173. One hundred and seventy three. 
The number flashed in front of my eyes, the nurse said it out loud, and my insides began to scream. They screamed at the nurse for daring to say the number out loud for all to hear, screamed at myself for letting myself be this number, and screamed at my body for physically being 173 pounds heavy. 

This past year has been a year of conquering mental illness, learning how to become self sufficient, and simply loving myself well. This is all code though for things like, going off depression medication, dealing with thyroid issues, coping through migraines, and yet, still LIVING. 
This past year has been SO good and yet so hard. When it comes to my physical body, I try so hard to look in the mirror and see what God sees; to see the creation he made, he loves, and he set apart. But to be honest, most days I just see that 173 pounds. I wish desperately my meds and my thyroid issues weren’t effecting my body so strongly, and sometimes I sit in front of the mirror and I just cry. 
I don’t say all this to be pathetic or to make you feel sorry for me. In fact, that’s not what I want at all. I say this because I’ve learned, in this past year, how healing it can be to be transparent and honest. 
I have days, weeks even, where it’s almost easy to love my body and to see the beauty in my curves and extra chub. And then, I have weeks that I don’t see any beauty but I cling to the truth that I STILL AM BEAUTIFUL. 
I cling to the truth of who God tells me I am. On those days that I cry in front of my mirror, I desperately cling to the arms that God encircles around me. Because the one thing I will forever know, even in the midst of my own self doubt, is that Abba does not doubt and Abba does not change. He called his creation “good” and I am his creation. Therefore, when I feel ugly beyond hope, I will listen only to his voice. Because his voice is the one voice that NEVER lies. 
Today, when I stepped off that scale and everything within me screamed “UGLY” and “FAT”, I knew it was a lie. And that was enough, enough to know His truth, even if I couldn’t quite see it myself today.  
Now I look at those three pictures from three very different times in my life and realize that I love the girl in all three of them. But it’s that girl on the right that I want to learn to cherish and adore, and to see her beauty as God sees it. 
I hope you guys know how beautiful you are. No matter what the scale says, or what you’re going through, you’re worth so much. Praying God helps us all see our worth tonight.


For your amusement…

I tend to cry a lot these days. The joke used to be that my mom was the one who was always “half a second from crying about anything”. I believe that joke now applies to me more. Most often, they aren’t sad tears, they’re more like, “how cute” tears. Or even “STOP SAYING NICE THINGS TO ME” tears. So here’s a little list of things I cried over in the last couple days (without exaggeration):

  • Cried when I saw a needy man and his dog on the side of the road in the rain. Specifically because the dog had no coat. 
  • Cried when I couldn’t get an online order to go through. (I realized I had the wrong card information… and then cried more.)
  • Cried while doing yoga. (Nope I don’t know why.)
  • Cried when my pastor talked about the first time his dad told him he was proud of him. 
  • Cried when my roommate told me I was a good friend. 
  • Cried when I couldn’t find the right shade of green for my coloring book. 

One thing I’m definitely learning through all this? How good and okay emotions are. Do I want to tear up with each passing emotion, literally? Not really. Do I? Yes. It’s like my body desperately needs a release from all the stimulus flowing through it right now, and so I cry. There’s a part of me that is embarrassed when it happens, and then I quickly just accept that it is happening. As each tear falls, I feel a sense of detox and release. 

For this season of my life, crying over the good, bad, and cute is acceptable. So if you see me crying, feel free to ask if I’m okay… just be prepared to laugh with me at the same time as the tears fall. 

Be brave friends. He is with you.