“I can’t wait until I lose this weight, I’ll be beautiful.”
“I’ll stop working as much, and spend more time with my family once I get this promotion”
“I need to study until I get accepted into Harvard, then I’ll hang out with my friends”
“I can’t stop! I need this to be absolutely perfect!”
We’ve all said something similar. We promise to love ourselves more once we aren’t a “work in progress”.
I used to. I told myself once I lost such and such weight, I would be beautiful. Guys were constantly shaming me and abusing me and making me feel less than perfect because I wasn’t their definition of “beautiful”. I’ve learned to love myself through the works in progress in my life.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to love the version of ourselves that’s still a work-in progress.
It’s easier for us to see the negative in ourselves and we have a habit of beating ourselves up. I’ve been there.
Without realizing, we are all actually works in progress. There’s always something to learn from and improve on. We aren’t perfect.
Love yourself where you are, friend.
There’s always something that we can improve on and always something to learn from. If you’re waiting until you aren’t a “work in progress”, you’ll be waiting a lifetime to love yourself.
Christian culture likes to throw around this word when it comes to the topic of purity. especially when it comes to women. It seems that women are given a higher standard when it comes to modesty.
girls and guys are split up in youth groups to discuss purity. girls are often encouraged to dress more appropriately and modestly while guys on the other hand are encouraged to behave like gentlemen. sayings like “modesty is hottest” or “modesty is the best policy” are thrown around while the War on Yoga Pants rages on. girls are told they can’t wear a certain t-shirt because it shows too much skin or cleavage.
women are made to feel ashamed of their bodies and are seen as objects.
from what swim suits we can or cannot wear.
to being repulsed to seeing a woman breastfeed.
to being told what we can or cannot wear because our bodies will be a “temptation” to men.
to not being taken seriously after being sexually assaulted or raped and being told, “Well, how did you dress?”
We are basically told that we need to fix ourselves to accommodate men and their needs.
lets get something out of the way
Modesty is subjective and situational.
It has absolutely everything to do with YOU and YOUR intentions and absolutely nothing to do with anyone else’s sin or temptations.
What one guy may find attractive and tempting, another guy may not.
One guy may be attracted to stomach showing, while another guy might be attracted to fingers or toes, while the third guy may be attracted to cleavage.
Going deeper on this topic, each country and culture has it’s own set of rules on what modesty looks like. If you visit the Middle East, women might be found wearing burkas and that is what “modest” looks like to them, but men still get turned on from women in burkas. Whereas, if you go to the beach you will most likely wear a swim suit, or a short sun dress. In that context it is appropriate and modest to wear, but if you were to attend church in your two piece swim suit or a short sun dress, you would find that your clothing choice is now probably not the most modest.
Another example would be, what you would find modest and appropriate to wear to a wedding, might not be so modest and appropriate at a funeral.
What might be accepted as modest in one country, culture and/or situation may be found to be frowned upon in another.
We need to stop putting so much pressure on women to be modest and instead we need to start talking to men about how they need to be able to treat women with value and respect, and not objectify them based on what they may be wearing.
To the girl that may be struggling with loving herself, you are more than just your body.
You are a beautiful daughter of God. You have been given immense worth.
To the girl who may have been raped or sexually assaulted, It isn’t your fault. It didn’t happen because of what you were wearing. You are strong, and you are a survivor.
My hope and prayer for you wonderful ladies is that you love yourself and your bodies.
Love who God has created you to be.
Bask and rejoice in His wonderful love daily.
whether you are feeling alone, scared, struggling to find worth, hopeless and worn out, dealing with depression or anxiety.
I want to remind you. Jesus is for you.
He is standing on the sideline even when you’ve given up. He is your biggest fan encouraging you to not give up. He is your biggest fan even when you make mistakes.
there will be times when you face trials and moments that will try and tear you down. there will be people that you come across that will be against you.
Jesus is with us through it all. Never leaving our side even when we leave His
Continue to look to Jesus for direction and comfort. In Jesus we will always find a safe place. In Jesus we find hope for our weary souls. In Jesus there is peace. In Jesus, all of our fears are washed away.
The next time you become overwhelmed by guilt, fear, hopelessness, worry, and loneliness, etc
and remember these truths. Remember to cling to Jesus.
One of my absolute favorite books to go through is Exodus. There is so much truth to soak up. I remember leading a Bible study that did an in depth study of Exodus.
In Exodus 3:7-12 God and Moses are having a conversation after Moses has come across a burning bush.
So I’m going to paraphrase the interaction, but I want to encourage you all to read these verses. So God is telling Moses, “Look, I’ve seen the pain and suffering of my people and I’m going to take them out of Egypt and bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. I’m going to use you and send you to ask Pharoah for freedom”.
Moses is listening to all this and his question to God ends up being found in vs. 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharoah and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” And I LOVE the response God gives in vs 12. He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
Who is Moses that God should use him?
Who am I that God should use me?
Who are you that God should use you?
We are like ants compared to the magnitude of who God is and what He can do.
We are here one minute and the next we are gone.
Even the most well known person on the planet right now, I can guarantee there are people in villages with no internet or phones who know of them.
We can be so well known but in the end we cease to exist, and someone else comes along.
See. God doesn’t need us in order to do great things… If you say no to Him, God can still make His plan happen without you.
The thing is though.
HE. Loves. You.
HE. Desires. You.
HE. Is. Constantly. Pursuing. You
I don’t know what you are struggling with today. If it’s feeling so alone like nobody is there or like nobody wants you.
I don’t know if you are looking to drugs, or alcohol or porn or money to solve your problems or to find happiness.
Or maybe your anxiety and depression are telling you that you aren’t worth it.
I’ve been there. I’ve cried myself to sleep many nights feeling so alone and doubting my worth. I’ve looked for answers in places, people and things that only God could ever solve or answer for me.
If there is something that I can leave you with right now it’s that, you are so loved by the Creator of the universe, world, and every single plant, person and animal.
The Creator of the Universe even created you. He knew you before you were born and has given you immense worth.
So yeah, compared to God we are ants on the spectrum. Ants with immense worth and value and who God desires to love so intimately.