Moody Radio (90.1 fm in Chicago), I was intrigued, and knew that it would put a voice to much of what we women spend so much of our lives dealing with.
I struggled a lot in college with insecurity - about my capabilities as far as my future career was concerned, my ability to make, build, and keep friends, and, of course, my appearance.
Really, from the time I was in junior high I struggled with feelings of not being good enough, pretty enough, witty enough, cool enough. . . you name it.
I think most women struggle with these feelings to a greater or lesser degree, but I know that body image is a great big hurdle that lots of us take years and years to get past. I'm sure most of us spent (or are currently spending) far too great a chunk of our years worrying and obsessing about whether we look a certain way.
However, strangely enough, that evil beast called negative body image really lost a lot of it's grip on me once I started to have my babies. For the first time, it was okay to gain weight, and there was a bigger story going on when it came to my body. It was a blessing of God to be able to carry a baby and become a mother, and the changing of my appearance reflected that blessing. Another reason I quit worrying so much about how I looked post-babies was that I had bigger and way better things to worry about. Other people to care for, be concerned with, and focus my attention on. My identity wasn't in my jeans size anymore (which it never should have been)!
Praise God that the blessings of my little ones were able to "save me from myself" (for the most part) in that area!
This book was a fantastic read. I resonated with almost every word on every page.
Beth starts the book talking about how so many of us have a nagging insecurity inside that rears it's ugly head in subtle and consistent ways for so many years that we have grown accustomed to it and believe it's just a part of us. Almost like being shy, or humble, but in a twisted, not truth-based, self-destructive sense.
She mentions how insecurity can cripple us, can make us unable to receive love, can twist our perceptions of reality, can make us do things we'd never be caught dead doing in order to fit in, can make us overcompensate and push other away, can generally make us miserable.
There is much truth in this book about the reality of who we are made to be. . . what God intended for us to believe about ourselves and Him. Many times it is the opposite of what the culture tells us! You REALLY need to read the book. There are so many beautiful realities that we need to internalize.
By far, one of the biggest nuggets of truth that I got out of this book and that has stuck with me is this:
The beauty, talents, or attractiveness of other women have no affect on my own beauty, worth, or value as a woman. No positive or desirable thing about someone else takes away any of my own value.
Aaahhhh, that is such a breath of fresh air! I think on some level many of us feel that there is a constant ranking system of some kind that is measuring us against the women around us, and if someone beats us out in some category we value, then that means we are less impressive, or worthwhile. This is especially freeing when it comes to our feelings of security with the men in our lives, particularly our spouse. There WILL be other beautiful and wonderful women out there that our spouse comes in contact with, but the fact that those women possess those wonderful qualities does not diminish our own in the least!
I just love this. I have found it so freeing - it takes away that sense of competitiveness that we women are prone to feel with one another. Instead of making it into a contest, we can appreciate and value other women's looks, talents, etc, without feeling threatened by them. Like I said earlier, a breath of fresh air, right?
Another highlight of this book is a several page long prayer that Beth writes to guide us through really asking God for deep healing of our deep-seeded insecurities. The prayer includes asking for forgiveness for looking for our security in _________(those places from which we have sought our sense of security in the past).
I could go on and on, but it will be so much better for YOU to read the book for yourself.
I will end with a group of Psalms that describe the reality of who we were created to be:
Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18 NLT
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!