What Am I Hoping In?

I understand that I am made in God’s image and I believe that he sees me as his beautiful child, but sometimes I feel like I could better embrace that idea if I were just ten pounds lighter.

It’s an embarrassing admission, but I have had my feelings hurt before when I’ve overheard friends complimenting another lady on her weight loss while failing to notice my own.  Yet in the same breath, I can be offended when someone says that I look great now, because my mind wonders, “what were you thinking before? “  I realize the ridiculousness of it all and yet I’m able to share these struggles because I know that I am not alone.

Many of us as women can relate to these feelings, but when we peel back the layers of why we feel this way, the core issue is sin.  Proverbs 31:30 reminds us that beauty is fleeting, so why do we struggle to attain something that is only temporary?  My need to be praised on my looks reveals a part of my heart that I am not proud of – that I am placing my hope and confidence in something other than Christ.  Our culture tells us lies about what is beautiful; many of us struggle with comparisons and self-deprecation as a result.   Unfortunately this sin is such a common struggle that we fail to call it what it is; we are allowing the cycle and the bondage to continue to our daughters and the future women of the Church.

So how do we break the cycle?  How do we stop comparing and start seeing ourselves the way the God desires us to?  What does it look like to have a healthy body image and to embrace our unique design as women?  For more information, check out the recaps from our Body Matters Conference: The Body Masked, The Body Created, The Body Managed , and The Body Redeemed.

~Natalie Patterson, Spartanburg