This post is by Briane Kearns.
For a few years I sold a line of women’s clothing from my home. It was a unique company that created various styles and then made them available in a variety of fabrics.
I am a curvy girl. There are no tall, thin body types swimming in my gene pool. In an era where the media showed rail thin, flat chested (probably undernourished) women’s bodies, I lived in constant self consciousness and dissatisfaction with my body.
And, honestly, I thought that I was alone in this. Everyone else looked, thinner, straighter and better than me.
But then I began selling clothes to women in my home. My clients had all body types. Tiny, petite size 00 women, size 8 or 10 women and women who needed large or extra large- which had always been me.
I was fascinated by the women that I labeled “perfect.” Some of them were short and tiny and some were tall and slender, but they were all most decidedly not my body type. I envied them and assumed that they loved their bodies and were content in them. So imagine my surprise to learn that almost all of these women had something about their physique that they disliked. They would describe it as they were choosing their items. I cannot wear [fill in the blank] because of my [fill in the blank]. This will not fit because of my [fill in the blank].
I thought they had perfection. They saw lack or deficit or need for improvement. What I longed for, they excused or disparaged.
I learned a lesson from my clients. We are all like our mother Eve, in some way.
God created Eve perfect and sin free, and set her in the middle of His stunning creation in Eden. He gave her companionship (Gen 2:22), beauty (Gen. 1:31), food (Gen 2:16-17), God ordained work (Gen 2:15) and most importantly, His own presence (Gen. 3:8).
From my vantage point, much like those women with “perfect” shapes shopping in my living room, Eve had it made. She should have listened to the voice of her Maker, and enjoyed all that she had been given.
But another voice got in her head and told her that she was not enough, deficient in some way. You remember the story. The Serpent suggested that she was not like God and if she just did one thing she could be, would be, like God.
The problem: that one thing was the ONE THING that she had been told by God not to do.
The Serpent’s piercing suggestion that she could have more if she just did that one forbidden thing clouded her decision making and her trust for God. And she sinned.
My time selling women clothing showed me how we are all like Eve. For each of us, something in our lives makes us feel that we are less than perfection. Less than what we need to be or could be.
For my former clothing clients –and me- it was a physical aspect of their body that was less than desirable. For others it may be a family situation, or a personality tendency. I have learned that there is always something that we apologize for, disparage, dislike, excuse or even downright hate.
Now, before you start to rebuff me- I know that we are all sinful, fallen creatures and there are actually things that we need to address. We have sin natures, and we need to surrender our lives to God and seek His will and plan with all our hearts and lives. We can all improve in some way.
But we must also realize that we have been created exactly as we are by God to revel and enjoy the life, body, personality in which He created us. We are not all the same for a reason. And that reason is not to make us feel less than perfect about ourselves. Our uniqueness reflects the unending creativity of God, who made us in His image. We must celebrate and glory in the creativity of God even as we grow in faith.
What about your unique self will you celebrate and thank God for today?
Briane Pittman Kearns is a Jesus loving first born who celebrates being a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and two time breast cancer survivor. After decades in the corporate world, raising a family and teaching Bible studies, the Lord called to her attend seminary at age 52. She graduated from Gordon Conwell Theological seminary with a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies. She is passionate about teaching the Bible in its historic, cultural and linguistic context to make God’s Word come alive. She lives in Central North Carolina where she writes and teaches Bible studies, speaks to women’s events and avoids cooking as much as possible. She loves her family, laughing with friends, encouraging women in their faith walk and being a southerner.
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