Last week I was asked a question by someone close to me.
She asked me, “How are you so confident and comfortable in your skin?“
To be completely honest, I have not always been comfortable in my skin and far from confident. I have however, always been good at acting confident as a defense to my insecurities.
Some of you have heard my testimony. I’ve shared openly before, about how I struggled with bulimia (eating disorder) from high school into my early twenties.
Back then, I was probably as uncomfortable in my own skin as you could get.
I convinced myself that my issue was that I had gotten overweight. That was part of it, I mean all my friends have always been skinnier than me and I struggled with being the only size large and extra large among a group of smalls and mediums. I was measuring my worth by the size of my clothes.
But, as I look back on it…the issues I had with myself started way before I had packed on any extra pounds. The extra weight just made my deeper insecurities more visible on the outside.
So, how did it get better?
Well, I asked God to help me. I wish I was journaling consistently back then. I wish that I could tell you the exact time that I prayed this prayer…but I don’t have an exact time, I honestly prayed it over and over.
I just know that when I hit rock bottom around 20 years old (I am 26 now), I prayed and asked God to help me see myself the way he made me. I had always been told that I was beautiful and that He made me wonderful. I had always been praised by others for things they saw in me, but I absolutely could not see it for myself.
I had a light that was shining, but I had on the darkest glasses and just could not see it.
Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
I asked God to give me true confidence and not this
false one that I was trying to put on. I needed to be free from myself and my self destructive thoughts.
So…I finally asked God. That is it, I prayed. Nothing fancy. No speaking in tongues. No splashing with some miracle holy water. I just simply prayed to God, talked to Him and said, “Lord, I need you to help me with this! I can not seem to do it on my own!”
I used to feel like I could only pray and have faith about big and important things. Little did I realize, I AM an important thing. And He helped me to build my confidence – and let go of the pity party I was throwing for myself every day.
It wasn’t an overnight thing. It took work, and if I am being honest it is a constant thing.
I STILL constantly work at loving myself.
I was made aware of the areas of my life that needed to be worked on, and one was in fact my body. I realized that I was treating my body like a dumpster instead of a temple. I started to work to change that, and I worked so hard that I lost 35+ pounds (never mind that I have gained some of that back in this stage of newlywed bliss). The point is, I realized that I had to love me on the inside before I could be comfortable with me on the outside.
As I worked on me, I realized that I was in control. I didn’t have to live like I was living!
I was feeding myself negative thoughts talking down on myself. I was telling myself that God was lying, that I was not beautiful, that I was not good enough. The spirit of God helped me to start building myself up! I started to remove those dark glasses and see my own light.
I started to actually believe I was beautiful, because God said so. Eventually it became so clear to me!
Valaencia, you are beautiful inside and out.
I started to stop condemning myself and start loving myself.
I changed my mind, and you can too.
God changed me from the inside and that is why now I can be confident in the woman that He created me to be. I can realize that God made no mistakes in His design of me. He knew me well while I was still in my mother’s womb. I am perfect, just the way I am. It is the reason that I do not let fluctuating weight, disappointments, discontentment, other people, or any of that stuff
KEEP ME DOWN. Yeah, this is REAL LIFE and that stuff may get me down time to time, but it does not keep me down any longer. That is how I know I found my true confidence. Not that fake stuff that I was piling on.
I challenge you – anyone who is struggling to feel confident in your own skin. Do your best work to let go of the things you’re telling yourself, they are probably lies anyway. Let go of what has been told to you (other people do not know what they are talking about). Don’t believe it! Believe what God says is true about you. Ask Him to help you, it doesn’t even matter if you are unsure if He can. That is okay, just simply pray, “God, will you help me?” He will…