Saturday, June 14, 2014

Finding Beauty Past Insecurity

If you have been around AYM or Arizona lately, then you would know that things are going great. Our ministry is rocking it, our staff is incredible, and our short term teams have been fantastic. We have been built up with encouragement and love and continually affirmed in the new direction that we are taking the ministry. 

When I look at my life personally, I mostly think that things couldn't be better. I love my job, I feel successful at what I am doing and am really pleased with this lifestyle. We hike a lot, something I never thought I was capable of. And an active lifestyle has become something I really don't think that I could live without.

But for every encouragement that I have received, every affirmation that has been tucked away in my heart, I struggle with a quiet nagging insecurity. My life is fantastic, but small lies creep in and draw my attention away from our mission to make me feel inadequate. For instance, I recently have become preoccupied with my own body image. Though I am healthy and getting more and more in shape, I desperately want to be skinner and more fit. Though I might be told that I look great, deep down I don't believe it. There is always something that could be better, skinnier, less like jelly. Don't worry too much, I still eat ice cream sandwiches on the way home from the grocery store, but I want to be honest with you all that sometimes the distractions come from things as simple as our own skin.

And the rough part is that this lie creeps in and becomes a false truth. So much so that it becomes ok in my mind to want to be thinner, and yet I can't figure out why I'm not pleased with how I look now. It isn't until someone close to me calls me out that I realize, perhaps I have a problem. Perhaps the way I see myself in the mirror does not reflect the truth, and perhaps Satan can use even the slightest distractions to pull us away from what is important. 

As I think through my own insecurities, I always begin to think about my girls. I want the girls I mentor to be confident in their own skin. I want them to find beauty in their curves and in their uniqueness. But how can I inspire them to something that I have not achieved myself? 

I know that my insecurities run in cycles, and as I seek the Lord and seek to expel the lies of the devil, I know that I will be able to see beauty not only in my students and my work, but in myself as well. God has created us all for a purpose, and I do not want to let anything come in the way of who God has created me to be.

And I know that He has created me to be an active, loving servant of the Apache people and His mission. He has created me to walk alongside both short-term mission teams and Apache students as together we all seek to realize the identity we have in Christ
and the beauty that there is in all of us. 

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