I was shopping at Target the other day, and all of the sudden a lady to my right says " I love the fact that you don't try to hide your pump". -For background information, I have Type 1 diabetes and have had it since I was 6 years old so I don't remember what life was like before having an insulin pump- She said this to me and at first I was just so happy because it is always so kind when someone compliments you, but after we talked for a couple minutes and she went on her way I realize something. That was the first time I had ever been given a compliment regarding my pump, something that I am so used to I don't even know it is there sometimes. Then thinking about this, brought me back to a time when I thought my pump was ugly, wearing it under my clothes gave me a weird bump, wearing it on the outside I thought people might stare, but this pump is a part of me and it is actually quite beautiful for other reasons than it keeps me alive hahaha. I have learned to love my pump because of what it represents. I will come back to this later. But this whole situation got me thinking of how this scenario happens to me and I think everybody all the time.
It is human nature to be extra critical of ourselves, we know every scar, every bruise, but how often is it that we think positively about these things? Majority of the time when we look in the mirror our eyes focus on what we would like to improve, or what we don't see as "likeable", we get so fixed on a tiny imperfection and what others may think of it, then we try to makeup for what we feel we are lacking. WHY THE HECK DO WE DO THIS. because the TRUTH of this is, that the "imperfection" we are so focused on or worried about or want to change, could be and probably is, something that was given to you by God on purpose and is a very important clue as to who we are. Example, I have naturally very curly hair, all throughout high school I straightened because I thought that made me seem like a cooler person to be around, insane right!! How does the essence of my hair have to do at all with my character. And then something happened, you see my grandma and I are the only ones in my family with super curly hair and she everyday wore it curly, it was one of my favorite things about her. My grandma passed away my last year in high school and obvious reasons I missed her like crazy, and I was looking back at some photos and in every photo she had that beautiful curly hair, and I realized that the reason I loved that hair so much was not because it was curly, it could have been straight, but because my grandma was in love with what God gave her, it made her unique and when I close my eyes that is what I see. Ever since that day, I have worn my hair the way the good Lord gave it to me, not because of what I think "looks good" but because it for me represents choosing acceptance, and a little bit of honoring my grandma.
That is what I meant about learning to love your qualities because of what they represent. Not all of them are going to be positive at first, my pump surely wasn't, but now it represents all the people who I call family that I have met through having diabetes, all the opportunities I have been lucky enough to have, the courage I have put into myself, the confidence I have slowly gained. Every negative thing you think about yourself, is a hidden gift from God, that tells a story. There is so much emphasis today on physical appearance, but what do these qualities reveal about your spiritual presence, do they show growth, strength, perseverance, happiness, etc.
Think about when you were eight and you fell down and scraped your knee doing a new trick on your scooter, you know the kind that karate chop your shins hahaha. Two days later at school you are showing everyone you know you battle wound because it meant that you were tough, you tried something new, you took a risk, and you are still going strong. You were proud of that scar, there was no ugliness or reason to hide it at all. THAT is the mindset I want to live in. And you also weren't afraid to show people you didn't know the scar, because you never know who would like it too. I think sometimes we try to hide what we feel we should be ashamed of or what makes us feel less, in society so much is based on presenting an image of the perfect life, but how much of that life consists of who you are, and God? I think we should take each other by the hand no matter who they are and walk with our stories, talk about them, learn from each other. What if we were to look at others and ourselves and see stories instead of imperfections. seeing God's work in us.
SO. what stories do you have?
So, take someone by the hand, and say tell me your stories.