Who am I?
I stumble with the answer to this question. As I sit here thinking, “Who am I?” I can very vividly recall who I thought I was growing up. I grew up thinking “I am a big fat ugly pig who no one likes.” My so-called friends would play with me on occasion when forced by our moms, but always in private. At school, in front of others, I was ignored and left alone. I was an outcast and I started to hang out with the other “outcasts” among the student body. They became my friends, people who I could help. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and immigrants who barely spoke English. This began my helping for a living. I was someone at last, I was needed. In reality, it was them who helped me.
Fast forward to adulthood and I remained the fat ugly pig who felt unwanted. I shunned the Overeaters Anonymous crowd thinking I was better than them and they needed help. I came to learn 2 years ago that I was one of them and I needed help too. This helper became the client doing everything she was instructed until I became less fat and therefore, I hoped a little less ugly. I went on a quest to find a long mother-of-the-bride dress that would make me look thin & therefore pretty. I did find a dress but still felt fat and ugly in it, noting all of my flaws as I stood in the dressing room looking in the mirror. Following this find, two of my friends picked out a few knee-length form-fitting dresses for me to try on. Being the compliant friend, I tried them on and went along with the ruse to buy the dresses. All the while thinking, “don’t take the tags off because tomorrow I will return the dresses.” I further thought, “a fat woman like me doesn’t deserve to wear dresses like this.”
I returned home and the next day put on the dress for my husband, who immediately raised his eyebrows and commented, “you look beautiful.” I couldn’t believe my ears. He has never spontaneously commented on my clothes before. I started to think, “could he be right? Could I be beautiful?” When he left the room I stood before the mirror, something I used to avoid at all costs. I looked at myself and thought for the first time in my life, “I really am a beautiful creation of God.” I took this thought to God for several weeks during my morning meditation and 2-way prayer time, asking God if it was really true. I have slowly discovered that underneath what I saw as a roll of fat was a beautiful woman who longed to belong somewhere in the world. I am now discovering that my new body is only an outward sign of an inward reality. I am a beautiful woman of God. I’ve always been a beautiful woman of God, covered up by lies of unworthiness. My so-called “outcast” friends growing up knew my worthiness long before I could discover it for myself. They treated me like I belonged, I was truly loved and cared for by them.
So, who am I? I am a beautiful creation of God. I am a woman who deserves to feel pretty and beautiful in my dresses, no matter my shape or size. In fact, I have come to love my mother-of-the-bride dress and will wear it with love and dignity. I am worthy of recovery, friendship, and
love. I am no longer an “outcast” alone in this world, I am among my many recovery friends who are not “outcasts” either. We are all beautiful creations of God who belong in this world. We are wanted, not only by each other, but by a loving Creator. We really are beautiful creations of God, living our lives beyond our wildest dreams.