Don't Label Me

Don't Label Me | Sarahesh.com
During the long winter months I participated in a bible study with a group of ladies from my church. We used the Unglued DVD series by Lysa TerKeurst. The studies tag line defines it well: Unglued - Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotion.
The book on Amazon has 4.8 out of a possible 5 star rating. And rightfully so; it is so, so good. After each study I felt like I came home with new thoughts and ideas to process and work through.
To wrap up the study, we hosted a brunch and had a guest speaker come and share with us about how the same study, Unglued, has changed her life. She shared about the labels that a lot of us wear, of not being enough, or of being too much, the feelings of worthlessness, and the harsh judgement's we make against our bodies, personalities, et cetera. So often we begin to define ourselves by those labels instead of seeing ourselves how God sees us as loved, redeemed, and priceless. By God's grace those labels can be removed and we can walk in the freedom of being His and being known as His. But sometimes, even after the label has been taken away, a sticky residue still remains.
I can think of a few labels that I wore when I was younger, some of those I'm still trying to peel away, the biggest of those has to do with my weight.
My growth spurt came earlier than most, and by the time I was 11 or 12 I was at my current height. At the time, I was taller than my older brother, and a few pounds heavier too. During that season, it seemed like everyone I knew was commenting on it, either as an observation or joke, and those who I didn't know always guessed me as the older child. I tried hard to act like it didn't matter, but with every remark I heard, I was more and more determined. I would be smaller, no matter what.
I started to pour over fitness magazine, learning every tip and trick I could, and began taking my salad without oil or dressing. I never allowed myself to take seconds of anything, and I began running, even on those days when I biked 5 miles to work and back again.
I did lose a few pounds, yes. But I can honestly say that I felt no better about myself. It didn't matter how much I lost, it still seemed like I was always too much.
This stage of my life was fairly short-lived, thankfully. I still cared about how I looked, but eventually it turned into a desire to be strong and able, and not so much about the size of my waist or comparing myself to others.
My relationship with a scale, however, has never been mended. I refuse to own one, and have absolutely no desire to set foot on one. During my pregnancy, I did borrow my mom's so that I could keep my midwife updated at each visit, but as soon as Carson was born, it went right back to her.
Over the winter, I've been working out regularly and eating well. My stomach is flatter than it was before I became pregnant, and I felt good in a pair of skinny jeans.
Is that what possessed me to step on to a scale? Did I truthfully think that the number no longer mattered? Perhaps I was hoping for the satisfaction of it being lower, showing that all of my hard work had, indeed, paid off.
Whatever the reason, I foolishly weighed myself. And those numbers staring back at me, they weren't singing praises for all of my effort and discipline. They were screaming. Suddenly the flatness of my stomach and the way a pair of good jeans fit no longer matter. All I saw and all I heard was too much. My first instinct was to lessen the amount of food I consumed, increase the time I spend working out each day, and do everything in my power to get back to a three digit number I deem okay. It wore on me for hours afterward, and I still think about it, two weeks later.
But because I heard about the labels we give ourselves, the harsh judgement's, not enough's, and too much's, just hours before I stepped on the scale, I knew in my heart what I was facing - it was the sticky residue, the ugly bits that never came off, even after I thought I found freedom.
Obviously I'm not an over-comer yet, there are still bits and pieces that need to be removed of that label I wore for so long. Some day I hope to be at the place where I no longer feel the stickiness or see the mark residue left behind. But here is the thing - I know where to go when I am feeling the ugliness flood back, when the lies of being too much well within my being, I run to the One who made me, and loves me, not for who I could be, but for who I am.
I'm sharing this, as raw and awkward and vulnerable as it is, because I want you to know too, that you are beautiful as you are. And those labels that you are wearing--whatever they may be--they don't define you. You are so much more than that. If you ask, and truly believe, I think that God will reveal to you just how He sees you.
There could never be a more beautiful you!


Post a Comment