Searching For Confidence

I pulled into the parking lot, grabbed my camera bag and headed out for my photo shoot. Before my feet hit the ground, she excitedly ran over to me.

Guess what I had done? The tummy tuck we always talked about.

As soon as she spoke those words, she looked me up and down. The next words she spoke left me feeling like I had been punched right in the gut.

It's really too bad you got sick, you were looking so good before that.

The photo shoot felt like a blur. All I wanted to do was crawl back into my car and cry my eyes out.

As soon as I pulled out of the parking lot, I couldn't hold the tears back any longer.  

Words matter.

Words hurt.

The things we speak to each other carry so much weight. The things we speak to ourselves determine what we believe.

On the drive home, through many tears, I ran to God. Y'all have no idea how many times He's held me while I've ugly cried. I talked to Him like He was sitting right beside me.  Thank goodness He doesn't judge my swollen face and puffy, red eyes.

For most of my life I've been a Negative Nancy and a Debbie Downer. As far as negative talk went, I was a pro. I could talk a mean game and cut to the bone with my words. The sad thing, this all went on inside my head. My entire life, I've compared myself to others around me. I was too fat, my booty was too big, I hated my nose, my teeth weren't white enough and now lets add to it a stomach that is riddled with scars and looks like a road map.

Over the past few years, I've had a lot of bad days. I mean horrible, breakdown, take you to your knees days. Add to that the stress of multiple surgeries, weight gain, hair loss and scars beyond scars.

And it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I am beautiful as I am because I'm a daughter of the King and I'm made in His image. The tears slowed and a smile graced my lips.

I don't have to compete with anyone.

My entire life I've been striving to be someone that I'm not.

I was searching for confidence in places I would never find it.

My husband loves me as I am.  My friends love my heart.  My scars from a bazillion surgeries tell a story of survival.  I am perfectly perfect as He wanted me to be.

A precious gem's beauty isn't always recognized until it enters the hand of a skilled jeweler who knows just how to clean and cut the gem in the way that will best reflect the light that shines on it.

I can be confident and so can you!  We can walk through this world with heads and hearts held high as daughters of the King.  Daughters who are messy and broken but transformed into beautiful simply because we are His.

True beauty is found on the inside. When we allow Him to guide us, mold us, to cleanse our hearts of anything that doesn't please Him it's reflected on the outside. We are beautiful on the inside and outside when we acknowledge Christ's deep and abiding love for us. Love that doesn't change with our appearance. He loves me in spite of my scars, booty, nose, bags under my eyes and droopy eyelids. His love is always, always, forever there and He accepts us exactly for who we are.

Sweet girls, embrace this truth with me today.