What Does Fashion Have To Do With Self-Acceptance?
It’s Fashion Friday! The first step to having “Elegant Grace” in your life is by realizing and knowing your value! So let’s start there before we move into the fun stuff! Are you ready? Let’s do this!
“Man! You are UGLY!”
I was in the 6th grade and that is what a boy named Curtis, said to me just about everyday. It hurt my feelings deeply and it affected me more than I think anyone ever realized. I grew up extremely shy and very quiet. If you are familiar with my story (click here to read,) it might give some indication as to why. Up until the 6th grade I don’t remember really thinking about the way I looked. I did like to dress nice, but I can’t remember looking in the mirror and studying myself at all. After regular taunts by this young man and the perils of jr. high, my self worth was pretty much shot as a teen. We hear so much about bullying today and at the time we didn’t use the term bullying; it was just kids being cruel and mean. I was a victim of some serious bullying in both 7th and 8th grade, which doesn’t help in the self image department.
I gave my life to Christ when I was 14. The next year, a traveling revival group called, Life Action, came to lead a revival in our church. This group had a class for teens and the teaching was amazing! I learned so much from some college aged leaders on self image, self worth and living a life for Christ. Life Action, I believe helped me become stronger in my walk with Christ.
Even though I knew that I was created by God and He had a purpose for my life, I still struggled with my self worth. I never really felt good enough or pretty enough. School was hard for me. I had no interest in school, which is sad to me to think about. I can’t think of one teacher in the 12 years of school that really took an interest in me at all. When my grades were bad, I don’t recall a teacher ever questioning me or encouraging me to do better. I guess you could say I was a wallflower. Just the quiet girl in the class. Church life was a highlight for me. I so loved the people that I went to church with and the leaders that took an interest in me. But, at the same time, I still struggled with the constant ridicule of being shy, not talking, face turning red, quiet voice, still not feeling good enough or worthy enough for any attention that I may have gotten from anyone. Many times I just wanted to disappear.
Even in my 50’s I can still hear things that were said to me about how I looked, talked or dressed. As you probably remember from my story that my father left when I was 12 and he really wasn’t there much before that, but when I was about 16 he was passing through town and stopped at our house and when I came in from school, I really didn’t have anything to say or he to me. What I do remember him saying is “wow, you sure have fat ankles!” I walked on to my room and stared at my ankles. I had never thought about it….I don’t think I really ever noticed my ankles, but hmmm…they must be fat! Long story short, I can still look at my ankles today and I say to myself, “my ankles are fat, he was right!”
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
Why am I sharing this with you? Because, you and I have to realize something! WE, thats me and you, are created in the image of God! He designed us to be something fabulous for HIM! WE are here to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ in our daily living and to share the good news of Christ with everyone we meet. *If you have never invited Christ into your life, please click here.
How can we do that when we feel ugly and defeated? We can’t! That is why the enemy is determined to bring you and me down. Any possible way that this can be accomplished, it will be tried on us.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” I Peter 5:8 (NKJV)
What can be done to win this battle of our self worth? By getting in to God’s Word, know and study who God is and realize what an amazing miracle your life is. Even with all the dysfunction, all the mean things people say and do to you……ALL of that can be used to show God’s Amazing Grace and Love to others that need to see and hear it! YOU have a story! You may have grown up with two parents who loved you, loved each other and loved the Lord with all their hearts, straight A student, friends coming out of the wood work and you could still struggle with self worth. By the way, social media can be a doozy for feeling worthy. How thankful I am that social media wasn’t around when I was in jr. high and high school. Come to think of it, I’m glad it wasn’t around when I was raising my children! *coming soon….we will be talking about social media and the comparison trap! Raise your hand if you need that like I do?
Guard your heart! Don’t let the enemy whisper negative things about you in your ear. Don’t let him use other people that have no self worth themselves to take you down with them. Guard your children’s hearts, teach them to love and accept others as they are. Look around you and see who may need a pat on the back, a hug, a simple kind word. Make it a goal to build someone up every day, those in your home to a stranger you pass out in the world. Don’t judge someone by their status in life, especially children. Don’t treat a child by who their parents are! I’ve seen people only speak to kids who parents are of high status and ignore those that couldn’t do anything for them. Don’t be that way! You are a child of the King of Kings and you have a mission to accomplish. You must hold your head up and know who and what you are here for. To do this, you have to know who you are in Christ and don’t ever let anyone try to make you feel not good enough to serve Him. Trust me, they will…they are out there. They are in your community, they are in your family and yes, even in your church. Stand strong, hold your head up, know who your Heavenly Father is and be the best YOU possible! You have a lot to offer! No one can be you, except you! What an advantage you have!
