The young men were across the street, sauntering in our direction. I could see them coming. I was in the front seat of the car and several girls were in the back, waiting for our driver to come out of the store so we could be on our way. As the guys made their way toward us, I remember feeling rather flustered. Where should I look? Should I look up, embarrassed, or should I just face forward? Being extremely shy I decided to just look straight ahead. It was easier than to face them.
The bolder one, a step ahead of his buddies, saw me turn away.
“That’s OK, sweat hog, we don’t want you anyway. There are cuter ones in the back.”
He didn’t know that I had already compared myself with those “cuter ones in the back” and had come up way short. He didn’t need to tell me. But his speaking those heartless words over me, confirmed in my mind that yes, indeed, I was not attractive or appealing…even to strangers on the street.
Was that the moment I started believing the lie? Probably not. But I was hurt, embarrassed and humiliated. Anyone would have been! But along with it I came to believe some things about me that were not true. I believed that I was ugly, unattractive and would probably never find someone who would want to be with me. I was mad at myself for looking away. I was sad that I was so stupid and didn’t know how to act in that situation. Yes, I was so totally lesser-than in every way and this just proved it. I’m sure I brooded for days in total agreement with all of this.
But I have come a long way since those college days. I have come to learn some new things and some new truths have found their way into my thinking. No, I am not ugly. No, I am not like a sweat hog. Neither is my shyness a reason or opportunity for self condemnation. No, I will not think on these things over and over to confirm my lesser-than status. Yes, I will welcome truth and consider the source of the awful words as NOT FROM GOD but from the enemy who for many years knew how to take me out with a word.
If it was delivered to me today, that affront would still hurt and embarrass me. But I am learning how to move from the depths of agreement with the enemy into full warfare mode. Psalm 139:17 – How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (What God thinks of me is WAY more my focus now!) What are His thoughts?
Jeremiah 31:3 tells me, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you and continued my faithfulness to you.” Oh my goodness, why do I long for the praise of man??
What do I see when I look into the mirror? I see the me who is way more precious, forgiven, free and joyful because I know that my outside is not the measuring tool…it is my heart.
Way back those many years ago those young men delivered me a huge lie-message from the world. Thankfully it has been intercepted with a mighty truth – God chose me from the beginning and He loves who I am and what I am becoming. Such sweet, sweet truth.