Originally published Friday, 17 March 2017.
I scrolled through old photos on my phone and took notice of my face: When I turned my head to the left, I didn’t look so bad. But, from the right, I looked horrible. In every single picture, when my face was straight towards the camera, my big nose tilted, crooked.
I hated it. I wanted to erase, blur or cover my ugliness.
What do you hate about yourself?
Your hips? Your weight gain? Your crooked smile? Your type B personality? Your love handles? Your tendency to be too curious? Your hair?
I do, in fact, also hate my hair. Frankly, when it’s not flat ironed it looks like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket. Bzzt… clown hair (Note: not cute).
Add this to my complexion of rosacea that runs right across my nose and – yes – on those days when foundation doesn’t do the trick – I wear a clown-looking nose too!!!
How do you contend with yourself when you’d rather be someone else?
This is the question I’ve been considering: Because sometimes I am afraid of who I am and what I look like.
I am afraid others will think I am weird. I am afraid I will look dumb. I am afraid I will be left out. I am afraid these weird features will be compounded by a fresh wrinkle. I am afraid you will stand and look at me just a few moments too long to sum up what is so wrong with my face – or my outfit.
I am afraid I’ll know what you are up to and I’ll have to deal with a whole mountain of inner awkwardness. I can’t climb well.
What about you makes you take cover? Feel ashamed? Embarrassed?
Did you know? God loves that part of you. He delights in it. He made you that way.
What would it look like if you accepted it, the way he accepts you? What would it look like to use that very thing - for his glory? For his advantage?
Scared to talk in public? Do a Facetime video.
Feel your heart beat out loud when you are around a circle of women? Approach one of the with a word of encouragement.
Hide your face under sunglasses and a hat? Go sans make-up and wear a smile that shines God’s goodness.
Feel too intellectual or too intense? Let it loose. Let it fly. Be you.
There is something liberating about approaching the world– just as you are, just as God made you. There is something freeing about not worrying about your worst. There is something redemptive about relying on the fact – God loves you.
You find yourself.
I praise you
because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Ps. 139:14
Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.
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