I Have the “Real Scoop” on Beauty

by Gwen
(Ohio)

I grew up in a church that focused on dos and don’ts.

Spiritual growth was measured by external measures, such as, certain clothing restrictions, avoidance of particular behaviors, church attendance and the approval of others. A wholeness that encompassed your physical, emotional and spiritual life was not taught.

Overweight, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, ungodly attitudes, gossip, and double standards were accepted as normal. I never remember being taught that my worth was dependent on what God thought of me. And so the lie I grew up believing was that my worth was measured by other people’s opinions of me and the “good things” I did.

These early lies created havoc in my life – I felt distant from God, I was emotionally starved and immature and I had unhealthy attitudes about my physical body.

I organized my physical health in an addictive type way – fanatically practicing concepts I found in books on healthy living and self-help methodology, willingly embracing alternative methods of healing, and crazily controlling the things that went into my mouth.

I even experienced a form of anorexia at one point and struggled with stomach, bowel and immune system issues. I had purchased over 125 books on physical health, believing that I could control my body by the things I did and didn’t do. I disliked my body parts, my hair color, my crooked teeth and my short height.

Every year when I watched Miss America, I longed to look like her. Somehow I didn’t realize the overall connection that God had designed for my emotional, spiritual and physical health.

It wasn’t until I experienced the testing of my faith through some difficult trials (James 1:2-4) that I began to grow in wholeness. The trials caused me to depend on God in a way I had never done before.

When I began learning how to relax and live in God’s peace, I found my physical body working better. I had less stomach problems, bowel disturbances and symptoms that had arisen from my challenged immune system.

I began to like me and all those less-than-perfect things about myself. I began to identify the lies that the enemy was trying to feed me and started exchanging them for God’s truths. Gradually I let go of my control on life and learned to trust God for the wholeness he had for me. What a change this created in me!

I can now embrace the idea that God loves me for “who I am” and not for what I do or don’t do.

I am no longer focused on my external looks, even though I still enjoy taking care of myself. I recently even got rid of all those books on health; I don’t need them anymore because God is the one who defines health and beauty and shows me how to take care of myself.

Beauty magazines, romance novels, the Style Channel and the Miss America pageant no longer define my beauty or worth – God does. I spend time with him every day so that I can get the “real scoop” on how to live life. These days I feel free, peaceful and loved and that makes life really worth living!

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Thanks for sharing!
by: Shelley

That is a powerful testimony of God's work in your life!! Thanks for sharing - I'm sure many girls can relate to your story.

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