“For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.”
-1 Corinthians 12:14-18
I am about to go on a vacation with my boyfriend and his family. Because he knows that I don’t talk about myself unless someone directly asks specifics, he asked if I would be ok with him sending out a “Kristin Fact Sheet” to his family so they would have a baseline of getting to know me better. I said yes, with the condition that I could get a copy, just for curiosity’s sake. I received the copy of this last night, and reading it made me stop and sit back. It wasn’t written with the purpose of getting his family to like me, since I think they already do (either that or they’re really good at faking it). But despite that, though everything on this little fact sheet was true, all these facts were in a light so positive that I never think of those facts while smiling like I did reading from A’s perspective.
I am blessed to be dating a man so wonderful he is unlike any other males I have met. As such, when I think about why he is dating me, I usually chalk it up to bad judgment on his part and divine intervention in my favor. But reading his thoughts on what the most basic facts about me are, I got a glimpse as to why he thinks dating me is actually a good thing.
It’s endemic, isn’t it?
We are bombarded day in and day out with messages of not being enough. Good enough, interesting enough, smart enough, [insert insecurities here]. And the results are infallibly and accidentally heartbreaking.
There’s this one lovely lady who I’ve been blessed to spend stupid amounts of time with doing “homework” this semester. In a short time she’s blessed my life so much, because besides being wicked smart and gorgeous, she has a personality that gives life to all those around her. Often, she’ll come over to my house, it’ll get too late, and she’ll spend the night. As such, I often lend her clothes to wear, and every time she is shocked that my clothes fit her so well. See, in her mind, I’m waaayyyy smaller than her… because she sees me in a positive light out of love, and herself in a marginally tolerable light. Similarly, when I told her a guy friend of mine mentioned that she is super pretty, she was floored. She, like many of us, has had a long hard battle of fighting the inner voice that tells her she is not _____ enough, and it has been a victory to come to see herself as not awful, but also nothing special. But though this view is better than it once was, it still falls so short of the truth. (Even asking her if I could write about her, she could not believe that I would have anything positive to say.)
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
“And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.
“And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD,
I will answer the heavens,
and they shall answer the earth,
and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and they shall answer Jezreel,
and I will sow her for myself in the land.
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,
and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’;
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”
-Hosea 2: 14-23
Yes, we are all more messed up than anyone around us knows and we are all in desperate need of grace. But my friends, my brothers and sisters, we must stop defining ourselves in our own minds by the ways we fall short. You are not your weaknesses. I’ll say it again: You are not your weaknesses and shortcomings. Darling, you are so much more.
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.”
On the rare occasion that A gets a glimpse of how harsh I am internally to myself, I see his heart breaking. How much more does it hurt He who created me, He who loves me with a love so vast and powerful that no human could ever begin to feel or understand that love? He who defeated death itself not just for all of humankind, but for me and you individually? He whose thoughts of me outnumber all of the grains of sand?
May you, dear brothers and sisters, come to see yourself through the eyes of the One who is captivated by you. And may you catch a glimpse of yourself in the light that He who created the galaxies and calls you His beloved.
“You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.”