perhaps, but you know what? It is something I enjoy, and as God's love surrounds me in every respect, I find its peace and approval more than sufficient.