Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rejected or Chosen?...Both

"Wait to go Chubs!" 

"Your turn, Chubs." 

"Can't you do anything Chubs?"

The summer before third grade my family moved across the country. I was in a new state at a camp before school started...my chance to make friends. And a boy I didn't know started calling me "Chubs". It caught on.

Before I made a single friend. Before school even started. I was marked. It was a mark that would not wash off. A mark that would linger into adulthood.

I have never been skinny. Or thin. And I certainly wasn't that summer, but I didn't want to be known for my belly. Or my little girl thunder thighs. I just wanted to be known, but by the end of that camp I wished I was invisible. Unknown.

It was a cycle I would repeat most of my life. 

Confident. Ready to be someone or something. And then in a flash it would disappear. Someone's painful words would derail my plans. Someone's insensitivity would prick my low self esteem and I would bleed and gush emotion.

How I would like to whisper back in time to her little ears! "You were not made to be labeled by them. You do not wear their mark. You wear His! He calls you daughter. He calls you worthy. He calls you beautiful."

I don't know what it would have changed in my life. And I'm not one that often goes down the "what if" or the "if only" trail. But, I can tell you this much...it has changed my life as an adult. God's love has whispered into the darkest moments of life, the most painful memories, and the dusty neglected corners of my soul. 

I'm still not thin or skinny. And while I am on the first leg of a long journey toward getting healthy I am highly aware of who I am, what I look like, what the world would say and what the One who ransomed my soul says.

I am short and fat. By the world's standards I nothing remarkable, in fact am not worthy of a second glance. Any commercial, magazine cover, movie trailer or website drives that home. And there have been days, weeks, months and more that I have lamented that. Pained that I don't measure up.

The truth is I'm not measured by the world's yardstick.

In 1 Peter we find a verse about the yardsticks used to measure Jesus. The living Stone - rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him. (2:4) 

By man's yardstick, Jesus didn't measure up. He was rejected. 

But! (aren't God's conjunctions beautiful...they deliver God's grace to an unmerciful world) 

He was chosen by God and precious to Him!! (need I say more??)

In the very next sentence of 1 Peter it says "you also, like living stones." Do you see that? Jesus was the living Stone; we are like living stones. We are like Jesus. We are chosen by God and we will be rejected by humans.

At some point (or maybe lots of points) in our lives we all have face rejection - job loss, breakups, gossip, name calling, getting picked last for kick ball. Whatever it is, whatever form it takes, rejection is painful. It leaves a mark...some of those marks we carry with us. We wear like badges of courage and anger. We justify our hurts, our bad behaviors, our anger, our lifestyle.

As we get comfortable in our labels we let the world's yardstick become our yardstick of justification. And that can change our lives. That changed the life of a third grader who bought into the mean words and lies strangers pinned to her.

I can't whisper to her. I can't change the course of my days or deflect that hurts the world would hurl at me. But I can take the woman she grew into and measure her with a yardstick that says Jesus calls her worthy of His life, His blood, His love.

Heavenly Father, it is you who made me and you determines my worth. Please whisper that to my heart whenever I listen to the world's harsh and judging voice. Help me to be the healthiest me I can be, at peace with what the scale says and able to look to You for how I measure up -- not the push-up bra clad, half-starved models on tv. Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for my curves and my body that you have made to birth my children, snuggle with my husband and hug my friends. 


Anonymous said...


I am a size 8 - and every time I stand in front of the mirror, I see fat. Your blog is brave, and you speak for probably 90% of women out there. We can't be thin enough, and therefore, not GOOD enough. NO! Jesus says I am good enough to die for. I am praying that you and I and every other woman on the planet will block out the voices of the world and listen to the One Voice that matters.

Kristin said...

Wendy, thank you for writing this. I too was that little girl..and still am. It is comforting to know I am not alone. I know most women feel the same way you and I do. This world has been poisoning our minds with their "standards". Seriously, what are some people thinking when they speak?? Like..."When are you due?"....uuummm....not preggo but thanks for making me feel like a whale! It is in God only that we can truly shake those awful feelings of not being good enough.

Linda Zobel said...

Wow Wendy, I just know we are destined to be friends...after reading this I understand why. What you wrote touched my heart deeply...as I have journeyed this road as well. God has been finally setting me free from a lifetime of shackles in this area. He helped me see my worth is not determined by a number on the scale. It is a journey from the inside out. I am part of a ministry called Transformation Ministry, my story is on the website under God's miracles (after he helped me lose 100 pounds). www.transformationministry.net has a lot of great inspiration!! Love you dear one. Linda Zobel

Fields of gold said...

Thank you for holding our hands and journeying back to a painful, vulnerable time in your life. Wounds inflicted in childhood somehow brand themselves in our brain, souls and hearts... maybe even deeper than wounds as an adult.

Wendy, I am not a fluffer... meaning, I don't say nice things just to fluff you up {could be my yankee roots!}. Please know I say this with all sincerity (realizing you didn't post this heart felt and poignant blog to illicit feel good comments}... You are one of the prettiest girls I know! Your smile glitters; your eyes shine; your hair is lovely and you are beautiful all around. Truly, and really, you radiate pretty!!

I love how you are walking through those past hurts with Jesus! He's faithful and can take them and replace them with comfort.

Cheering you on on your journey towards health and healing!