I Woke Up Like This //
I woke up like this..
I actually woke up like this, tbh...
Yep.. full of blemishes, messy hair and eye bags. That's how God created me! This is real life people! Recently I ran out of foundation (first world problems, I know) and couldn't afford any more. Student life central. It really seemed like the end of the world to me. Until this moment, I'd wear makeup 99% of the time. So, when I had no choice but to leave the house with no makeup, I began to realise how I really saw myself. I was convinced nobody would ever think i'd have it together without makeup on... and it was definitely one of those 'girl you better humble yourself' moments!
When I left the house and made it out things took quite a turn.. as I sluggishly walk up to the cafe assistant to order my coffee, i am CONVINCED this girl is judging me. hardcore. Dude have you never seen a girl without makeup? Before I say a word she whispers to me "hey.. your shirt is on inside out" OH NO. Girl you REEEALLY better humble yourself. And fix that. Oh the shame.. I rush to the bathroom and fix it.
I knew it wouldn't stop there. Heck no. I meet some friends in a cafe, who upon seeing me arrive hurry to ask "Are you feeling ok?!" uh, yep... just naturally pale... not sick...! I'm sharing all of this with you because I know what it's like to be the girl who everyone thinks has it all together.. but I don't want to be. I don't want to be the kind of person that you guys feel as if you can't relate to because all you see are super overedited pictures from a good angle. Truth is, nobody looks like that. Heck, I don't even look like that. And yes, its true... I look like I am pale and borderline sick with no makeup on... but you know what? I wouldn't change it.
I don't ever want to be the photoshopped girl behind the screen. Wanna know why I strongly oppose being that girl? Because I've been damaged by that girl. I tried so hard for so long to reach today's standard of beauty and it took away more than it gave. It was images like those that sent me in a downward spiral trying to reach an image that I was never going to be able to reach... because it wasn't even real. I could have never in a million years imagined how much it would cost me to try and reach today's standard of beauty.
I am working on becoming a more open book (and humblin' myself!).. and I know the haters are gonna run wild with this one, but whatever.
I, for years, struggled with eating problems connected to negative body image. It was dark, it was scary, it was ugly, it was secret for a long time, and it was difficult. I thought I had it under control. These problems created a ripple effect and I found myself with more problems.. it seemed never ending.. because actually, not one of them i could control. I became angry and hateful with the image obsessed person I was becoming. My self worth was shattered. I lost sight of who I was.
This part of my story I feel led to share after recently finding out that 97% of women have struggled with negative body image issues. It broke my heart, and I truly want to help change that statistic. Warning to all as you are currently seeing me speak from experience, it is not easy to jump to that 3%, but it is possible.
During all this time I helped lead others into victory over their battles – but little did they know, I was staying behind on the battlefield. I have heard it said that people develop eating disorders because it is something they can control in their life. That makes so much sense in my case, because during this particular time, so much in my life felt out of my control. Are y’all ready for the biggest plot twist? Later on I found out I have ADD. I was doing all these things that I didn't understand and my mind was everywhere. Shocker, I know. The girl who is “such a nerd” now didn't exactly do well in school. My struggles and confusion from it all just happened on the inside for a long time, rather than the outside for everyone to see- or maybe on the outside in other ways– and that can at times make it even worse, because for the most part I was able to hide my ugliness on the inside, and that meant no one could call it out. There was no accountability.
Without help, accountability or advice from others, we can find ourselves in an uncomfortable pit of shame, feeling extreme confusion in our identity – and often times, it begins to produce a heavy sense of the fear of man. Sure, it’s embarrassing to go crazy on the outside for the world to see, but to go crazy on the inside hiding from everyone is just plain draining. It is where the enemy does his best work. It distorts your view of beauty on the outside and the world around you. It distorts everything. Don’t interpret this wrong, – this isn’t really just another message of how your beauty on the inside is more important then the outside. This is a message highlighting how the extent of your ugliness on the inside is the very thing keeping you from experiencing the beauty on the outside. Going back to my story at the beginning, let me tell you.. i am no longer that girl. I can now honestly say that the girl in the second picture is just as happy and confident as the girl in the first. Because both find their truth in God. This is my truth- I woke up like this. That is, I woke up treasured, loved and beautiful in the eyes of the Father. I woke up with the knowledge that His grace covers me- flaws and all.
I fought my butt off to become this person who can now look right into the face of lies of the enemy and laugh because I know that every day His grace covers me- that yes, I woke up like this! With a heart made by Him and for Him. So friend, stop trying to find the perfect lighting, and focus instead on finding the beauty in your heart. Sadly, we do have a lot of ugliness in our hearts. It’s our sinful nature, and it’s not pretty – but I have good news. When we spend time intentionally covering our hearts in beauty, it will flow out of us naturally if we allow it to and if we keep it in the dark. Check your heart before you check the mirror – that is where your true beauty lies.
The day I prayed for the Lord to enlighten my eyes to see His standard of beauty, is the day my entire sense of self, and therefore whole life changed. But like I have said many times, in order to experience Gods beauty, you have to exhale your ugly. My heart beats behind that quote. Do these old thoughts come back from time to time? Absolutely, but it is my job to take authority over them.
Here are some verses of TRUTH to get flowing in your blood and planted in your heart. Do not just read them once. Cover yourself in them daily, before you cover your face.
“Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
Love, N. x