Accepting Me {God Doesn’t Make Mistakes}

She smiles while waiting on customers and flipping pupusas. My friend speaks to her in Spanish; her face lights up as she rapidly replies. I’ve heard her speak English, but I jump in with my limited Spanish. She’d delighted to speak her native tongue.

We learn her name is Rebecca. We ask if we can take her picture…not wanting to forget her or this moment. She replies (in Spanish), “Of course, I am very beautiful!”

She’s smiles hugely and poses for her photo.

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It’s just one moment in time. A sweet, older lady proclaiming her beauty, happy to smile for the camera.

But, the moment is profound for me.

It’s God saying…this is what I have been telling you for a few months, Sarah. And you aren’t listening, so I sent an angel – in the flesh – to you in person. (And a HONDURAN angel at that! God is so awesome:)

Here’s the truth – you won’t find me in pictures. I take tons of pictures of my kiddos and my niece. I love pictures. But, I am ALWAYS behind the camera. And if I let you take my picture,  it’s a high-angled selfie that omits my body and camouflages my double chin.

And when my sister INSISTED on a family picture at the beach, I hid in the back.

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Because that’s what I do: avoid pictures or hide in the back.

Of course, you’re onto me, right? You know my photo avoidance has little to do with a photograph and everything to do with shame and insecurity and failure.

Half-marathon. Huge weight loss. Divorce. All the weight is back plus a few bonus pounds. And I do not want that failure  – those choices – that image to be recorded for everyone to see.  (I know  – I see people every day in person…as if they don’t see the real me;)

So, here I am.  My highest weight ever. Preparing to meet with a publisher. Preparing to speak at a church girls night out.  Praying over messages and outlines and ideas, asking God to bring me just the right words- just what his girls need to hear.

And so He speaks – over a period of weeks. He doesn’t give a message that I am interested in sharing. In fact, I look up and ask him, “why do I get the hard ones? The ones where I have to do the work and admit my faults? Can’t I just speak the words?” (I know. This is dumb. No one wants to hear the words from someone perfect who is not living what she’s sharing. But still. Man. I am SURE there’s something ELSE to say.)

But, God reveals his message in small pieces for weeks – even if I am mostly unaware. Until that moment comes when I look up, and say, “I see what you’re doing.”

Just so happens (actually, nothing ever just so happens in my world!) I am leading my ministry team through I Want God by Lisa Whittle and this week’s’ chapter? I Want God More Than Popularity. And these words…which I’ve never noticed in my previous readings…jump off the page: He knows we will have to consider our image above everything else and that will extinguish passion flames and truth-telling and free speech. (101)

See what happens when one is preoccupied with image? Or appearance? It’s serious when we let anything hold us back from passionately sharing Him. I know this to be true.

Then, I see this post shared again and again on Facebook.  I remember ignoring it a few years ago. (I’ve always been an “ignorance is bliss” kinda gal).  I click on it.  So You’re Feeling Too Fat to be Photographed.  I read these words…Life doesn’t wait until you “get thin” enough to capture it. Life is happening… it is happening right now and the only moment we are guaranteed is the one we are living….you’re feeling too fat to be photographed? OK… but you’re the only one who notices. The rest of us are too caught up in loving you.

Can we agree on this? It’s true, right? Y’all don’t read my words and think…she’s fat. In fact, that sounds ridiculous. And I am NOT living life to the fullest as I sit and wait on the magical day when I will look exactly as I always dreamed. I am actually wasting days and gifts.

And then God sends Rebecca. Smile engulfing her face as she unabashedly says,  “Yes! Take my photo! I am very beautiful!”

I want to weep. Or scream “I hear you!” Because as I watch Rebecca I know…

I DO NOT live out of who He says I am. I live from the cultural standard.  I’ve known this for awhile, but refused to acknowledge it. To give it to God – or even ask His opinion. I keep waiting for “the moment.”

You know “the moment,” right? The one where you say…I will do _____ when I get through ______. Or when I am ________.   I will write a book when I lose 100 pounds, and I am not too embarrassed to promote it. I will invite more friends over when my I have time to redo my kitchen or mow the lawn. I will go back on the diet after I get through this busy summer.

I will do this when I get through that.

The problem is…there’s always another this and that. They never cease.

And I spend day after day, reading his Word. Writing what He places in my heart. Serving and loving and living…and never acknowledging the elephant in the room…the feeling that I feel less than. I feel life is on hold until I lose the weight.

An attitude and way of life that looks at my Creator and says…You made a mistake. Sure, you gave me certain gifts, but I can’t use them because you made me bigger than all the other writers and speakers.

And while I know I have free will and I don’t believe God ever intended for me to gain this much weight, the truth is…he doesn’t want me to stand on the sidelines while I deal with the consequences of my own poor choices. He wants me in the game. He has plans for me. Fat or skinny. And I am letting fears and others’ opinions paralyze me. Make me inactive.

He wants me to be like Rebecca.  Yes, you can take my picture because this is ME right now in my journey. And I am accepting and loving who God has made me in this season. And thankfully he’s not finished with me yet, but for right now, I am THIS girl.

And she loves Jesus and his people more than anything. No amount of weight should or will keep her from sharing Him.

Sister, what’s holding you back? What moment are you waiting on? Why do you run from the camera – or why do you think you need to be front and center? What’s holding you back from being who he made YOU to be? Why do you compare yourself to other girls? Do you think God made a mistake when he made you tall? Fat? Skinny? Lanky? Awkward? Smart? Big nosed? Did he really mess up?

I don’t think so. In fact, his word has much to say about you and me, friend.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me Psalm 139:16

Please don’t life keep passing you by. It’s time to move forward in His promises, sure of His love, confident in His grace and mercy, filled with His hope.  Don’t let another day pass. Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with your wherever you go!

Comments

  1. Thanks Sarah for the reminder of who we are in CHRIST. And to be about HIS will for our lives !

  2. this is beautiful! <3

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