I stared in the mirror yesterday and couldn’t believe I had become that girl.
The one in a Ross dressing room, eyes filled with tears, jeans at my knees, suddenly completely and utterly aware of a falsehood that I had managed to dodge up until that moment in time.
I’m the girl that cries in dressing rooms.
Lord have mercy.
I am NOT turning into that, I told myself, cleaning up the trail of mascara, re-hanging the jeans, and exiting quickly enough so that the attendant didn’t get suspicious. But then I saw my husband who was waiting at the entry way and as soon as he saw me he had that look of knowing and of course–(because I’m a girl in general with one too many emotions)–I started bawling.
My size doesn’t fit anymore. The size I’ve been in since my senior year of high school (and have worked to keep) no longer fits AT ALL. Truth be told, lady and gents, this is totally embarrassing to write about. Who wants to get on their blog and tell the world that their pants don’t fit the same? But pride out the window, I have to tell the story of what happens next as soon as you reach a point in your life, whether sooner or later, that you’re totally aware of a blinding imperfection or insecurity and you become the crying girl in the dressing room. Because I think what happens next matters in terms of our salvation even.
“He’s jealous,” my husband said into my hair as I stepped into an aisle with tall racks to hide my horrible and embarrassing crying. “Satan is jealous that you have a wonderful and perfect body because he can’t even have one.”
It hit me hard, him saying that. It’s not that I didn’t know it, either. Growing up I was always surrounded by people who gave too much value to the numbers on the scale. I had worked my way out of an eating disorder as a young teen and have written countless blogs on self worth, even writing to people thousands of miles away to encourage those who found themselves lacking the confidence to even go on in life. I grew up seeing the fault in focusing on the faults merely because I didn’t want to live the way I saw so many people live. I didn’t want to go back to the time where I fell into the same trap. But now, here in a store with jeans two sizes too small slung over my arm, for a moment I forgot all of that and decided to listen to the lies.
Every now and then we all give in to the same lies because Satan isn’t creative. He whispers the same kind of things to all of us because of his jealousy in the fact that a PERFECT creator created YOU. And He maketh no mistake.
The lies are everywhere at times.
You’re fat. Your hair is thin. You’re too short. Your thighs touch. You’re too skinny. Your nose is big. Those jeans USED to fit before now.
And it hurts enough to make you the girl that cries in dressing rooms. It makes you forget that the only reason in the world you would think those things is because there is someone who wishes with all his might that he had that healthy beating heart and those legs that can run. He wants to drag you down into a misery that is blinded to how beautiful you really are with those eyes that can see and that body that can move and have babies and paint and sing and dance and build.
He wants you to forget that simple truth that God makes no mistakes.
This isn’t a profound, ground-breaking message. But to me it was everything. In that moment of looking in the mirror and judging myself at every angle, I needed to be reminded of that.
I’m not saying that it’s okay to not care about the condition of our bodies because that would be opposite of loving them. We should strive to be our healthiest self and to encourage others to do the same. We shouldn’t let ourselves become addicted or slow or sick and keeping ourselves strong should be a goal.
But I don’t want to be the mom someday who shows my little girl that my worth lies in the number on the scale rather than in what is told to me in the scriptures. I don’t want to be the mom that shows my son that women are weak and unhappy with their bodies. So I have to start now, despite a bigger size of jeans. Because judging value upon THAT is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard and you think so too, even though you might do it as well. It’s easy to listen to the father of all lies, but we can make it a learned trait to shut him out.
At the end of the day what matters isn’t the size of jeans or the aisle we have to shop in. It doesn’t matter that you’ve never really had curves or that you have way too many.
What matters is that you are kind. Honest. Loving. Healthy. Selfless. Happy. And completely aware of how valuable and beautiful and incredible your intricate, perfectly created body really is. You are created the way you are for a very specific purpose.
So wipe the tears with me and try on that bigger size–or the smaller one if you need.
You make them look fabulous.