I know this isn’t my typical post but I have something on my heart I want to share. I also apologize for the length, it is sometimes not easy for me to articulate what I want to say in English. My thoughts also get jumbled and don't seem to make much sense, but I promise you, I really am trying to say something important. Such is the struggle of a second language learner.
I was reading Purpose Driven Life during my lunch today and something I read really struck me. “You look the way you are for a reason.” I don’t know why, but that never really occurred to me before. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Everything. Even the small things like dropping something. I believe there is always a reason for the things we do. With always believing that, I never stopped to think about appearances. I never wondered why we look the way we do, or why my sister prefers short hair to long hair, or why I am blonde when my father has darker hair than me. I just accepted the fact that we all look different because we can’t all look the same. That would just make identity a mess.
After I finished my lunch, I really pondered on this for a while. Why do I have blonde hair? Why do I have blue eyes? Why did I stop growing at 12? The answer? God. God has a reason for all of it. If I didn’t look this way, I would either have a different husband, or no husband at all. If my husband was shorter, I don’t think we would be together. We all have preferences whether we choose to admit them or not. It is not shallow of us to think this way, it is how God made us.
I thought about where I am and how my appearance affects my daily life in Japan. Sometimes I get the cold shoulder and other times I get treated special. People are more willing to be patient with me when I speak Japanese, and give me more kindness because of it. Appearance makes a difference.
Then I thought about how I got to where I am today. I thought of my life and growing up, and how my appearance affected my life then. To be honest, apart from my husband, there were not many instances in which I was positively influenced by other based solely on my appearance. Why is that? Why would Japan have a more positive influence than America, a country most known for its cultural diversity? The answer…God.
God is everything good. There is not a speck of evil near God. Lack of God is where sin comes in. (I am not trying to condone conceitedness I am merely proving a point.) Do you honestly think for one moment, that God, the creator of ALL things, would make a mistake when creating you? He WANTS you to have blue eyes, He WANTS you to be 4 foot 9, He WANTS you have brown hair. God wants all of it, because He made you. He thought about you, He planned you, He mapped out your life. You look the way you do because He has a future planned for you, and He understands that appearances do matter however small of a degree that is. Maybe I have blue eyes and blonde hair because He knew I would be coming to Japan. Maybe if I had brown hair, I wouldn’t be having the same experience. My husband has brown hair and he gets treated differently than I do here. Everything is for a reason, and yes, even how you look is for a reason. If knowing I look the way I do because of God, then why is that so hard to accept? What about your appearance is hard to accept?
The chapter goes on to ask some reflection questions about personality and health, but those things don’t bother me. I love who I am. I am happy with how God made me. Think about it, could you really imagine yourself to be any different than you are? It is impossible because God already perfectly made you. Sure I don’t have the most likeable health, but it is all I know and it is not going away anytime soon, plus my condition never really was hard to accept. Then I started thinking about my appearance, and I found where I stopped accepting who God made. I love my blue eyes. Wouldn’t trade them in for the world. The thought of wearing colored contacts abhors me. Who would want to change their eyes? I love my blonde hair. It isn’t the most healthy looking hair, but that has nothing to do with God and everything to do with climate and product, and…well… I guess I have a part to play in that as well. >.> My skin isn’t happy with me at the moment but that is what make up is for. (Seriously, I have all kinds of rashes and dry spots and it is driving me crazy! Any advice on how to handle humid winters will be accepted with love and gratefulness.) Plus, I look younger without make up on, and I kind of don’t like being mistaken for a high school student while out shopping. None of those things were hard for me. I knew there was something there stopping me from believing God made me this way for a reason, so I kept searching. The reason I struggle, the real reason, is my weight.
For years I was anorexic. Years. At least 10. I let the numbers consume me. I don’t know what I was waiting for or wanting. Was I expecting that the next time I stepped on the scale I would weigh nothing? I knew it wasn’t realistic so why did I keep obsessing? The answer is the lack of God. I stopped trusting in Him. I stopped believing that He knew me and created me. I forgot about that along the way. I just eventually came to a point of knowing that I will never become what I want. (Also, being in Japan where things are Kilograms certainly helps because it feels like you suddenly lost like 50 pounds.) Since coming to Japan, I haven’t really struggled too much. I honestly didn’t realize I stopped my old habits until my husband said something to me about it. Sure I have weighed myself here and converted it to numbers that I understand and would always get upset, but the longer I went without doing that, the more I started to care less and less about the numbers.
You could say that I am recovered, but I am not. I still hold on to that part of me, just in case I let go for too long, or need help getting back to how I was before. But why? What good is that going to do me? I know that God made me, I know that God loves me, I also know that God put me in Japan and I have never felt more at home. It is because I have not fully accepted who I am. God doesn’t want someone who is 90% on His side, because that isn’t really being on His side at all. That is just saying when the time comes, you will choose the other 10%, and God doesn’t want that. Neither do I. So I am here, to break free of that 10% I keep holding on to, and break free of the doubt that I am not perfect, because God made me perfectly. There is nothing to dislike. I am should embrace it, smile about it, feel happy; that is what God is doing every time He looks at me. I am wonderfully made in Him. Perfect in every way. You are too.
Did you know that God made how you look for a reason? If you do, then great! If you don’t, then what can’t you accept?