Emerald is such a sweet soul with such a strong desire to help others see themselves how God sees them. As a woman, I am constantly encouraged by her words based on God’s truth, that encourages everyone to remember that they are beautiful. As a parent, I am always thinking of what I say or do and how when my kids get older, will they look back and see that I saw myself through God’s eyes? I was so impressed with Emerald’s drive to encourage others that I asked her to guest post here today. I knew she wasn’t a “mom” technically, I guess, BUT she has a heart and talent that makes me want to spend more time with God and grow as a parent. Her messages are a great reminder to us all as parents.
Emerald is a crazy cool author and if you haven’t checked out her stuff, take a quick look. She has an awesome perspective about making writing available for others to read and she is worth learning about!
I’m not a mother, but I the love kids in my life like they’re mine. I have three nieces, two nephews, and one of undetermined gender due out in October. (And yes, my sister wanted lots of babies!) I’m currently in a situation where I live with them, and I’m helping my sister with them.
I’ve learned a lot, specifically how much work kids are and how that changed my mind about even wanting kids, but what I do know, is that I love these kids with every beat of my heart. Moms, you have my deepest respect, and I know it’s not easy.
When I was approached about writing a blog post for Only a Season after she read my warfare post on a fellow author’s site, I wasn’t sure I would be able to write on the blog since I wasn’t a mother, but even though I’m not a mother, my message can still be useful to women, mother or not.
To start this post, you might need to know a little about me. I’m twenty-eight, quickly approaching twenty-nine if I’m honest, and for years, I’ve hated my body. I hated my looks, and I didn’t feel worthy of much of anything, especially God’s love. I was beat down and broken, and I honestly thought it was “normal” to feel this way. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t learned from my experience, though, and now, I’m using it to show others how they too can overcome their hatred of themselves.
One thing that I have learned is that women of all ages and marital status have a difficult time loving themselves. Why is that? Why is it so difficult to see how wonderful we are? In fact, the Psalmist of 139 said, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
God made you, made us, fearfully and wonderfully! We’re beautiful creations who were created by a marvelous God, but we can’t see that.
We can’t look past our reflections in the mirror, past what we see as “flaws” to learn to love ourselves the way God loves us.
From being this way for most of my life and from knowing kids who have self-esteem issues, I know that this topic has been one that is very difficult. Whether you’re overweight, skinny, or average, we hate our looks because we’re being bullied by others or we think we know what the “ideal” beauty is. The truth is, there is no one “ideal” beauty. We’re all beautiful, and we have to learn how to accept that. “But how? How can I learn to love myself? How can I help my kids love themselves?” you may ask. It’s not easy. I won’t sugar-coat it. It takes lots of work, but it’s worth it in the end.
One of my biggest fears is that my nieces and nephews will learn to hate their body instead of love it. I don’t want them to turn out like me, wondering if they were truly worthy of love and hating themselves. Yes, I was fat. Yes, I am still fat, but that doesn’t mean that it was easy hearing people make fun of me. It was from them and years of hearing the same thing that made me into the woman that I was. I loathed myself, honestly. I couldn’t stand looking in the mirror, and I doubled up on clothing so no one would really see me. I hid behind baggy t-shirts with tank tops underneath.
I hid, but it still wasn’t enough. I still thought I wasn’t pretty or worthy enough of love.
My parents had always told me how beautiful I was, and I believe that was part of the reason I never completely went over the edge. They kept me sane, and they held my hands and let me cry on their shoulder when I couldn’t stand being me for a moment more. But it wasn’t until my heavenly Father told me that I was beautiful because I was His did I really begin to believe it.
My advice to mothers who want to help their daughters (or sons) love themselves more is to openly seek God.
Ask Him to show your daughters (and even sons) that they are beautiful (or handsome) because they are God’s. Show them in the Bible where God loves them and how precious they are to Him, and most importantly, reassure them that they are beautiful/handsome. Even though you’re their parents, hearing those words, “You are beautiful,” could mean all the difference. Even if they don’t believe you know, they will. Trust me. I was there before.
My hope and prayer is that you learn to love yourself so you can help your kids love themselves.
The best way to help someone else is to help yourself. Don’t look in the mirror and see your stretch marks or weight gain or weight loss or hair loss or wrinkles or whatever. Look in the mirror and see a beautiful child of God.
Look at yourself and see the Savior who loves you. Look in the mirror and see the woman you are. The woman who loves her kids, her husband. The woman who would lay her life on the line to protect her loved ones. Look and see the woman who is wonderfully and fearfully made by a loving God Who would move heaven and earth just to prove that love for you.
Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie to three beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews. She’s a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.
Connect with Emerald online:
Inspirational Blog: http://emeraldbarnes.blogspot.com