“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24 (NKJV)
By the way. Remember, Curtis who told me I was ugly on a regular basis? One day, we were in line to go to lunch. I was standing behind him and he turned around and said it again, “Man, You are Ugly!!!” Everyone was watching and snickering. For some reason, all I could muster up to say was, “I wasn’t born for you!!!” I have no idea where that came from and why I said it! Everyone started laughing and he never bothered me again! Go figure!
NOW………..go make a difference in your world!
I have always wished you could see yourself the way I see you, kind, caring, loving, sweet, and so beautiful!!
Mom, if only every girl could have a mom like I do. You are the best! I love you bunches and bunches!
Beverly, what a beautiful post and it makes my heart so sad that you had that taunting young man to put up with and an absent Daddy. I’d say you have done extremely well in spite of it and are living proof what the Lord can lead us through. I’d love to hear more about your Christian Imaging business and hope you will do a post about it. Blessings to you!
Thank you, Lea! How thankful I am to have Christ in my life…..scares me to think where I could be today without Him. I’m excited about Elegant Grace. Anxious to share with you soon!
Beverly, I’ve always thought you are so beautiful, inside and out. Even seeing the photos of you when you were younger… you are gorgeous! Isn’t it something that Satan will use anything to tear us down. It isn’t just the words that are spoken, it’s how we believe them and don’t forget them. My beautiful daughter told me the other day, that when she was 4 or 5 years old, we did a photo shoot of her and her sister. The sleeves of the cute little dress her grandmother had bought her just for the occasion were too tight. I cut them a little on the inside seam so they wouldn’t squeeze her little arms. I never knew it until she told me 30 years later, that she carried the thought with her that her arms were too big. Why are we so sensitive to these things? It doesn’t even take a nasty comment.
Love that you are doing this. Look forward to your wisdom and your gift of gentle encouragement, and your sharing His abundant love from your heart.
Isn’t that something about those sleeves! Yes, the enemy is out to destroy and even something so little as that can cause us to doubt ourselves. If it will hinder us from accomplishing all that God has for us, that is what the enemy will use!
Thank you for such a sweet note. I’m blessed to call you friend!
What a beautiful post, Beverly! Your story is so interesting; and it is proof that God always has the final say! Look at you now!!You are a very accomplished and beautiful woman, with a heart for God. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Thank you so much, Shenita! You are so kind and such an encourager!
Dear Beverly, What a special post!! Ever since I met you here in blogland I’ve known you were beautiful inside and out. Your life, through God, prepared you for who you are and to teach and lead
others today. It makes me sad to know the struggles you had in school, however our Lord knew your strength and saw you through so you could help others. He never gave you more then you could handle even though as a child it must have seemed overwhelming and I’m sure it was in your heart and emotions.
Beverly you are an amazing lady with a huge talent. God has shown favor upon you. Continue to use that gift in your journey.
Blessings to you with love !! Have a great weekend!! xo
Celestina! What a sweet note, thank you so much! I may have to read your note several times when I need a boost! ;)I’m thankful to have met you through this blogging world! Blessings!
I got “hit” by mean kids when I was in 6th grade, too. I still can’t look at my nose without thinking of how one boy said that it was too big. Unlike you, I wasn’t a shy girl. I was very outgoing, but I finally learned to stay quiet at school. Disappearing was one way that I finally evaded the mean kids. I almost find it comical, because no one who knows me now would call me “quiet” or “shy”! I’m very friendly…also a more empathetic person for going what I went through.
I’m so thankful that God brought you and I both through those horrible years to become who we are today.
Stephanie, Thanks for sharing that. Isn’t that funny how those things stay with us forever! Words really do hurt. I’m thankful we came through it all without more scars, too! God is so good and faithful!