As women, we are bombarded with images of who we are supposed to be. Everything from our hair color to our pant size to the car we drive is placed under the microscope of society.
I am no stranger to societal pressures. From a very young age, I learned that in order for men to like me, I had to look a certain way. I didn’t have a healthy relationship with my father, so I craved validation from men.
As I grew older, I began altering myself so that men would find me appealing. My jeans got tighter, shirts got shorter, and my chest grew bigger all for the approval of others. If my boyfriend liked blondes, I was quick to throw bleach on my hair! If my boyfriend liked girls with a little edge to them, give me the black eyeliner and I’d transform myself!
My need for men’s approval eventually led me to getting stuck working in the sex industry for ten years. As a stripper, my body was on display for everyone to see! Every dimple, stretch mark, and flaw became painfully obvious to me and I did everything I could to still be appealing to men.
I was recently driving with my husband, Joe, and recounting those dark years in my life. I suddenly saw a photo of a cutout doll that I used to play with as a child. You could change everything from their clothes, hair, and accessories in just the blink of an eye. I realized that that was how I felt. I lived as a cutout doll and I allowed anyone and anything to dictate my image.
It wasn’t until I began encountering God that my views of myself began to shift. I suddenly began to see everything through the eyes of God. God didn’t create me to be a cutout doll that didn’t have a say in who she was! He created me to be powerful, victorious, and free! As my value system and mindset aligned with His, I began to recognize my own self-worth and value.
My transformation did not happen overnight. I had believed the lie that men would not accept the real me for the majority of my life. It took a handful of years of walking with God for me to really begin to love and value myself for who I was.
I want to encourage you to embrace the journey of discovering who God created you to be. You were born to be a reflection of Him, so shine bright and shine on.
Photo Credit: Kurld