Welcome to another Super Short Sunday post! I’ve realized that I have SO much that I want to share with you, but sometimes it’s just a quick thought here and there. Sundays have become a time for me to be candid with y’all and share what’s been on my mind, what I’ve been learning, and what I’ve been doing that’s been working. I love being able to share some of my more personal struggles and thoughts in a super quick post, so let’s do this!
This past weekend, Alex and I did a photoshoot for our first wedding anniversary. If you’re following along on social media, I’m sure that you’re tired of seeing the pictures from the shoot by now! 😉 Sorry! This photoshoot, or rather the viewing of the photos afterwards, has taught me a big lesson about being self-critical.
Here’s the story.
We took the anniversary photos at the end of a pretty frustrating weekend. (Read: What if Your Anniversary Doesn’t Go as Planned?) We thoroughly enjoyed our photoshoot, but I figured that the pictures might not come out as good as some of our other shoots due to the icky mood we were in. As I viewed the photos for the first time on Thursday, I saw not only that frustration from the weekend but also the newest 20 pounds I had gained over the past year. I felt huge and unattractive. I’ve always had a little bit of a love-hate relationship with my weight and body-shape, but due to some awkward conversations Alex and I have been having on the topic, I just couldn’t shake the thought that I looked awful.
(Note: I do not still feel this way. I know that some people may see my body and think it’s silly to be self-conscious. I know that I am so blessed to have a strong and healthy body that works for me each day, but self-doubt happens. I’m not here to make anyone else feel unattractive, but to share my story with this experience!)
I started pacing back and forth with tears threatening to spill out of my eyes. I immediately started rehearsing how I would bring the pictures to Alex’s attention. I, of course, needed to preface it with a warning that I may not look that great in them. I, of course, needed to shield my husband from the hideous look of the extra pounds gracing my body. I, of course, needed to feel ashamed of myself. Right?
Wrong. So wrong.
It took about half and hour, but I finally got it together enough to pray. I should have done this from the start, but like so many times before, I leaned on my own understanding first. My prayer wasn’t long or well thought out. I didn’t have eloquent words or even many words at all. Most of it was spent in silence knowing that my silence would be audible to the Lord. When I finally spoke, I said this…”Lord, please help me to see myself in those pictures as you see me. The next time that I look at them, show me the beauty that you see and the love that my husband and I have for each other instead of my ‘flaws’. Amen.”
I looked at the photos later, and woah. All the things I had seen before were no more. I only saw happiness, love, grace, beauty, and joy. I saw a couple who had struggled through the first year of marriage and a hard weekend to still have each other and be in so in love at the end of it. I saw all the goodness that I imagine God sees when He peers down at his creation.
So, here it is. Being self-critical is damaging and nothing else. It’s not necessary or helpful. It only hurts. God made each of us in His perfect image, and He loves us despite so many sins each day. If the all-knowing and powerful God can look past EVERYTHING about us, why can’t we? The next time you feel yourself being self-critical, ask God to show you the situation through His eyes. Embrace the person that He made you to be, and demonstrate grace even to yourself.
Let’s chat! Do you struggle with being self-critical? Tell us about a time that God helped you through a hard situation!