I am very assignment-driven. But one of the most difficult homework assignments that my counselor ever gave me centered on my closet, or more specifically on my need to dress and undress inside my closet. For you see, I did not want my husband ever to see me without clothes. I had not always been that way but, as my sexual issues became more and more intense, I became more and more adamant about not being seen naked.
I did not want my dear husband to see me while I dressed or bathed. I demanded that my “bathroom time” be totally mine, even though my husband and I share a bathroom and walk-in closet. Admittedly, some of this reluctance was due to the weight that I had gained through the years, but mostly I just did not want to be seen.
Then, as if this problem was not bad enough, it escalated to include my not wanting to be seen during our intimate times. That meant that sex occurred in total darkness—no lights, under the covers, and wearing as much clothing as possible. Of course, this was a very difficult and frustrating problem for our marriage.
When I confided in my counselor, she gave me a new set of assignments. I was to stand in front of the mirror at home fully clothed and make a list of the things that I liked about my body. After that, I was to repeat the exercise but without clothing, making a new list of what I liked about my body. And all the while, I was to remember the verse that had been with me since the beginning of counseling and to say that verse aloud every day: “For I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14, NASB). The Psalmist continues in verse 17, “How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!”
Revisiting my journal from this time, I realize that it took me a full week to write anything positive after looking at myself fully clothed. Then I needed an additional two weeks before I could undress and look at myself in the mirror. It was a very difficult assignment. However, as I tried my best to fulfill my counselor’s instructions, I finally started seeing a few things that are unique to me as a person: my hands, my good complexion, my hair, a little crooked place on my left ear. I had a list!
About this same time, I saw an episode of What Not to Wear that centered on the unhealthy issue of using clothes to hide your body. The client receiving the makeover was experiencing exactly the same problem that I was fighting. Like me, she felt shame and guilt, and longed to be invisible. Through the television show, God reminded me that I am not alone. I’m not the only woman going through such a journey.
I wish I could tell you that I was instantly healed overnight. Thankfully, things have gotten better. I still have a way to go, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that God’s thoughts toward me are precious and vast, and I remember that my husband loves me very much.
Do you dress in the closet and try to hide yourself from your loved one? Has this impulse caused a problem with your spouse? Then I want you to repeat along with me, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Say it again, and believe that God’s thoughts toward you are immeasurable. All the oceans of the world could not contain them.
Do not let your abuser win this situation and take those priceless truths from your mind. No! Again I tell you from God’s own Word, YOU ARE fearfully and wonderfully made! Believe it, and come out of your closet. Come out of the darkness, out from under the covers. You are so very precious to our God, and He wants you to live a life of light and freedom. Let’s believe it, and let’s start today.