Written By: Pastor Kerrington Sweeney
1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry 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.”
With everything I have walked through this past year, the last thing that I wanted to happen was…for me to “lose my beauty” or I guess how culture would describe beauty that is. To calm my immune system of the havoc that was taking place, I was prescribed a medicine that often can make you gain large amounts of weight very fast.
I still remember the day that reality came crashing in on me, like a giant tidal wave.
It was a Sunday Afternoon, I was just about to change into a fancy dress for an event that my boyfriend and I were attending that evening…I had it laid out on the end of my bed like I would normally.
That morning before church, I just had grabbed the dress, laid it out and didn’t think anything of it. I mean why would I? Its in MY own closest…it obviously fits me. Right? …….WRONG!!!
Slipped the dress on, asked my sister to zip up the back.
First try, couldn’t get it up. Thought to myself… “Don’t worry, this dress always has a hard time with the zipper.” I encouraged my sister to try again. No budge. Thought to myself again “Hmmm…Stand very tall Kerrington! You can do this, you’ll get this beautiful dress on.” Last try…nothing.
And BOOM just like that… It hit me. I wasn’t the cute little size anymore. I took the dress off and threw it on the floor, that was a dress that in the past had made me feel very beautiful. Just like that, the drop of the dress I felt like I had lost all my beauty. Tears started streaming down my face as I sat on the end of my bed. “Fat, Ugly, and Huge”…these were the words I heard going through my mind on a vicious cycle.
49 ugly pounds I have gained and continue to gain to this day, somedays harder than others…when the clothes just don’t fit right anymore it hurts, when I shop in the larger section in the stores, it hurts.
When I hear the comments like “Wow. Your face looks fuller recently!!” It hurts. When sometimes I have a harder time getting off the floor with the kids, it hurts.
A more recent painful reminder, was just about over a month ago, I looked down as I was putting a shirt on and I had seen some hair-thin lines on my stomach and upper thighs. Thinking it was dirt or something I quickly tried washing them away with a wet cloth…no matter how hard I scrubbed…they just didn’t go away. I wasn’t too sure at the time what they were, till I asked my mom.
And BOOM. It hit me again. She said: “They’re stretch marks peanut, don’t worry though…its okay!”
I asked directly after that, “Will they go away with some time?” Her response is what made my weary heart sink into a vault of defeat.
“Nope, they are there for good.”
Oh my heart. I felt like my body was ruined forever and I had lost all hope of ever being beautiful again. I hated this. I just couldn’t fathom it all. “Hadn’t I been through enough?” I thought.
What brings joy to my heart though, is that with all of these physical changes happening to my body ever so quickly, this never changed anything between my boyfriend and I. He still always called me beautiful, no matter what.
This was such a comfort to me, every doctors appointment that I would step on that dreaded scale and see the numbers ever rising…I could still be confident knowing that stepping on to it, even if the numbers had drastically changed again…that I knew that he still thought I was beautiful.
One meanings of my name is “Beautiful” and at times I thought that I had truly lost that. I thought that with the drop of that dress, that I had lost any chance of ever being beautiful. Well ladies, I was wrong, even when I thought my arms looked like legs, when my face was fuller than what people were use to seeing, or when those little marks that I thought were dirt just wouldn’t scrub away or ever go away…
I am STILL beautiful.
It has taken me awhile to get to this point where I can share all of this so vulnerably but, I know that there is so many of us women who struggle with self-worth that I want to share these stories to maybe encourage someone when they fit their rock bottom.
Sisters in Christ, you are loved, you are treasures of the most high God, and you are BEAUTIFUL!!!
Until Next Time,