Whack! Strikes of pain shot through my butt as we slammed into yet another pothole. I moaned softly, strained my neck against the window and lifted my eyes to the flaking roof of the van. When would we get there? Or rather, the more pertinent question: When was I going to get there? Emotionally, physically… spiritually. I sighed and turned my head to watch the billows of dust surface in our erratic wake.
Not a whole lot had happened in the past week, at least in terms of productivity. For many years, busyness was a wonderful thing for me. It was a way to not only feel important but also get away and hide my deepest emotions from everyone around me. This strategy was useful at making me a stranger to myself. Being considered a stranger to myself wasn’t such a bad thing, considering all that was wrong with me. I tucked a piece of my frizzy hair behind my ear and continued to stare absent-mindedly out at the road. Sarah, the curly haired beauty queen behind me leaned over my shoulder and addressed our black-as-night taxi driver.
“Abu, are we almost at the village?”. The driver, who had a particularly curious interest in the lightly-toned American, turned his attention from the dusty road and grinned widely. Bad idea Abu. Thoughts about his lack of common-as-dirt-sense spiraled out of control but I kept my mouth shut. The Southern Belle and I had been in a tiff earlier that day. I didn’t want her to think I was interrupting her conversation.
“Yes… yes. Soon… soon!”.
Abu spun around and over corrected the wheel. I held my breath as our vehicle tilted then slammed back to the ground. Oh, Lord. I would love to not meet you before my nineteenth birthday. Abu turned to face us once more. Sweet heaven, have mercy. His eyes wandered over my disheveled appearance then back at Sarah. “You are pretty Miss Sarah. The children will love you.” A slight red tinge snaked across the girl’s smooth face. She flipped her long hair around her shoulder and smiled gently before settling back in her seat. The football player sitting beside her grinned widely and whispered something in her ear. She giggled then met my eyes. I turned away, embarrassed for staring. A tinge of jealousy pierced me. Why didn’t anyone find me beautiful? Would the children love me even if I wasn’t as pretty as Miss Perfect Curls?
That was a snippet of my life from six years ago. My goodness, how time flies. Unfortunately, the insecurities and tendencies held on tightly while the years rocketed into the present.
Now that I have introduced myself, I have a question for you. Have you heard Beautiful Things by Gungor? You know, that song that sings about how God makes our weaknesses and failures into beautiful things? Yeah, that was my theme while living in Africa. Beautiful Things has continued to remain my brazen anthem six years later.
“You make beautiful things out of dust.”
Even though my trials are not exactly the same the battle for my mind remains constant. There are still times, just like back in Africa, when I do not believe I am beautiful, valuable or worthy of being loved. I don’t feel as able-minded as the woman standing next to me or the authors I am working tirelessly to emanate. As I have grown I’ve come to find this type of insecurity is true of a staggeringly large percentage of women on this earth.
I have also been made aware, via my relationship with the Creator, that the women influenced by media and those around them are not statistics to God. Each one has been made intentionally, with specific purpose and intention. God did not make any of these women arbitrarily.
I am here to remind you that He didn’t make you without thought, attention or focus either.
Psalm 139 says, “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.
My husband and I have had lengthy discussions about what the adverb “fearfully” could mean in this context. Here was our consensus: God was so careful when He made you that, not unlike knitting an intricate sweater or painting a design with absolutely NO room for mistakes, He did it reverently. He knit each piece of you together with unwavering reverence for who you were to be.
That sounds great, doesn’t it? But sometimes it’s so hard to believe as true isn’t it? I want to challenge you to take every thought “captive” like I had to when I was at my worst.
If you want to rid yourself of insecurity, listen to what is being whispered in your ear about yourself then go back and challenge what you've heard with God’s Word. Spend a few minutes with your thoughts and challenge them with truth. I've found this to be the most effective way to douse thoughts about myself that are lies.
Again, this can be more easily said than done but believe me, practice makes better. Practice also has the ability to make permanent. Trust me, I have been using this method for six years now and my goodness are the truths ever beginning to become ingrained. It’s wonderful but you can’t experience this until you start and try your absolute hardest to stick with it!
Here is an example of an insecurity I faced this morning: I can’t let go of my job! It defines me. It makes me feel important in front of others.
Daddy’s answer: Oh, my sweet girl. The work doesn’t define you. I define you. You are my perfect, precious Daughter. Your identity does not change based on your credentials; your job or what others think of you when they hear your name. Your identity lies in what I say of you. And I say that you are loved, perfect and accepted just the way you are Katie. Just the way you are my dainty, beautiful Ladybug.
I'm excited to hear more about what our beautiful Father has spoken to you about your identity. Please don’t hesitate to contact me and share what you are learning [Leah here -> leave a comment below and Katie will write you back!].
Indeed, there is a time for everything. This is your time to discover who your Father says you are. This is your time to cling to His promise He will never leave you.
It's time to lean on Him, believe His Word and not give in to the lies Satan tries whispering in your ear.
Believe what He says when He says, “You are more beloved daughter in whom I am well pleased".
With much love,
After almost losing her life to a vicious eating disorder and constantly being plagued by the residual thoughts of self-hatred and failure Katie decided there was something more than what others told her was possible. She strove to meet with Jesus and received healing of her heart, body and emotions from His gentle hands. Katie recently completed her first YA historical fiction and is swiftly moving on to her next creation, the tale of a young girl who, in the worlds eyes, seems to have it all but silently she is dying inside. It is a story, not unlike Katie’s, filled with redemption as theme and complete healing that is as much of a journey as it is a guarantee.
Read more from Katie: http://katiepezzutto.ca/