One day not long ago I was sweeping my kitchen floor in the near trance-like state of La La Land, when I was jolted to my senses by the precious voice of my 4-year-old nephew saying, “Aunt Teasi, you have a vahwee (very) big butt.” I set my broom aside, smoothed my shirt, and calmly turned to face him. Bright-eyed and curly-haired, he stood – completely oblivious to the fact that he had said the words no woman ever wants to hear. And then I let him have it. I bent down, coming only inches away from his little round face, and said, “Why…thank you!” Then I smiled big, stood to grab my broom, and returned unscathed to the task at hand.
A few years ago those innocently spoken words would have completely obliterated me, and rather than a thank you, might have actually incited an immature come-back such as: “Oh, yeah? Well, you’re short and you talk funny.” But now, to the glory of God, moments like that are reminders to me that the miraculous has happened: I no longer hate my body (especially my back side); in fact, it has become one of the biggest blessings in my life.
Like most women (really every woman I’ve ever met), I lived years literally disgusted with what I saw in the mirror. The territory between my ears felt like nothing short of a war zone, with battles being fought everywhere: the bathroom, the grocery store, the bedroom, even church. I could never silence the ambush-ready community of inner critics (those hurtful thoughts we all think) that called my head home. And I missed out on so much: parties I refused to attend because my pants were too tight, dates with my husband because of a few gained pounds, quality time with my kids. I know I’m not alone in this.
We women have been lied to for years. We’ve been told that our value – our very right to be seen and celebrated - is determined by our waist-to-hip ratio or the proportions of our facial features, and that’s just not true. Our value is determined by the only One who really knows it: our God.
After hitting my head hard on the floor of my personal pit of despair, I slowly began my journey toward believing that. One inch at a time of healing, truth, and righteous anger led me to a life-saving realization: All those years I was desperate to change how I looked, God was desperate to change how I see. And He did.
Truth is, if God can make a prostitute the great grandmother of the Messiah, turn water into wine, and make blind men see; don’t you think He can turn a big bottom – or a big nose - or bird-thin legs – or whatever it is you hate – into a blessing?