your insecurity isn’t about your appearance // feeling comfortable in your own skin series

your insecurity isn't about your appearance

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. -Psalms 139: 1 NLT

One day a dear friend of mine on Facebook included me in a challenge where I was to post 5 pictures of myself that made me feel “beautiful.”

I couldn’t do it.

It’s not that I think I am completely hideous or anything like that; rather, I am the first to point out my flaws.  I will look at pictures of myself and instead of saying, “oh that looks nice” I will say, “Oh, well my eyes are a little closed, and arms look huge, and my hair looks awful…”  I nitpick what I see.

You may look at the picture and think that it’s nice but I see all my faults and short comings.  It goes beyond my looks and persona.  I see the me you might not get to see every day.  The ugly, dark places that pride, fear, insecurity and doubt still breed.  I see past the smiling face and I see my heart.

Hear me out when I say this (you might disagree but still please hear me out): I think a lot of the insecurity and self-doubt we face about our appearance is much more about the inside of our hearts than the outside of our bodies.

The days I feel most secure in my looks are the days I feel most successful in my life.  If I hit it out of the park in parenting today, if my house is spotless, if my family is happy, if my blog got a lot of hits that day; all of these circumstances make me feel confident, strong, and that makes me feel attractive.  I may be wearing the same old dress that last week I hated and complained about; however, if I am feeling great about my accomplishments that day then I will look in the mirror and smile at the reflection back at me.  My heart says, “We did it.  You can feel good about yourself.”

And that feeling may last a few hours or even a few days until something happens again that I am not proud of… I had a fight with a loved one.  A friend is upset with me.  My children are screaming.  My house is a disaster.  A thought I’m not proud of fills my mind.  And suddenly my self-worth plummets.  Even if I am wearing the pinkest of lipgloss and the size-smaller skirt that didn’t fit me last week.  I still feel unworthy.

Because it’s not my looks giving me my worth.  It’s my heart.  And my appearance, or beauty, is just a reflection of that.

No matter how much perfume, blush, or foundation I use, nothing can cover my hurting (and sometimes dark) heart from my eyes.  But I do try to hide it from you.  I want you to see my best self.  So I work hard to hide it from the world instead of actually dealing with it.

So I think the first big step to feeling comfortable in our own skin is by taking a look at our own hearts.

I think Psalms 139:1 tells us two ways to start working on our hearts…

1. examine your heart before the lord.

O Lord, you have examined my heart…. The Message version of this verse says “God, investigate my life.”  I love that.  It’s like pulling out a magnifying glass and looking at all those secret, dark crevices within your heart but through God’s light.  Allow Him to shine a spotlight on all those places you have tried to hide, even from yourself.  The good, the bad, the ugly; let’s just uncover it all.  What remains hidden is what makes us uncomfortable.  And so if we are to feel comfortable in our own skin then it is time to get a little uncomfortable first… We need to expose what we are afraid of, then let God help heal and nurture and cover all those things we are so desperate to hide, and then let His grace shine through our very spirits and faces for the world to see.  But the first step is to allow Him (and you) to examine what you have been hiding for so long.  Which leads us to…

2.  he already has seen it all anyways.

And know everything about me…. Can I tell you something you already know?  The things you’ve tried to hide?  God has always seen them.  And the things you didn’t even know you are hiding from?  He’s already seen them too.  We will investigate it further on in this series but Psalms 139:12 states: “but even in darkness I cannot hide from You.”  He is always there.  Always there.  He has always been loving and holding you close and wanting you to surrender even those hurting places you have tried to keep silent in your heart.  He is not surprised or ashamed.  He just wants to help you heal and offers only love and grace.

Only you know the wounds and hurts your heart holds that makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.  It can be really deep, it can be painful, or it can seem small and embarrassing to even worry about.  I do know it ALL matters to the Lord.  He cares about your hearts.  He cares about YOU.

So today, let’s sit before the Lord with our hearts open to Him and begin to examine them.  Because to look in the mirror at our reflection with peace means being concerned less with what makeup is on our face and more of what it is your heart.

{Call to action: Let’s take time today to truly examine our hearts.  Perhaps write down 1-3 things that you know are hurtful to you and perhaps a cause of your insecurity or self doubt.  Sit with them, reflect on them, pray about them, read what the Scriptures may say about them, and then let’s ask God for the next steps in helping to heal those areas in our hearts.}
This is part 2 of the Feeling Comfortable in Your Own Skin series.  To start at the beginning, see part 1 here.  To continue, see part 3 here.

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