For most of my life, I couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t feel like an imposter in my own body. I remember growing up and looking at the women in movies or on magazine covers, even my fellow classmates, and feeling like I was missing something. I was never skinny like them, I didn’t have perfectly blown-out hair like them, and my make-up was far from flawless (to be honest, it still is, but I’ve accepted that as my style). I would relentlessly compare myself to the people around me, without ever stopping to think that maybe the people in magazines didn’t actually look like that or that the people who seemed flawless could be struggling deeply on the inside. All I wanted was to find the answer to my question of “how can I become beautiful?”
The real question I should have been asking was why are am I trying to change what God has called good? I think that it’s because our society has taken what the Lord made and twisted it into something that we could never attain. The world has taken the unique beauty we were created with and smothered it with lies and false perceptions. We’ve lost the meaning of “good” because we’ve been told that we need to be chasing after perfection.
“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”Genesis 1:27
In Genesis 1-2, when God is creating the world, He calls each of His creations “good,” but when He creates humans, He calls us “very good.” The Hebrew word for “very” here is meod מְאֹ֑ד (mə·’ōḏ), and it means exceedingly, abundance, with muchness. Now it’s that last word that really sinks down deep into my heart. God didn’t create us in a state of lacking; He breathed us into a state of muchness. In Christ, we are made whole, and when we let the truth of who God created us to be sink into our bones, we’re able to walk into freedom and live in our God-given muchness.
When God created us, He brought us into a state of wild abundance in Him. And what’s even better is that He didn’t stop there. God created us whole, and He made us good. The Hebrew word for “good” is towb ט֖וֹב (ṭō·wḇ), and it means good, pleasant, agreeable, or excellent. When we think of something as being “good,” we often place it on a sliding scale and try to figure out what could make it “great.” We’re always trying to improve, one-up the next person, and be the best that we can be. But when you look at the definitions above, you can see that there’s no improving upon what God has already created.
It has taken me a long time to stop warring with my body and come home to her instead. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve cried because my body didn’t fit into society or how frustrated I would get when I couldn’t lose weight no matter how hard I tried. I fought my body every step of the way. I can’t imagine how sad it must make God to see us hating and trying to change who He created us to be. He sees the stretch marks, the tummy rolls, the wild hair, the chubby fingers, all the other parts of you that you’ve tried to hide or erase. He sees them, and He loves them because He loves you. The Lord created you. He carefully moulded your body, He wove you together, He took His time. And He has called you very good. Stop chasing after the world’s idea of perfection and instead draw close to the Lord. He created you for a purpose, and it wasn’t so that you could spend your life worrying about a number on a scale. It was so that you could embrace your muchness and run forward into the wild purpose He has for your life.