Learning to Love Myself

I stood in front of the mirror and smiled.

It was the first time in my life this had ever happened.

I turned to the left and then to the right. I even did a 360 degree turn just to see the whole picture for myself.

I smiled.

I couldn’t believe it.

For the first time in my life I was wearing “skinny girl” clothes. And, boy was I proud!

I paraded myself in front of that mirror. Walking closer and then backing up in order to get a glimpse from different angles.

I smiled some more.

Yes … I smiled on the outside, but on the inside my heart was full of uncertainties- would this be enough? Would he like me now? Will he ever truly love me?

Yes … My outside was lookin’ pretty darn good, but my heart was twisted in knots.

My thoughts going into this whole “diet” thing were that if I just shed a few pounds everything would be all better. He would like me. Maybe even love me. And, I would like myself too.

He had said it to me on more than one occasion, “You have a beautiful face, but you really could stand to lose a few pounds. Really, it would make you look a whole lot better.”

I took his words to heart, the guy who I thought hung the moon, and began doing all I could to lose those “few” pounds that I thought would make him like me more.

I dieted. I ran like crazy. I took diet pills. I went days without eating. I lost weight. Over 60 lbs. to be exact. People oohed and aahed. I bought clothes in sizes I never dreamed I could wear. I was proud. But, he wasn’t.

I’ll never forget that day. He stood in front of me after greeting less of me with a hug and said, “Wow, you sure have lost a lot of weight. You look like you’re sick.

I stared at him, absolutely dumbfounded. “Sick!?! SICK!?! I did all of this for you. You said I needed to lose weight. You said I would look better if I lost a few pounds. And now that I have, you think I look SICK?” I said in response, tears streaming down my face almost unable to breathe.

I turned around and ran back to my dorm room. My heart was shattered into a million pieces. I had done what he wanted and once again, it wasn’t enough. I cried myself to sleep that night and many nights after. I don’t think I will ever forget the conversation I had with this guy whom I believed would make all my dreams come true. He wounded me. And, it was a DEEP wound.

Years have come and gone. Yes, the scar is still there, but the wound from that day has been long healed. I have been healed by Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals. He took my broken, battered heart and put it back together one piece at a time.

“For I am the LORD who heals you.” Exodus 15:26a, NKJV

Not only has God healed my heart but He’s also taught me that I’m not defined by what others think I should look like. My self worth is not based on their opinions. Who I am, who He created me to be, is what’s important.

I’ve learned that in Him I am loved unconditionally. God’s love for me is great! It doesn’t matter if I’m a size 4 or 14; He loves me and accepts me, period (Ephesians 2:4)!

I’ve learned that I don’t need a guy to make me happy or to complete me. God is the One in whom I find completion and everything I need (Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10).

I’ve learned that God chose me to be His bride and that guy who didn’t sure has missed out (1 Peter 2:9).

I’ve learned that He thinks I’m beautiful, face and all (Psalm 45:11).

I’ve learned that it was El Elyon, the God Most High; He hung the moon and not the other guy (Genesis 1:16).

And, I’ve learned to love myself and others and to forgive all men because God forgave me, saved me, and restored me unto Himself (Colossians 3:13; 1 John 4:11).

 

Jenifer Jernigan

Jenifer Jernigan is a wife and mom of 3 whose deepest longing is to please Jesus, only Jesus. Growing up as the daughter of a pastor, she knew church but she didn’t know Jesus. After years of rebellion and heartache, Jenifer found freedom and healing through God’s Word. Now, as founder of Diving Deeper Ministries, her passion is to equip others to d.i.v.e. (define~investigate~visualize~embrace) head first into God's Word so that they, too, can experience freedom and abundant living. Her first book Dive Deeper: Finding Deep Faith Beyond Shallow Religion is part of Thomas Nelson’s Inscribed Studies collection. Join Jenifer at www.jeniferjernigan.com.

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15 Comments

  1. Amen, amen, such a beautiful post.

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  2. Amen! Thank you for sharing.

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  3. I am so sorry you had to go through that…but so glad you gave it over to our Father! So happy to call you sister! Now, just gimme that guy’s name and I’ll go set him straight. =P Love you!

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  4. Oh my! Your devotional is so inspiring. I need to remember how much God love us. His love is overwhelming. I have written all your scripture references down. I can’t wait to look each scripture up. Thank you so much.

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  5. Amen Jenifer!

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  6. Amen! What a beautiful picture of God’s love. Thank you for the reminder that our identity is found in Him. Have a great day!

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  7. Thank you for being so open and transparent. Praise the Lord for all we have IN HIM!!

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  8. I so love your heart! Thanks for sharing with us!

    Praise the LORD!

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  9. Oh my! Beautiful!!

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  10. Victoria…you are so funny!!! :o)

    Thanks ladies for all your encouraging comments. Recognizing our identity and self-worth are in Christ and NOT in man is so very important. We are the apple of His eye and our King in enthralled with our beauty. May we delight in Him!!!

    Blessings to you all!!!
    Jenifer

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  11. This year I hired a holistic health coach to develop better eating habits and she told me I needed to learn to love myself. This story speaks so close to my heart. Thank you for sharing as I begin to grow in my new understanding of myself and the one who loves me unconditionally.

    I heard a quote the other day: “Be Yourself, Everyone else if taken”

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  12. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer. A beautiful post. Jesus has taught you — all of us — so much. Praise Jesus our Healer.

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  13. I’m not quite sure how I landed here, but I’m glad I did.

    These words touched my heart. They’re eerily similar to some of my own.

    But I must say now say this: Isn’t it good to know the One who really hung the moon? Oh, isn’t it good?

    Thank you for writing this.

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  14. Yes, Richella, it is so good to know the One who hung the moon!!!

    Just me…that is a great quote. I think I shall hang it on my bathroom mirror. :o)

    Lucy Ann Moll…He is our Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals ALL our wounds.

    Blessings to you all!!!
    Jen

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  15. When you said, “I’ve learned that God chose me to be His bride and that guy who didn’t sure has missed out (1 Peter 2:9).”

    I laughed. So funny! But if he didn’t see it, he did miss it!

    Reply

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