I remember as a teen I found this picture of a ‘perfect’ blond girl on social media. She had everything I didn’t think I had: lean legs and gorgeous figure, curves in the right places and in that one picture I was convinced she had the best fashion sense of all times.
I took it and saved it as my lock screen, convinced that if I were to look at it every single day it would motivate me to eat less, dress better, and take exercising more seriously. In my mind, the picture summarized my goals (quite shallow looking back).
It didn’t work at all! Every time I opened my tablet I would just be overcome by a sense of failure. Don’t get me wrong, I did all the right things: Spent hours choosing my outfits, exercised each day and limited my food intake even more than I usually would, but every single time I looked at that perfectly positioned shot of a girl I’ve never met and know nothing about, I wouldn’t feel good enough.
To state it simply and direct: The picture became my idol.
The result? I hated myself. And it became a cycle: The more I hated myself the more I would fight to change how I looked; and the more I felt I was failing the more I WOULD end up failing! I would eat more, exercise less, and avoid being photographed as much as possible. Many (people stood out for me in high school – people I would look up to. Some of them I knew e.g. my parents and sister, but some I only read about – like famous missionaries) metaphorical pictures followed throughout high school: My sister, my parents, great missionaries etc.
Based on these pictures I had three goals in life:
What I describe here is the cycle of comparison (Envy and strife):
“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” (James 3:16 NKJV)
It left me confused and empty. But then God started to open my eyes bit by bit.
1. I realized that I didn’t want to be anyone else, but that God had a unique and beautiful journey and purpose for me (Ps 139 NKJV).
Did you know that we are the most beautiful beings on earth? “So God created man in His Own image;” (Gen 1:27 NKJV).
This year one of my friends shared such a beautiful revelation with me. She said to me: “Every time I look at something beautiful around me, I remind myself that I am even more beautiful than what I see because that is God’s promise to me.”
2. I realized that my goal in life was to have faith (Heb 11:6 NKJV).
God rewrote my list of goals by giving me a purpose higher than myself and by opening my eyes to see myself as He sees me.
What does your picture look like?
Women of Reverence welcomes Abigail Mare as a guest blogger.
My name is Abigail Maré and I turn 21 this year. I am a pastor’s kid and so proud of it!
My passion, for discipling and equipping teenagers and young adults with things I learnt over the years, came from one simple revelation: We are chosen. We are the next Mary, David, Daniel, Esther and Samuel! We are the church; we are the ones going out and changing the world.
We have a mission and we need to know that we are not running this race alone.
I just came from doing a Christian gap year in Pietermaritzburg called: Destiny Leadership academy. Now, I am a Drama student at Stellenbosch University.
My dream is to go into full-time ministry as a Drama Therapist. I want to go out and share what Jesus did for me, as well as watch young adults grow in their God-given identity. Other than blogging, I love anything to do with music: I dance, sing, play the violin, ukulele and keyboard. I am a mission addict and love people. I read, I write, I perform and I dance. (anything to explore my desire to be creative for Jesus)
My quote for life is from the book Voice in the wind, by Francine Rivers:
“I gave up what I can’t keep for something I can never lose.”