“…as women, in a world where we are told what we need to do to matter is to get thinner and thinner and thinner and smaller and smaller, we lose touch with the fact that the most beautiful thing we can do is grow fuller and richer and to feel the full weight of ourselves.” – Ally Fallon.
Weight and I have a fun history.
It was third or fourth grade when I started doing sit-ups every night because I was embarrassed by the results of my physical fitness test in gym class. I assumed I had done “poorly” on the test because I was fat. Fat fat fat.
In reality, I was in third grade. I was ten years old. I had a horrible haircut, purple thin-framed glasses, and wore hand-me-downs everyday, but I was not fat. I was adorably uncool and still sported some aggressive baby cheeks but I was not fat. I wrote bad poetry and played basketball mediocrely but I was not fat. Let me tell you, I had a million reasons to feel insecure***, but for some reason, I chose weight. Thanks, America.
I chose weight as my main insecurity and loyally stuck with it until somewhere in high school.
Everyone needs an insecurity, right? I’m sure you have one you go back to time after time. Or maybe it changes year to year or season to season, but we all have at least one.
Maybe you’re fat.
Maybe you’re boring.
Maybe the acne just will not quit.
Maybe you’re lazy.
Maybe you don’t have many friends.
Maybe you just cannot seem to keep a job.
Life will really start when I’m cute and skinny. Life will really start when you find a passion to pursue. Life will really start when you get married.
But I got skinny. So that insecurity went away. But this broken world just won’t quit, so of course it was instantly replaced with others.
Insecurity is a vicious, vicious cycle.
Ever since moving fifteen hours from home, I have learned so much. I’ve grown so much. I have become so confident in so many ways. I have climbed mountains and taken road trips and gotten to know wonderful, beautiful people. I’ve stretched myself in ways that would’ve blown my mind a few years ago.
I’ve also struggled with loneliness and homesickness. I have questioned my purpose and my worth and God’s plan for me. I’ve gained weight. I have watched my identity go from things and people and jobs to Christ and back to things and people and jobs again.
Things and people and jobs never quite do the trick, folks.
It’s tempting for me to look at the loneliness and insecurity and want to lose weight. Or, on the flip side, it’s tempting to eat a pint of ice cream and drink a bottle of wine and say “screw health” without addressing the actual issue. You know, balance, and such. In reality, it’s easier for me to focus my time and energy on food and weight and guilt and a whole myriad of things instead of looking at the real issue: I am straight up not trusting Jesus to love and use me.
I don’t think I’m _____ enough to be loved and used by Jesus.
And that’s just… well, it’s silly and unfounded and just plain wrong.
You are enough. I am enough. Women, we are enough.
Feel things. Feel them loudly and proudly. Don’t hide behind “lol” like I do. No, end sentences with ugly, aggressive periods when you’re pissed. And don’t be afraid of feeling happy either. Some people may think you’re fake and shallow. They may use words like “bubbly” to describe you. That doesn’t matter.
Bubble away, girl.
You are enough.
Do things. Do things by yourself. Do things with a friend. Do things for the sole purpose of learning and enjoying and experiencing.
You are enough.
Life is big and beautiful and full of people and possibilities. You are worth growing and learning and trying new things – not to impress anyone or slap something new on your friendship/dating resume, but because you are a human. A human who is an image-bearer of our Creator. A human who has a life and a purpose. A human who, through Christ, is enough.
Whether it’s your weight or your relationship status or your passion or your style, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that when these things are finally how we want them, we will feel complete again. X, Y, and Z will fall into place and then we won’t be insecure anymore. Then we will be enough. Then life can finally start.
I have my things – you have yours. We all do.
But life doesn’t start when our insecurities go away. It never did.
Life started when you were born. Life started when you were baptized.
Sisters, confidence comes in the knowledge of our identity in Jesus. You are enough. You were enough to die on the cross for. You were enough to be dreamed into being. God chose to create you, sister. He has a purpose for you. Maybe with someone. Maybe not. Either way, it is enough. Don’t wait for life to start. Live confidently and courageously because your life has already started abundantly through Jesus.