After getting rid of Dumb and Stupid, I knew that with God’s help I could tackle Ugly. Ugly had become my protection. As a child, I had believed that I must have looked a certain way for my abuser to want to do those things to me, and Ugly helped me cope with that assumption. I never wanted to look or feel pretty, and Ugly helped me hide who I really was as a person.
My counselor told me to bring some pictures of myself to one of our sessions. She wanted me to bring an assortment of pictures of myself from around the time of my molestation, so I did. I remember how much I liked one of the pictures in particular and how much I disliked one of the others. I was so cute and pretty in the one, but in the other I was so ugly. Suddenly, I realized that I really liked the photo taken before I was molested, but I really hated the one taken afterwards. The time frame was obvious. I was stunned by how my attitude toward my appearance had been changed by what had happened to me.
I never intentionally tried to look bad during my childhood, but after my marriage Ugly became my constant companion. As a woman, any time a man complimented me on my looks, I wanted to eat and eat and run away. I started wearing loose-fitting clothes. I gained weight because being thin might show my figure. I never really dressed up or wore much make-up or jewelry. I never even bought myself new clothes, and I became content to wear baggy shorts and t-shirts during the summer.
As my counseling continued, and we stripped away Dumb and Stupid (see earlier posts), Ugly began to grow inside me and tried to take up all the space that Dumb and Stupid had just vacated. I became more and more self-conscious about what I wore and how I looked. Just the thought of some simple adornment such as painting my toenails was tortuous to me. Ugly taunted me over and over about how dirty I had been made by what had happened to me in the past. I was bombarded with the words, “Dirty! Dirty! Ugly! Ugly!” I didn’t believe that anyone could ever see me as pretty ever again.
But, Ugly was wrong. God says in His Word that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And, to prove that to myself, my first assignment was to paint my toenails. It took me a full week to be able to accomplish that one little task, but finally I did it. Next assignment: Make a list of things that I like about myself. It took some hard searching, but I did manage to find some things that I like, such as my hands, my complexion, my notch in my ear.
I had one more assignment that I will share with you next week. So, I will leave you with this thought for today. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Do not let someone like Ugly tell you any different! God wants you and I to know that no matter what someone else has done to us, it was not our fault. He loves us very much. Think about that today. Believe it.
Blessings – Lisa