So, I haven’t posted for quite awhile in the busyness of life, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking. The other day I read a blog post by one of my friends and it got me to thinking. All that night while I ironed, I thought how to write out my blog post. Well, it was late till I got to bed that night; so I didn’t take time to blog since I had to get up and teach school the next day. Now, I feel that my thoughts have floated away from me, but I have decided to try to pull them back and attempt to put them in some kind of sensible order.
“I’m fat.” “I’m ugly.” “Nobody likes me.” Have you ever thought or said any of these things? I have. Or maybe you looked at yourself and said, “At least I’m not as fat as she is.” Or “I’m a better volleyball player than her.” I’m guilty.
This past year has been one of much growing for me. I came to realize that I was a very insecure person. No, this realization did not just come to me like a lightning bolt. It was more like a gradual light, like the rising of the sun chasing away the darkness of the night. I never thought of myself as an insecure person. Of course, I could see when other people were insecure. I mean, it was so plain!!! Or, maybe not. Anyway, I came to realize I had never really accepted myself and my body the way God made me. Oh, I thought I had; but in the end, I really hadn’t.
When I was younger, I was rather pudgy, or shall we say, fat. I mean, 110 lbs at 10 years old isn’t exactly small. Well, there were some children who called me fat. Oh, I don’t think they were even totally serious about it and I know they liked me; but I let that lie start taking root in my mind. This lie led to others without me even realizing it. I didn’t really have close friends. Then I did make a close friend, only to be betrayed. I built walls around myself, letting no one close to me. Oh, it wasn’t that I didn’t have friends. I did. Great friends. But, just not someone whom I could share my heart with. I wrote all my feelings down to get them out of me since I had no one to tell them too. As time went on my cousin Connie became my best friend. I don’t know where I would be without her.
Time moved on and I became a school teacher in Colorado. It has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. A lot a stretching and growing has happened. In Colorado, no one knew me; I felt like I could get away from my past and start fresh. No one could judge me because of my family. They wouldn’t have any preconceived notions about me. I could just be me. But, I was still insecure me. I brought myself right along.
But, I met some really great people here that have helped me grow. People who have come through hard times themselves. People who have accepted themselves as God made them. People who have been willing to share their struggles with me. The first step, small as it was, was when I was told I was good at volleyball and asked to play in a tournament. I was not a person who was confident in my abilities. I didn’t think I played well. But, with some encouragement, I found confidence in my volleyball skills. I learned not to think negatively about myself as it related to volleyball. Although you might not think that sounds like a big deal, that really was my first step in the right direction.
Something else that helped me was my students. I always thought of myself as overweight and I would make negative comments about myself. Well, my students would tell me, “Miss Rachel, you are not fat.” I didn’t used to really listen to them. Yeah, sure they could say that. They had no weight problems and wouldn’t understand how it was to be me. But, somehow this last year, I let it start sinking in. I realized that in not accepting myself, I was judging those around me. I realized that I couldn’t lead my students to accept themselves if I couldn’t accept myself the way I was. But, most of them are way ahead of me in this. I admire their confidence in accepting themselves the way the are. Let me just say, I have some super amazing students! They may try my patience at times, but in the end they are what keep me going. Knowing that they care about me and believe in me means more than they will ever know!
A third thing that was very beneficial to me was reading the book “Lies Women Believe.” I came to see the lies I was believing and found the truth that could set me free! I would highly recommend this book! But, I will warn you, the book will do you no good unless you choose to believe the TRUTH. And it is a repeated process. We can’t just say once that we believe the truth, but it takes much repetition. Every time Satan brings a lie to us, we have to fight it back with the truth. It isn’t a once and done battle. But Thank the Lord, there is VICTORY for all those who trust in Him! He is more than happy to help us fight our battles; we don’t have to do it on our own. We CAN’T do it on our own. On our own we are nothing, but with Him we are more than conquerors! So often I have to fall before Him, asking Him to fight for me because I don’t have the strength. The more I focus on God, the less I am focusing on myself and what others think of me.
I realized that in my insecurities about myself, I had pushed others away from me. Because I couldn’t accept myself, I couldn’t accept them. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them; I did. But because I was afraid of what people would say about me if I was friends with them, I pushed them away. I wish I could go back and do things differently. Not for my sake as much as for the sake of people that I may have hurt because I didn’t understand myself.
I still have a long way to go, so be patient with me. For so long I have found my security in those walls I built around myself. In tearing them down, I find myself feeling very vulnerable. Like I am putting myself out as prey to be hurt. I know God’s arms about me are so much better than those walls, but trusting is much harder than it sounds. So, if you made it through this long rambling post of my thoughts and feelings, you can pray for me as I journey on.