About that title... let me explain...
When I say hate, which is a strong word, I mean hate.
I was even ridiculed by an extended family member about them.
I knew they were "different" than all of my friends feet.
I used to pray that God would change them. Grow them so that they would look "normal" like everyone else's.
I used to hide my toes and not wear shoes that showed them. I envied all the girls that wore the cute sandals that showcased them and used to dream about someday being able to wear shoes like that. In Heaven. When they would finally be perfect.
Ugh.... Seems silly doesn't it?
Or maybe not so silly to those who can identify with a less than perfect "something" in their lives that you may have given up hope of ever changing.
My feet aren't terrible.
I look at them now and I wonder why I struggled so hard to accept them growing up.
They don't look like everyone else's, true, but when I look at them now I see something very different.
Do I LOVE them.... umm... if I'm being truly honest, no, but I actually think their kinda cute now. :)
Have I accepted a part of me that I always hated and wanted to change... yes.
Have I learned to appreciate them in a way that I never thought possible... yes and amen.
Let me tell you why....
I have come to realize that what I early on came to believe was beautiful about other people did not hold true for me.
What started at my feet quickly progressed up until it settled and nestled its way into the deep recesses of my thought processes.
The lies that I bought and believed soon became what I measured all of me by.
I am not the same.
I am not special in the way one wants to be special.
I am weird.
I am odd.
I am different.
I was made wrong.
Pretty soon everything I ever thought about myself and how I made decisions and played life out were based on those things and those thoughts.
Wow... if I could only go back and tell the me then what I know now.
It has taken a LONG time for me to get here.
The "here" where I am growing and learning in new ways and for the first time in my life actually liking the things I am discovering about myself.
I AM unique.
I AM special.
I AM a little weird and odd in ways that I actually like.
I AM not like everyone else. This is a good thing. ;)
I AM different and for the first time in my life I am starting to accept that and love that about myself.
I AM made right. Just the way my God intended for me to be. Imperfections and all. Right down to my toes. :)
Do I still struggle at times with who I am and who I am meant to be?
Do I still wonder what I am called to do and how I'm supposed to walk that out?
Do I ever look in the mirror and think, "Man, today is just not a good day. I wish...."
Like I have said MANY times before... I am human. I am going to struggle and wonder and have bad days, but seriously, at the core of who I am and who I am learning who my God is in me is extraordinary and life changing.
When we begin to gain more God perspective and less me perspective...
When we stop listening to the naysayers and the liars in our lives...
When we choose to believe that what God says about us is true...
When we take steps to walk in the manner to which we are called and redeemed to...
We are no longer standing out because we are shrinking...
We are standing out because we are confident in the Creator Who formed us and made us to be mighty daughters and sons of God.
We are no longer doubters of our ability and strengths...
We are believers of the Truth that says that we are created for a purpose and in every single one of our weaknesses and imperfections He can be made STRONG. And because He is stronger... and He lives in us... WE. ARE. STRONG.
He makes the impossible possible.
He makes the deformed and rejected, beautiful and accepted.
When I think about how such a small thing like the way my toes looked to me was so important and how it dominated so much of my self esteem it makes me sad.
I missed out on so much, like really cute shoes for one, but more importantly I missed out on all the times that I could have just been comfortable being me, the Melissa that God created me to be.
How do you get there you may ask?
Well.... you start like this;
You surrender the things that you struggle with the most about yourself.
The lies and half truths.
You admit that you actually struggle and not lie to yourself that you don't.
You begin to allow God access to speak truth over the lies that you have allowed to permeate and smog up your perspective.
You believe Him when He says you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You choose to believe Him.
Don't think the enemy won't try and dislodge everything you are trying to change.
He loves when we allow the weeds of wrong thinking to take root and reside in the deepest parts of us.
Pulling those weeds isn't always easy. It takes time, effort, and often lots of sweat and
hard work on our part.
But don't give up! Please. Don't. Give. Up.
Because you are more than worth any amount of effort that it will take to transform and change what used to be to what should be.
We have been created for a purpose. A life well lived. A life worth living.
Lives that are meant to shake up the systems and change our world.
Lives that are meant to be radical and amazing.
Lives that are meant to show that God is not merely a nice idea or a fantastical story.
Lives that shine and glisten with the beauty of God's love and forgiveness.
Lives that touch and heal and mend.
Lives that love deep and are faithful.
And if we are caught up in our insecurities, what "ifs" and wishes for wanting to change who we think we are or who we've been misled and told we are to be.... we will miss it.
The real us.
The bold us.
The authentic and beautiful us.
The courageous us.
You have more to give... more to do... and a world that needs the change that only you can bring.
It needs men and women of God who are willing to accept that they aren't perfect but they are perfectly made in Him. That we in our own abilities can not do life without our Savior. That with Him we are stronger and better people. A people that accept that they are made in the image of Christ and because of that truth they are beautiful and accepted.
Truth believers and truth givers.
That is what I am saying...
I have begun to say it often to anyone who will listen.
I hope you are hearing it too.
Because for me... today... I am no longer choosing to believe and walk in shoes that cover up my feet and try and hide who God has created me to be.
I am different.
I am loved.
I am His.
And so are you....
Until another tomorrow....
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” Psalm 139:14