Originally published Tuesday, 21 October 2014.
Happy October, friends! Today, Prodigal Sister is featuring a guest post from my special, sassy, beautiful friend Holly. She and I connected through Jon Acuff's 30 Days of Hustle back in January (Seriously? Has it been that long?) and she has been a sweet encouragement ever since.
This is her story. And I'm so glad she was willing to share it with us.
Holly writes at the Common Queen Blog, and her updates on Facebook are hysterical. Follow her if you're looking for a few laughs throughout the day.
Yesterday, a friend told me I should really start working out again.
She had great intentions, I’ll give her that much. She’s struggled with her weight, too. I know she loves me and she even made it a point to remind me of it at the end of the conversation.
We need people spurring us on in bettering ourselves, but sometimes that spurring cuts deep.
What my friend hadn’t realized is that I’ve been carrying a lot of shame around concerning my weight. Her words felt like one more burden on my heart and one more doubt in my head.
You’ll never overcome this, Holly. You are always going to be gross and fat.
Like any rational person, I went home and got the ice cream out of my freezer and filled my bowl extra high. I would have licked the sides of the ice cream container, but I decided to leave a smidgen just in case there was another “emergency” in the near future.
With my bowl full of chocolate0therapy, I texted my BFF about how disgusting I was feeling. I reiterated my fears that she’s heard a million times over and yet that always boils down to this one question:
“Am I single because I’m fat?”
All of this comes just a few short days after I posted a blog about being fat AND lovable. God’s got a sense of humor, for sure. I knew I was still in process, but there’s nothing like some raw emotions to remind me that I’m not quite as far along as I’d like to be.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the fat girl in the group. The funny fat girl, which has its perks but fat none the less. That, like many other characteristics, had become my identity. We all do it.
We identify ourselves by our relationship status (all the single ladies, holla!), by our education (or lack thereof), by our occupation (crazy Church Administrator here), by our past experiences, by our sports teams (Let’s Go! Buffalo!), by our favorite brands …you see my point. The list goes on.
The problem is that it’s not important who WE think we are, but who GOD says we are.
Maybe I’m oversimplifying things, but I don’t think that would be a bad thing. You see, God is always going to tell us the Truth about ourselves. Our brains (or the Enemy….whatever) have this sneaky way of lying to us in our own voices. Or if not outright lying, only giving a half-truth. And those are just as dangerous.
The truth is, yes I am fat but I am also worthy of love. My pants-size, boob-size, or double chin doesn’t change that. God calls me his beloved. Not His fat, disgusting beloved. Just simply, beloved.
The truth is, I’m a Church Administrator that feels like she’s never going to get anywhere, occupationally speaking. God says, I’m highly favored and He has good things in store for me.
They might not be MY plans, but they are HIS and He is good.
The truth is, just because I spent my childhood as an orphan doesn’t mean I’m not wanted or desired. My natural genealogy does not define my eternal lineage. I am not fatherless, but the daughter of the King.
The truth is, I am single, but I am not alone.
Sure, I get lonely, but so do married people. At the end of the day, I am His and He is mine. He isn’t going anywhere.
The truth is, the Buffalo Bills suck whether Donald Trump buys them or not.
It’s not easy to combat the lies we hear so often–that’s why friends are so important. When we struggle, we can shoot them a text full of our toxic thoughts and they can flush them down the toilet where they belong.
God will remind you, too. He’s so lavish like that.
A few months ago, I was driving past our local grocery store that had a sign out front advertising a sale they would be having on roses the next day. I really love roses and had the thought: I’d really like some roses, but I don’t have time to get any tomorrow.
I spent the rest of the evening volunteering at my churches youth group when one of the parents came up to me and asked me to go to my office before I left that night. What did I find sitting on my desk for me? One dozen pink roses. My absolute favorite! No one had known that secret thought of mine, but God. There on my desk sat a reminder that He knows my hearts desires and He longs to give them to me and that He loves me so very much.
So, lovely ladies, please know that you are not defined by who you are, but by who God says you are and you are very much treasured and adored. You might not feel like that’s true, but it is.
Holly is a 30-year-old writer who strives to share honestly and transparently in hopes that it will encourage others to be open about their own struggles and lessons learned. She’s been accused of being sassy, which she finds to be an admirable attribute.