After 30 years, I finally made peace with my appearance

I grew up in a brick ranch house in Mint Hill, a tiny suburb of Charlotte that had one traffic light. Behind my house were woods and a creek where my friends and I loved to explore and play. Across the street, behind my friend’s houses, were verdant cow pastures. I had a wonderful childhood in this peaceful neighborhood.  But what I loved most about my brick ranch home was that the front porch had double (french) doors complete with glass storm doors.  These doors were the perfect backdrop for taking pictures.

                    My friend Ashley and me in front of the storm doors

Standing on the front sidewalk and facing the doors, it was like looking in a mirror. My dream was to be a cheerleader at my junior high school, and these mirror-esque glass doors meant that I could practice my jumps and see how high I was getting. Jumps were always hard for me. I’m petite but solid so when I jumped I did not fly like my skinny-legged friends. It took many hours of practice for me to finally nail the holy grail of cheerleading – a Russian- but I was persistent. I finally did it.

Strangely, what I remember most about all of those years of hard work on my jumps is not the euphoria of achieving my goal of doing a Russian, but the unkind words that were uttered when I was trying but failing.   I can’t remember who said it, but I will never forget the words:

“Lisa, your butt is so big you can’t even get it off the ground.” (more…)

Do you ever wonder if God is ashamed of you?

“Abba, I belong to you.”
“Abba, I belong to you.”

The words of the song filled my ears as the music drifted up to the rafters of the church building.  I added my voice to the others but my heart just wasn’t in it.  My mind began to wander as I contemplated the fact that I belong to God.

That weekend I had been struggling with panic attacks and it had been hard just to function. As I looked around my church and saw all the “normal” people who didn’t struggle with anxiety, I felt sure that God was really proud of them but not so much of me. I was broken, faithless, and medicated, and they were strong, full of faith, and depending on God rather than pharmaceuticals to function.

I felt ashamed and I was certain that God was ashamed of me, too.

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What if you don’t have a Pinterest-perfect life?

As my body woke up from a night of slumber, so did the constant fear that rolled over and over in my stomach.  I had recently completed a three minute speaker promo video and I had shared it with my family and friends, including a lot of pastors and ministry leaders. I even shared it on Facebook.  I was unsure how people would receive it.  I felt vulnerable. Exposed.

I was terrified of being rejected.

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