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Just being me!!!

June 19, 2013

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Beautiful. Pretty. Cute. Gorgeous. Nice looking. Attractive. These were words that were never used to describe me. Instead, I heard words such as Tar Baby. Blowfish. Smokey. Lil Black Sambo. Gremlin. Ugly duckling and so on and so forth. I was always told that my skin was too dark, I was too fat, my hair wasn’t nice enough, I was too ugly and I was downright unattractive overall. The only time I heard that I was beautiful growing up was when it rolled off the lips molesters. You don’t see me in many pictures related to my past and every time I spoke to someone from my past, after the initial “How are you doing?”, the question was either “What size are you now?” or “How are you wearing your hair these days?”. It seemed as if my physical appearance was more important to them than my well-being.

I thought that when I began dating, that I was found to be attractive. That quickly became only a fantasy when the general consensus was “You’re fine, but you’re ugly”. Even not that long ago, guys that I’ve dated would never compliment me, but were quick to laud over women that they had no physical, mental or emotional tie to. Everyone else in their eyes were beautiful, pretty, super cute, gorgeous or even sexy. I often cried myself to sleep at night wondering “WHAT ABOUT ME?!?!?!” I was never affirmed, poured into or validated as a little girl. So when I became a woman, everything shifted and I looked for love in all the wrong places because of it. This journey left me distanced from friends, drained mentally, emotionally conflicted and spiritually dead. I was incapable of loving anyone else, because truth be told, I hated myself. The day that it shifted for me was when I began to reflect on some of these negative words that I heard so often as I was journaling after my wedding was called off and eventually the relationship dissipated. I sat and cried softly and asked God why. A striking calm came over me and I distinctly heard God whisper in my ear, “My daughter you are created in my image, and those that know me see your beauty far beyond the artistic achievement I produced specifically before you were born in your mother’s womb”. WOW GOD!!!

I believed the lie for so long that it ultimately became my reality. I was so consumed with the constant negativity that was spoken over me and poured into me that I believed that is all that I was. Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that “for as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (NKJV). The sad part about it was that I wasn’t the only person that thought this. Those that spoke over me believed the lie too because they didn’t understand God’s word that told me that I was fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). They didn’t understand that when God created me, He said it was good (Genesis 1:26-31). They didn’t understand that when God created me, He said that I was already formed in my mother’s womb and that He knew me and sanctified me (Jeremiah 1:5). God took His time with me, down to the dimple on my right cheek.

So many family, friends, loved ones and enemies cultivated that seed of low self-esteem that was planted so many years ago. I honestly thought that the skin I was in was a sin and that I was cursed to live a life of isolation because I wasn’t attractive enough to be accepted on any level…friends, family or foe. NO LONGER!!! I am no longer bound by the insecurities of others and because I know God’s Word, I know a lie when I hear one. It really boils down to me fully and wholeheartedly accepting God’s love for me and in doing so, accepting that I am His masterpiece. I love me some me!!! I receive inboxed messages every now and then asking why I take pictures and am I narcissistic. Not even a little bit. I’m not conceited, I’m convinced. And I’m far from vain, I’m victorious over the stronghold that attempted to kill me from the inside out. So I began taking pictures as sort of a coming out party. The first photo shoot I did, I cried when I got home because I was so overwhelmed in thinking how could I allow myself to do this. I’m grateful that my photographer, Tim Rogers, is not only patient, but a godsend. He captures EXACTLY who I am and now I’m JUST HAPPY BEING ME!!!

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