Viewing Myself through the Eyes of Acceptance…

Earlier this year, I had laser surgery on both eyes as a preventative measure against narrow angle closure glaucoma. During the weeks of my procedure and healing, I had to wear my glasses during my waking hours and not use my contact lenses. Not so bad, right? Well, not anymore. But, it wasn’t always that way … At age 11, my already coca-cola bottle thick glasses were upgraded to bifocals. Pretty tall order for a little girl who weighed just under 50 pounds. Not the accessory that I wanted to add to my daily wardrobe. It didn’t matter how pretty my frames were, no one could see them for looking at two eyes that appeared to be a “uni-eye”.

The fun really started when I wanted to start wearing makeup. Guess what makeup does — it enhances your eyes so they can look larger. I tried every way possible to get mine to look smaller. I prayed often for my eyes to be healed.  If that wasn’t enough, I had overactive sebaceous glands and large pores.  So add acne to my list of “how do you see me now” wonderment and you get the idea of what middle school and high school were like for me. I was blessed to have cool, name brand clothes. But, no matter how I wrapped it, the package that I presented caused people to stare and whisper.
There were many times that I came home in tears wishing I never had to go to school again. (I homeschooled my girls, probably, in part, to feelings that I carried from this point in my life).Fast forward to age 17 – I discovered benzoyl peroxide, got my braces off and found a doctor that would fit me for contact lenses. With an overall improvement in my appearance, and starting college, I was moving up from stay-to-myself-shy to Sheri-the-social-butterfly. Suffice to say, my life in college was much different than high school, except for the grades. I had been a bookworm for way too long – at one point, in life, around age 13, I would read a Nancy Drew Mystery every single day. I was probably the only kid who checked out the maximum amount of books at the school library and actually read them every one!
Over the course of life I married, had my daughters, (when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Angel, I prayed every day that she would have perfect eyesight, straight teeth, clear skin and curly hair)! Everything I didn’t have… and she’s pretty well batting a thousand, apart from a little astigmatism. I prayed for AnnaLynne and Rachel too, but probably not with such fervor about their personal appearances.I learned that my self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth were not necessarily better because I had evolved from my moth stage to the butterfly phase. Regardless of the outward changes, inside I still felt empty, unlovely and unlovable. I equated outward appearance with love and acceptance. What a disappointment to find this wasn’t the case at all.

At 22, after having grown up in church and spending some years being the prodigal, I got my business straight with God.   At 39, I began doing a weight loss program, Weigh Down, and through this time, I learned that God had been with me for all those years as the Father I needed to teach me how to do this life well. Having lost my dad in a car accident at age 9, I missed out on the valuable male insight he may have provided about guys, dating, not compromising my values to feel loved, marriage, car repair, career paths etc.

I began to ask Him for the abundant life His Word promises. This would take me on a journey that led me to value people but to no longer be driven by my desire for love and acceptance from them.  I began to see myself as He sees me. I saw that I am beautiful and that every struggle I have faced has served to draw me closer to Him and to the understanding that He has seen me at my best and my worst and loves me unconditionally.

All the while, He was patiently teaching me to love myself. He sent little messengers along the way, like the little four year old girl who put her hands on my face and told me that I was pretty, that Jesus loves me, and when I get to heaven He would heal all the “holes” (acne scars) on my face.  Recently a friend that I serve with at church told me that regardless of the acne scars that I have, the more he had gotten to know me, the more they seemed to disappear and they in no way “detracted” from my true beauty. I was proud of him for his courage 😉

So today, when I wear my glasses and someone says something about how thick they are, I can respond without feeling embarrassed. I smile when I touch my skin and find that as my daughter Rachel suggested, by eliminating foundation makeup and simply using a concealer as needed has caused my skin to actually improve.

Sometimes, I still ask God to heal my skin and eyes. I know He can if He chooses too. I am now happy behind my peepers, when I choose to wear them, and in my own skin. It probably helps me to be more considerate in my actions so that my inner beauty can shine through.

So at the end of the day, and in the midst of the many times I’ve felt embarrassed, having learned to love and see myself through my Father’s eyes truly is a fair trade 😉

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Writer, Wife & Mom

One thought on “Viewing Myself through the Eyes of Acceptance…

  1. Sheri,

    I think you are beautiful — inside and out! I’m so sorry the enemy has lied to you about your appearance. Even the women on the magazines have insecurities about their appearance and it’s all just an attempt to keep us from doing the things that God has called us to do. God will take the very things that have seemed like flaws and use them in great ways. I’m glad that you are more secure with yourself now and I look forward to seeing how God is going to use your “flaws” for good. Don’t forget that Moses was “slow of speech” but God sent him to speak to Pharaoh. Don’t forget that Gideon was not a mighty warrior, but God enabled him to conquer a great army with only 300 men! Your face may one day be on the front of a beauty magazine!

    Have a Victorious Day!
    Marianne Clements

    Like

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