27 Sep Powerfully Broken
by Christy Johnson, Director of Communications
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” —C.S. Lewis
Recently, I had the privilege of helping to host a mom’s get together. It was a fun evening of cocktails and fellowship. At the end of the night, I found myself in one of those conversations where time slows down and a real and true connection is made.
My new friend started sharing her insecurities with me about the way she looks right now. My heart just ached along with her. I could see how much she was hurting and how much shame she was feeling over not having the body she had before kids. She looked at me with eyes full of sadness when I told her I understood, and she said, “You can’t possibly understand.” It was in that moment, I had to make a decision. Do I take a chance, show up and expose my own pain and insecurities or do I turn the conversation to light, socially appropriate fluff and keep up the illusion she believes about me, the illusion that I have it all together? I choose to show up and be real. I took a risk and shared with her a glimpse into my own pain and insecurities about the way I look. I told her how I, too, have struggled with weight and have to fight to be healthy.
It is in conversations like this when I choose to get real and vulnerable with women, that I am convinced we are all walking around with deep wounds caused by the way we look. I don’t think any woman escapes unscathed from the lies that society feeds us about our appearance. I think we all look in the mirror and find ourselves lacking. We all look at the women around us and zero in on the ways we don’t measure up, and it hurts! Our souls are bleeding and we don’t ever tell anyone. We put on a mask and pretend everything is okay. I know I hide my pain by caring way too much about clothes. Pretty clothes help me anesthetize my soul so I don’t have to feel the pain of my insecurities. When I start hurting, I numb the pain through shopping. One new shirt makes me feel better for a little while but then the ache starts growing again and the cycle repeats itself.
After sharing some of my pain and struggles, my friend asked me if I would write a blog post on weight loss. However, I don’t think I have any new insight to add to that. This blog is what I want to share. I want to share the pain we are all feeling. I want to acknowledge it and talk about it. I want to offer empathy to those hurting and I want to ask for empathy in return. I want to tell my fellow sisters to be kind to yourselves and your bodies. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend. I know I speak to myself in ways I would never speak to another. Don’t believe the rules this world tells you about how a woman should look. You were made in God’s image and God adores you. You are God’s beloved. He loves you just the way you are RIGHT NOW! He wants to lavish you with His love RIGHT NOW! Sometimes God reaches down, scoops you up and shows you His love in surprising ways.
That conversation that night over cocktails was one of the sweetest in my life. In sharing her pain, my new friend found my pain and offered me kindness. She blessed me in ways she will never understand. In our brokenness, we reached out and began to bandage each other’s wounds. It is through our weaknesses and brokenness that God makes us powerful. He uses them for His glory. So let’s show up for each other, be real and share our brokenness! God will use it in ways we never imagined!
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” —2 Corinthians 12:9