a true love story.

The problem I have with your typical love story is that most often they aren't a true depiction of lasting love. Whether they are found beneath the shiny new cover of the latest best seller, or on the weekly episode of how to find love while simultaneously dating 27 men at once. They are edited. Plumped. Colored in.

So, when my daughter wants to hear a love story or wants to know what true love means, I tell her how it is that I know that I know that I know that her daddy is the only man for me.
Besides the fact that he works really hard and comes home to help around the house, brings me flowers for no reason,and is almost always the first to admit when he is wrong.
There is another reason that I know that he is God's choice for me.
But first, allow me to explain.

All of my life I have struggled with my weight.
Well, except for the first few weeks of my life.
I was a preemie and I began this life as a very, very tiny person. But formula just went straight to my thighs and within nine months time, I looked like this.

The smile is probably because someone promised me a lollipop if I would sit still for the photo.

To say that I love food would be putting it mildly.
I love food more than people who love food love food, and while all the heart medications that I am on have certainly contributed to much of my weight gain, they aren't entirely to blame.

At any rate, the point being that along with my struggle with food, I have also struggled with a definition for beauty all of my life. This probably doesn't surprise, because the two often coincide.
Self-doubt, intimidation, and insecurity begin at a very early age for most girls.
Am I beautiful if I am overweight?
How much weight is too much?
Where is the hard line?
Who gets to decide?
Maybe if I stand like this, hold the camera at this angle, suck my stomach in, stick out my chin...

Bottom line?
It is no use. No use at all.
No matter how hard we try, or how much we suck in, and tape up, there will always be someone thinner, someone prettier, someone with better hair.
Either we love ourselves or we don't love ourselves.
It is as simple and as difficult as that.

So, what does all of this have to do with my love story?
Allow me to explain...

A few years ago I was in a room full of beautiful women. Most of them thinner and prettier than me and all of them younger than me.
I was feeling less than.
I was feeling chubby. ugly. Worthless. Old.
When out of the blue, in walks my husband.
He pauses inside the door and begins to scan the room for me.  When he sees me, his whole face lights up and he heads my way.  Immediately my outlook and my demeanor begin to change.  Suddenly I felt beautiful. loved. cherished.
And that is when I knew.
I knew that not only was he the man for me, but that God was trying to show me something.

Before anyone gets upset, blames me for being anti-feminist, and says that we should love ourselves despite what men think....
please hear me.
I agree.
We absolutely should.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely.
However, that is not the point.
And if we try to make it the point, we miss out on something so beautiful.

The point... is that my husband's love for me reminds me of the way God loves us.
You see, God is completely taken with our beauty.
He doesn't see what we see when we look in the mirror.
He doesn't compare us to the girl next door or to the one we sit next to in class.
When God looks at us, He sees all of the reasons He loves us and the reason He gave His life for us.
As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us that He not only rejoices over us, but He dances over us, and even has us engraved on the palms of His hands.

And if we can just grasp even the tiniest glimpse of this passion that He has for us...
If we can just let Him show us who He made us to be...
And why He made us to be...
Exercise and healthy living will be done for the right reasons.
Our body image will change, even if our body doesn't.
And it will be similar to when my husband walked into that room and I knew that I was loved.
Cherished. Had been seen, and had been found to be beautiful, valuable, worthy of love.

Our self image will be changed forever.
Our entire lives will be changed forever.
And we will stop missing out on the greatest love the world has ever known.

Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention:
    Forget your people and your father’s house. 
 Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
    honor him, for he is your lord.

Psalm 45:10-11


DonJen Sanders said…
Christy u r beautiful beyond measure. I am so thankful that true love is known by and through u and Don. So blessed to have u two in our lives. Probably need to see everyone more but one thing at a time lol.
EveryDay Bloom said…
I love this post. My favorite part: when your husband's face lit up when he saw you. I wish I had something profound to add...but I just like what you wrote, the end. Needed reminding. Thanks.

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