“Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
“You’re ugly!” “Wow...you are a terrible wife.” “You’ll never be skinny enough…” These are some pretty awful things to say to someone, right? You may even say, “I would never EVER dream of speaking those terrible things over someone else!” Yet, don’t we often tell ourselves these things? If you’re like me, maybe even daily?
Let me start off by telling you a little bit about myself. My name is Becca and I have been alive now for a little over 22 years. Although some may argue that is not a long time to be alive, I can honestly say I have experienced a lot of things within those years. Things that have made me realize my absolute NEED for the Lord. I grew up with two other siblings in a household where my parents loved each other, loved the Lord with all of their hearts, and we all went to church together every Sunday. Sounds like I had the perfect life, right? Looking back now, I really did! Yet as I grew up, I realized something inside of me was missing.
I got “saved” and made the decision to get baptized at age 5. I really do believe that I knew the Lord at that age, and knew the importance of the decision I was making when I asked him to save me and “come into my heart.” However, only being 5, I didn’t have much taste of what a world without Jesus was like. I hadn’t faced any temptation, been a slave to the trap of self-hatred, or faced any conflict of that matter (other than not wanting to eat all of the veggies on my plate at dinner-time). I just knew that Jesus loved me, because the Bible and my parents told me so!
Fast forward 7 years later, I had my first taste of what it felt like to have the image of myself, and how our Loving Father viewed me, tainted. At 12 years of age I had become quite the little chunker. I had not hit a growth spurt yet, and everything I ate went straight to my short limbs, torso, and face. Kids at my school started to say cruel things to me like, “You should probably skip lunch, it may help you lose some weight.” Or, “I wear a size 0, what size do you wear Becca?” My obsessive and over-thinking mind-set would perseverate on those comments, to the point where those comments would turn into my own thoughts, which would later turn into actions that would take over my life, leaving no room for God. I slowly began to focus most of my energy on exercising and eating right, constantly researching and looking up videos on YouTube on how I could “lose weight fast.” By the time I was a freshman in high school I had lost the weight that I wanted to lose and thought I was living a healthy lifestyle, but it still wasn’t enough. Healthy eating then led to skipping meals, over-exercising, later going whole days without food, progressing to abusing substances that would help me lose more weight. My life had started to be taken over by an eating disorder. I had no time for my friends, no time for my family, or school; and certainly no time for God.
All throughout high school, I kept my eating disorder a secret. I knew it was wrong, but I wanted to handle it all on my own. I went through periods of time where I would run back to Jesus, ask him to heal and change my life, but I never truly wanted to give up the control that I had. All the while, God was still pursuing me. My mom would always send me off to school with index cards of handwritten bible verses, and was always diligent to pray for me daily. I knew God loved me, but didn’t understand why.
It wasn’t until I graduated high school, started college, and had my first real job that I finally realized I needed help. After having a fainting spell in the salon that I was working in at the time, I decided it was time to confide in my mom about my problem. Right in my bedroom, sitting on the same bed that I had slept in for 18 years, I told my mom everything. I cried and poured out my heart to her. “Why am I doing this?” “Why do I hate myself?” “Why is God doing this to me?” My mom just gently lifted up my head and said one simply truth, “You are so loved.” Right then it hit me. I, Becca, am SO loved. Each of us are so loved by our God. That is why he sent his Son, Jesus to die for us. We don’t have to understand why he loves us, he just...does.
As I started my journey to recovery, I decided to let go of the lies that I had allowed the enemy to speak over me all those years. Lies like, “You will never be enough,” “You are not worthy of love,” and so many others. Instead, I gripped for dear life on this simple truth: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing,” Zephaniah 3:17.
You are ENOUGH, you are LOVED, and you have HOPE in our Lord Jesus Christ. If you find no other beauty in this world, there is certainly beauty in that truth.
Additional sources of truth:
“I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” - Psalm 139:14
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” -1 John 4:18
“Be anxious for nothing; but in all things, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6-7