Luke 6:26 (the Message) “There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.”
I’m currently reading a book called “Dancing in the Arms of God: Discover Your Cinderella Story” by Connie Neal. Among other topics she discusses how she looked for approval from other people, and like me rarely if ever, found it. We both felt like Cinder-Ella in the ashes, and never able to see ourselves as a beautiful young woman ready to go to a ball.
For many years until my Dad’s death I was always seeking his approval and rarely, if ever, got it. So I started looking for it from other people, which usually got me in trouble. Only when I finally, truly, deep in my heart learned that I was worthy of God’s Love did I start looking for His approval instead of others. Yes, I still look to others, but not as often or as much as I used to and each time I do my Heavenly Father reminds me I need look no further than Him.
To this day I fight with the oversized clothes that I wear trying to hide my plus size body. I hate having my picture taken and always stand behind someone else. But like Connie Neal and Cinderella, my God has been working in the background of my life, with my permission cause He is such a Gentleman and won’t force me to change, to heal my heart and mind and help me see myself as beautiful as He sees me. Oh, and was that thought hard to grab onto, me? Beautiful?
It took me a very long time to decide that I was going to have to believe Him on this subject too, so I basically dared Him to prove it to me, respectfully of course. So He started on the small things first, getting me to admit that I do have a great complexion and look much younger than I am. Don’t let the grey hair fool you, it started when I was eleven!
By using Dr Don Colbert’s “I Can Do This” Diet book, I have lost twenty pounds so far. I’m increasing my walking distance back up to a half mile. Side note – I’ve had Mono since last August and it still leaves me very tired at times. I was used to walking up to two to three miles at a time before I got sick, so right now a half mile is a great distance! I’ve also taken up chair yoga with a friend. (update I’ve walked almost four miles this week! Woo Hoo! Mono, you’re history!)
All of this because I want to be the complete women that God wants me to be to live the most fulfilling life that I can think of. Basically, to get back out into the field as a National Disaster Responder with the Red Cross again or whatever other plan He has for me. Believe it or not I have two grandsons that I want to be able to go Geo-caching with again, go to their ballgames, and ride bikes with. Maybe even meet a nice fella my own age (whatever that is) to hang out with?
The problem is that I’ve lived so long with my head down and shoulders forward trying to be invisible to the world because life seemed easier that way. I felt I was never able to do or be good enough, to be told I was a good girl or praised for winning an award so I quit trying. That is until I cracked the door to my heart open to let Jesus in my life.
He was very gentle and tender with me and showed me that He above all others treasured me for who I was, just the way I was. He also showed me that He was faithful and trustworthy and would never cause me unnecessary pain. There is always pain in change. You have to learn that the hurts that you have been holding onto can be painful to let go of because they are familiar but in doing so Jesus is making room for the beauty that he wants to plant in your heart to grow.
I’ll be sixty years young this summer and it has taken forty-two years to reach the point where I am ready to stop hiding behind my excessive weight and start taking care of myself. I’m not up to wearing makeup and dresses yet, but I can see myself doing it within the next year!
The best part of all of this is that I no longer care if the world approves of me or not. I’m finding that I prefer to seek my Heavenly Father’s approval above all others.
So, how about you? Are you ready to let go and let God’s approval loose in your life? I’d love to hear about it and pray with you!