This is a hard blog for me to write because the only person I have ever really talked about it with is my fiancé, but as I was driving to work this morning it was something that was laid on my heart. It is always hard to talk about personal issues but I feel like sometimes it is exceptionally hard for me because I feel the need to seem as though I have it all together. Well let me let you in on a little secret. I don’t. For years, I have struggled with my self-image. I have always looked in the mirror and hated the reflection. I hide my insecurities as much as I can in any way possible. Going through middle and high school I looked around me and everyone seemed to be so much smaller, so much skinnier, so much prettier. My siblings are both very small; my friends were all skinnier than me and the devil used this to his major advantage. I always would tell myself that I needed to lose weight, and I mean a lot of weight. I wanted to lose 20-30 pounds. However, I also love food and thankfully I was never able to get myself to do anything drastic. Any time we talked about self-image at church or school I always pretended it was something other people struggled with but of course I couldn’t. After all I was a pastor’s kid. Of all people, I should know where my worth comes from, right? Wrong! High school ended and college began and with the beginning of freshman year came Alex, also known as my first boyfriend and soon to be husband. The insecure girl that I was began to look to him for my worth. Does he think I look pretty? Does he think I am fat? The devil was constantly telling me that he won’t like me anymore or someone prettier will come along and steal him away, and that never happened. The whole season of wedding planning is hard for girls. First of all, wedding dresses come 2-3 sizes smaller than normal clothes. That means that your wedding dress will be 2-3 sizes BIGGER than your normal dresses. Whose idea was that?!?!?! At a time when girls are already insecure and trying to lose a lot of weight to look like the models in the bridal magazines that they pour themselves over, they are forced to get a dress 2-3 sizes bigger than normal. That’s not an easy pill to swallow for those insecure like me. Secondly, everyone is always talking about the “wedding diet”, like it is a requirement to lose a lot of weight before the wedding. For me this is just another way to get down on myself and think that I have a lot of work to do to make Alex actually want to marry me on our wedding day. Throughout this wedding planning season, I have learned a lot. I’ve learned a lot about myself and also a lot about God’s views of me. All these years of thinking I am ugly and fat is basically telling God that he made a mistake. Whoa there. Who do I think I am to think I know better than God. Has He ever made a mistake? Nope. Did He make a mistake with me? No way! I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. I am not ugly or fat. I am perfectly beautiful in the eyes of Christ. I don’t need to go on some crazy diet to lose a ton of weight so Alex will marry me. The diamonds on my finger remind me that he already does ;). He fell in love with me. Not some picture in a magazine that I think I should look like, but the real me. Also, those pictures are fake and nothing like real life for those who do not know. Photoshop is an amazing thing. So here is what I have learned from this long story about my struggles. Everyone is made perfect. There is no mistake. To anyone reading this who has had a struggle like I have, you are beautiful! God made you in His image! You are perfect the way you are! Do not let the mean comments that others make hurt you. Those comments come from their own insecurities. Be a light in the darkness. Be confident in who Christ made you to be. Do not cower from the devil’s lies. Stand up and fight. The devil knows our weaknesses and it is important that we know them as well. My weakness is my self-image so I know that is where he will try to get me down. By knowing that is my weakness I am able to be proactive in fighting and not passive. I will not be the insecure girl I was. I am a child of the King and He made me beautiful for His glory and to do His work in this world. I don’t need to change who I am, I need to be the change!