Image is powerful

Hello to to everyone who has ever read my blog entries, or who comes across this article. I have not written an entry for awhile,so I am glad to get back in the groove. There is something on my heart, the topic of image. I  hope that the things I share will be helpful, and an inspiration to you.

First, I want to share about my struggles with self image. Growing up, I didn’t really know my father. He vanished from my life when I was about 5 years old.  My Grandfather was kind to me, but he died when I was 8.Then, when I was around 10, my Mom met and married a man who was physically and verbally abuse. He would say things  to me like I will rape you, and kill you, and he even took me in the woods once, with a gun, and threatened to shoot me, all for no significant reason, other than his crazy sick mind .He did things like put my fingers on a book, and said every time you lie, you’ll lose one of your fingers. If I remember correctly, he had a hammer, and the whole reason for him doing this was because he thought I had a boyfriend and wasn’t telling him about it. I didn’t have a boyfriend, and I was only in the 5th grade at the time. When the father figure in your life says these kinds of things. instead of, you are beautiful, and valuable, it messes with your head.Other things went on in my life prior to my Mom marrying this abusive man that also contributed to my self image issues, but it would take too long to get into, and some things, I just can’t talk about.

When I was about 13, I ended up going into a foster home, and later on being adopted by my wonderful foster Mom. As good as she was to me, and even though she loved me, I still didn’t feel like I had her approval, because sometimes she and others would tease me and say I had thunder thighs, and stuff like that, and others would joke about my bubble butt and things,lol!. I was a skinny teenager, but I never had skinny thighs, or slender hips for my size. Also, she would say I was book smart, but I didn’t have much common sense, and you know the family would tease me, dingy blonde, ha ha,.She would also tell me I  was very pretty at times, and I know her and the family’s intentions were never to put me down, and I know they loved me, I just didn’t understand how to take the teasing, which wasn’t intended to hurt me, or put me down.All of this was just family being family, making fun jokes, no harm was intended. My adoptive mother died when I was 18. Her husband had already died when I was placed in her care, so I still didn’t have a father.

During the teenage years of my life, I spent much time looking in the mirror, hoping to see something special, hoping I would suddenly be beautiful to myself, looking to figure out if I was beautiful or not, believing I was for a second, then going back to no, I’m not, I’m not good enough. My body is not the right body. I’m not beautiful like the models, or my taller, thinner friends, or the girls on tv, or whoever. While dealing with my own self  image as a teenager, I also found out that my friends dealt with it too. I had a friend that was around a size zero, that would sometimes say she’d like to have a body more like mine, and I remember some of the skinny girls in school, that told me, people would tease them for it. Some of my friends that were bigger than me, would also talk about how they  felt fat, and they didn’t think they were pretty. They would also get teased sometimes too.

My adopted mother had good friends who were a married couple that went to the same church with us, and I’d even ride to church with them some times. They would always compliment me, and say I was beautiful,especially the wife, and they would spend time with me, show me love, and so on. Then, when my adoptive mother died, things changed. I lived with them for a little while, and one time, I asked the wife how an outfit looked, and she said, I can see your rolls. And the husband told me once, when I asked if I was pretty, well, you’re very pretty, but if you lose some weight, you’ll be beautiful. I didn’t even need to lose weight. My body was still developing, so naturally, I was filling out and you gain weight in that process, but I was nowhere near fat, and could even gain some weight.But, I think they said these things possibly out of grief, of missing my Mom, and frustration of adapting to me living there,as a teenage girl,I could be challenging at times.  The point is, we have to learn not to let what people say cause us to lose sight of who we are.

Moving on to now. I am  30 years old, and yes I am in a different place with all this. I have found a father, one who loves me. He is patient, understanding, and forgiving. That father is Jesus, yes Jesus. He is the father I never had. He accepts me no matter what, and he doesn’t value me for what size jeans I wear, or how tall I am, or what color my skin is. He has also given me  a husband that loves me, and always tells me how beautiful I am.

Even though I have this, I still deal with insecurities sometimes. That insecure little girl tries to creep back up sometimes. I have days where I feel like I look good in my clothes, and I feel pretty confident about my body, and face, and days where I think I look like a big , fat whale. I do wear make up, but not much. I don’t feel insecure about my husband or other people seeing me without make up. Whenever I take a picture with a group of people, I can’t help but think sometimes, I am going to look fatter than I really am in that picture, or ugly, because honestly,  I am not very photogenic, not in my opinion. I usually look better in person, than in pictures. A lot of times, when my husband calls me beautiful in front of other people, I either feel embarrassed, and wonder if people are smiling because they agree, or because they think, he’s crazy, she’s not beautiful,lol!

But here is something I am learning. My value doesn’t come from my pants size, it comes from Gods love for me, firstly, and secondly, in who I am, the person I am, my character, how I treat people, and so on.  Also, I have learned that prayer helps.Prayer gives me the strength, and confidence I need to keep going, and to not give up on my  dreams, or myself, even on my insecure days. I do value myself, and even when I have those moments of insecurity, I still love me, because I realize that those insecurities are feelings, and that I shouldn’t rely on those feelings to guide me, because my feelings change, sometimes daily. But, I can rely on God to guide me. His affections towards me don’t change. He loves me.

Ladies, there is nothing wrong with you wearing make up, wearing nice clothes ( I love fashion), or even gaining or losing weight if you think you need to, etc. But don’t lose or gain the weight, or  put on the pretty clothes for others, do it for you, simply because you want to.Don’t do it because society said to, or a family member, or some one else. If you are married, of course you want to look good for your husband, but don’t forget, also do it for you.

The first thing God  (Jesus Yahshua)gave us was image, self worth, self esteem. There are always things in the world trying to take it away from you, but you are beautiful, you are God’s creation! And no matter how good you look, you can’t please everyone,and meet every one’s expectations of beauty, but it doesn’t matter, as long as you love you, and have God in your life .

If you are a larger sized woman, realize that skinny girls have their struggles too.Be kind to them.If you are skinny, realize larger girls have their struggles too.Be kind to them. If you are medium sized, realize that larger, and skinny girls have their struggles too. Be kind to them. And all of you, no matter what size, be kind to yourself.  I will close with one of my favorite quotes. Be kind to everyone you meet, they are fighting a battle you know nothing of.   with love, April

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