I have just this morning begun reading “The Shack.”* This book is all the rage right now. It has topped out at # 1 on the NY Times Best Seller List for the last several weeks.
In the forward of the book the author is describing the main character, Mack, and at one point he writes that “he’s become one of those people who are totally at home in their own skin.” Hmmm … “totally at home in their own skin.” An “ah-ha” moment for me! We are always reading in some magazine or self-help book that we have to like, even love ourselves, i.e., we must accept who we are and be comfortable in our skin – right now – before we can move ahead with our lives. Jesus said it this way, “love your neighbors as yourself.” In other words, if we don’t love ourselves the way God intended us to do, we cannot love, much less help, our neighbors.
I have been dissatisfied and restless off and on (mostly on) for years. I have tried different diets, different hair styles, read all kinds of Christian self-help books, taken up new hobbies, changed jobs… the list could go on and on. I might be okay for a while but the dissatisfaction and restlessness always returned. This morning, the realization hit me like cold water being thrown in my face that all the dissatisfaction and restlessness I feel stems from the fact I don’t like myself. I don’t love myself. I am not at home in my own skin.
I know that God loves me, that He created me in His own image. He thinks I’m beautiful. I know this in my head and my heart goes along with my head occasionally. But I need for my heart to know that God loves me and sees me as beautiful all the time. I need to become comfortable in my own skin.
I need to realize and accept the fact that if I never lose another ounce, if every day is a bad hair day that I can accept myself exactly as I am every day. More importantly, I need to realize that God doesn’t see what I see when He looks at me. He sees me as He created me, “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). He sees me as beautiful (SS. 1:15) and that one look from me “ravishes his heart.” (SS 4:9).
God is no respecter of persons. Ladies, if He sees me like this, then I can assure you, with the Word of God backing me up, that He sees you the very same way.
*Written in 2008
** Edwina Cowgill is available to speak to womens groups on this and other topics of interest to women. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2008 Edwina E. Cowgill