There it was, scribble across the top of my medical chart read. I remember that as if it were yesterday, although I was only 16 at the time.
It’s funny how those words can stick with you- define you.
As most girls developed breasts…
yep, today we’re talking breasts. Boobies. The girls.
And now that I have your attention, moving on…
As most girls developed breasts, mine decided to do their own thing. Well, one decided to grow, like really grow to a C and then a D, and the other was convinced that it belonged on a boy’s body. Flat. Pancake flat. I mean, like not even a little baby boobie. Nothing.
So when most girls were adjusting to new bodies, trying on new looks, testing out their femininity, I was doing everything I could to hide myself. Big sweater shirts. Stuffed bras. Hunched shoulders.
Oh God, not summer. I despised summer. The idea of bathing suits made me nauseous with fear. It was all about covering up. Hiding. Masking…
a habit that stayed well into my thirties.
I had my first surgery at 16, one implant to balance me out.
My second at 18, a reduction on the other side and removal of scar tissue.
My third at 21, to remove more tissue and add an implant on the other side to create more symmetry.
Finally… finally, I looked normal.
But although my outside changed, my inside, my mind, did not.
Years of labeling myself as disfgured-deformed- flawed- had left me with a mind that still saw myself that way.
Broken. Irreparably broken.
The problem went a way, but the perspective did not.
I still treated myself as if I was deformed. It was as if the words were seared in my brain. At some point I had stopped fighting for myself, being a friend to myself and I turned on myself. I did.
No one could figure out why I was so disgusted with the way I looked, but I knew.
This was who I was. This was my identity.
It has taken years of healing, a hellish road to say the least.
There was nothing fun or easy about making peace with my body-my soul- but there was a beauty to it.
There is always a beauty on the path to self discovery… self recovery.
So, why would I share something so personal, so out there? Let’s be a little honest here, didn’t you cringe a little when I first mentioned ‘boobies’? I did and I wrote this!!!
Because, dear sisters, I have a hard time believing that I am the only one who wore this label, who struggled with feeling deformed or flawed.
Sometimes it’s out there for the whole world to see and sometimes, as was my case, it’s so hidden, no one had any idea. It’s your own secret pain… your own private pain.
And if this is you, you are not alone. You aren’t.
It’s as if my heart wants to shout, Don’t listen to that voice! That is not who you are! That label- that flaw- doesn’t define you! Don’t give it that power!
May you allow me this moment to pour out God’s words over you this, that you may hear His voice and His tone as He speaks to you:
Child, you are not alone.
You are not.
You were bought with a price and you are loved beyond measure.
I know at times it looks like I do not love, that I have left you to fend for yourself.
I know at times it looks like I have made you this way, this way you hate. So filled with disgust for yourself you have a hard time believing that I have placed anything good in you.
I know that. I see that.
I see how you wince when you think about that thing, that one thing you hate about yourself… Oh, I see it. It doesn’t escape me.
I see it and I want you to know, dear one, that I see differently. I do.
I see what you can’t. I see how that thing you hate has brought character, ushering in and forming a deeper heart.
Oh, make no mistake, my intention is not to harm you, or cause you pain, but dear child, what is heart that has not experienced its depths?
Think about it, dear one, how are you to fully love if you have not fully grieved. Perhaps what you see as a fallacious-flawed- I see as that which has brought you depth and beauty.
Beauty, dear one. Can you see it?
For some, you understand what I speak of. For others, the thought of such things is too preposterous for you to even grasp.
And to you, to you, I ask that you come and sit. Sit near me.
Spend time with Me.
Sit and hear what I speak to you. Gentle, calming words filled with love and understanding.
Give me your labels, dear child.
Hand them to me and let me tell you who you are and what I see.
Come, dear one, let us deal with that which has troubled you so.
Come sit under my wings.