I love cooking and feeding people…
I love filling tables with delicious food and sitting for hours picking at it until my belly and heart are full.
I love the conversations that encircle tables and the beautiful moments hearts connect through stories.
Funny thing is I spent many years dodging food and escaping tables.
It had become a battle for me…
Food & I had broken up when I realized it left me feeling inadequate and broken.
The person I was and who I thought I needed to be was always waging war against me.
I was 14,
when I first remember no longer fitting into the words that people once used to describe me.
My body was going through its natural changes but I found myself gripped with fear as I strived to fit into a perfect size…
I had no idea what exactly that meant and when it would end
-I just knew it wasn’t who I was.
The problem with comparing ourselves to others is the measurement is forever changing.
~This battle warred deep within my inner self and set up camp in my mind for many years…
I longed to be noticed and discovered…I wanted to be known as beautiful…to be accepted and to be popular….to never feel the pain of being left out.
I wanted the perfect body I didn’t have to work for…
I even remember being nominated for prettiest once to only lose to someone prettier.
So, I sought attention in other ways….
I strived to be the best athlete…to really stand out amongst the crowd,
yet I never seemed to be good enough.
….my inner voice was always telling me someone was ‘better’.
I wanted friends who liked me for who I was deep inside and not for the spot I earned on the court.
I yearned to be chosen…to not be compared one more time with my beautiful sisters who seemed to always be turning heads and getting glances…to stand out in the crowd and be fully seen.
I longed to wake up and fully know who I was and to know what it was I was created for…the start of what I had spent so much time waiting for.
To say I’m past it all would be false.
That just because I know who I am and whose I am
– it’s disappeared.
I wake up more often than I like to admit worrying more than trusting God,
struggling to know I’m enough for my world…my people and all the things that come knocking on my door.
I sometimes go throughout my day forgetting His truth and what He says of me, somedays I do more grieving losses than counting blessings,
I spend too much time worrying about what others think of me and wandering through my days rather than living my life on purpose.
I bet many of you feel the very same way;
perhaps we look differently and feel differently,
our struggles may not be each other’s,
but the basic ideas haunt your inner thoughts too.
I know because I’ve listened to gobs of women and young girls spill out their hearts on this matter.
…Somewhere in your past or present there’s a desire;
-to really matter.
Even though we’re children of God we will still possess the scars we’ve collected along the way.
Scars that mar our appearance and make straight lines appear crooked.
Ones that we’ve gathered from varied seasons of pain and words thrown us like a plague.
But there’s a few things I’ve learned about this…
Scars invite others into our story.
I was once told that my scars from three knee surgeries would never be seen as beautiful.
Since I was little I’ve been warned that scars were to be avoided.
I was told they indicate imperfection.
But that’s not true….
scars always appear after seasons of greatest bravery and courage.
Impressions of the biggest battles ever fought.
We all carry around a little imperfection that we bury far below.
Well, friend its high time we allow our scars to tell the stories of the brave lives we’ve lived.
Of how our BIG God has done some amazing things to turn our once dead end lives into a lives full of passion and purpose.
Where we let our scars speak comfort into another’s pain.
Where when pressed up against ours they somehow feel the scars of our Savior who also bears scars upon His hands.
His wounds given for us to have life.
We find a closeness in the breaking of bread and the breaking of hearts…for it’s here we become one with our Father and He becomes one with our world
-as we share in His suffering in some small way.
You see, when our scars meet another’s it’s here in these sacred moments they’re able to receive the healing they need…
In caring for other’s brokenness,
while exposing our own,
we become a way for others to meet God in flesh.
In the sharing of scars, we get the privilege of participating in the healing of another’s pain.
For those who know the deepest pain of brokenness are able to speak some of the bravest words to those crying out in the night.
I know because I once remember listened to a young girl emaciated from starving herself tell me of how it all began.
As I listened I saw images of myself.
Her wounded heart, her fears and her insecurities that were buried down deep.
She wanted her life to be over.
And as we spoke throughout the months & years ,
I kept pressing my scars up against hers letting her feel that I was real.
I worried my imperfections would somehow send her running away but its funny how God can use the offerings we bring to the table.
She’s finding her way as we all seem to be doing…
Because there’s nothing easy about uncovering what we’ve been hiding and
telling others how we’ve hated our bodies and starved ourselves all because of a skewed image we sought.
We often share pieces of ourselves that are easiest to reveal…
that we think others will accept.
We forget we all have beasts that whirl around in our minds and portray the lies we believe.
My prayer is that we will see ourselves in the beauty we’ve been created for…
that our scars will be our brave battle wounds speaking of God’s grace and how we survived.
I pray that we as women can embrace and celebrate one another wholeheartedly rather than from places of competition and inadequacy.
One soul aching and one healing…
May we really see ourselves as we were created to thrive and love others more deeply than ever before!