[Guest Post by Melissa Thomas] – When I was 4, I knew I wanted to grow up to be a ballerina. They have such a unique beauty.
I used to dance in my parents living room. I would play Tchikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” and “Swan Lake,” and dream of being on stage with a giant tutu. I took dance lessons and learned how to twirl around, point my toes and stand in second position.
When I was 11, I had my first seizure.
I was waking up, getting ready to go with my family to breakfast. My dog jumped on my bed, excited to see me and greet me. I got very dizzy, blacked out and fell onto the floor.
From that day on, my life was very different.
I was prescribed medications and slowly learned what it looked like to walk the rest of my life with epilepsy.
My body changed dramatically. I suddenly had a very different metabolism and gained a lot of weight. I looked very different than the majority of other girls in my 6th grade class.
I didn’t like my body and I cried a lot.
I was already shy, but I became very self-conscious. I hated gym class. I always compared myself to my friends.
Their smaller bodies made me jealous and envious of the way they got attention from guys.
I convinced myself that no boy would ever want me the way that I looked, and that I was in a helpless situation.
I always desired a relationship in junior high and high school, but my shy personality and my body image crippled me from having many interactions with boys. I feared what they would think of me.
Even the thought of looking “beautiful” just seemed out of reach to me. It was reserved for those different than me.
Thinner. Prettier faces. Smaller waists. More athletic. More outgoing.
Simply…better than me.
I slowly began feeling the need to compensate for who I was. Believing lies about myself.
I must be funnier: Then people will like me.
I must change the way I dress: Then maybe people will notice me.
And I must get a boyfriend. Because then, I know I’ll be happy.
None of these satisfied. And still, years later, I struggle with these lies. I believe still that I must be more. Different. I must change myself and please the people around me. I must compensate for what I think I should be, instead of who Christ has created me to be.
And now, the lie that has even seeped in–I’m TOO much. No one will want me because I’m just too much to handle.
Honestly, I’m a little crazy.
Sometimes I don’t think before I talk.
I can be opinionated.
I have a lot of family “stuff.”
And I’m just not that thin girl that every guy desires.
But there is Truth to fight for in this. And some days it’s just that–a fight.
I love my friends dearly, but I feel like every single one of my friends could be a model.
Does anyone else feel this way? There’s got to be room for each person to be truly a unique beauty.
And therefore, it’s a battle.
I must choose to not compare. I must choose to love and not live in these lies. I must choose to believe that I am beautiful.
And I’m not talking Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful.”
I’m talking real.
Chosen by the King.
Transformed from the Inside Out, Beautiful.
A different, unique beauty.
I hope prayerfully one day an amazing man will notice me not because of an awesome joke I make, the trendy clothes I wear–but because He truly sees my beauty being lived out in Jesus.
And that He wouldn’t be scared and run away because I’m too much.
Because, I’m not too much.
Christ is sufficient for where I am now in life…He cares for my heart.
I must choose to not live in lies about my body. My body is not perfect. In fact, very far from it.
A lie may seep in about how I look and I must choose to believe that Christ is sufficient for that very lie. He is greater than that frustration that I’m believing about myself. He is entering into that.
Although I may not believe it at that moment, or even by the next day, I can continue to walk in His Truth, knowing that He has the power to change my heart and my mind to help me to believe it fully.
Melissa Thomas is a 29 year old staff member with Cru in Cincinnati. She loves all things art, sweets, coffee and traveling the world (especially the UK). She is also passionate about helping victims of sexual trafficking be free through the Aruna Project @thearuna5k She loves Cincinnati and is really thankful for all of her friends who point her to Jesus. Connect with Melissa on Twitter @meltom7183.