My friend Jerusha Borden is sharing with us today in the #BeBoldGirl series. She has embraced the live God has given her, even though it is not the one she would have chosen for herself. I pray her words encourage you to take on a bold identity for Christ.
The weather is changing. It’s getting warmer and the layers are gradually coming off. Gone are the warm sweaters and knee high boots, long coats and winter clothing. It is normal to walk down the street and see people outside enjoying fresh spring air, wearing light spring jackets or maybe even just a t-shirt. And while it’s lovely to see the flowers peeking through the dirt and hear the birds singing sweetly in the trees, I am suddenly filled with dread.
Summer is not my favourite time of year. The long coats and winter clothing that fall and winter bring hide my disability for all to see. In the hot summer it becomes obvious. Like a blaring siren of look at me, look at me, LOOK AT ME. Only I hate it when people look. In fact, it breaks my heart one little piece at a time.
Last fall, when the weather was cool and the air was crisp, I was sitting in a clinic talking to a doctor who I’d been waiting over a decade to see. I rejoiced as I was finally diagnosed with Lipedema, a painful disorder that disfigures your limbs with excess fat. Fat that can’t be dieted or exercised away. Why was I rejoicing? Because it took so long to diagnose and not very many doctors know much about it. Hope was stirring within me that day. But that didn’t change the fact that I still had this disability that leaves me with limited mobility and lowers my self esteem. It’s hard to go out in public, because people stare. Some may think it is all in my mind, but you just know when eyes are following you all around.
And here’s the thing – low self esteem can sometimes rob self worth. When people stare or make rude comments, it leaves me feeling like I amount to nothing. It temporarily strips me of my confidence in my identity – a daughter of the King.
When people aren’t starting at me or making comments I wish my heart didn’t have to hear, I know who I am. I walk boldly in the confident trust that He has a purpose for even the hard things in life. I am not ashamed to live my life, large as I am, because I know He has a plan for me that includes this disease.
It hasn’t always been that way for me. When I first started experiencing the symptoms I was a young mother with a baby and a toddler. I remember coming home from a postpartum doctor’s appointment like it was yesterday. After putting the babies down for a nap, I walked to my room and quietly shut the door. I lay down on my bed and sobbed into my pillow until my tears ran dry. All because my doctor told me the “swelling” in my legs wasn’t from the baby – and that it was seemingly permanent.
Over the years, God has chiseled in me a desire to be who He wants me to be. And I believe He wants me to be courageous. Be bold to live in this world as I am with confidence, because He has begun a good work in me and will be faithful to complete it. He has instilled in me a heart for those who are hurting, as I have been hurting.
Yes, I am a daughter of the King. I have been entrusted by Him to live life with this disability to the best of my ability. To hold my head high and be confident in Him when the summer comes and the words sting. To be ready to serve him even in the hard things. To be bold and courageous. And to be thankful for the life He has given, even though it’s not what I would have chosen for myself.
You may not be in the same situation as me, but perhaps you have something you struggle with that leaves you feeling robbed of your self worth. Live confidently in your identity in Him. And be bold to trust His plan for your life. You’ll never regret it.
Jerusha lives in Eastern Canada with her husband and two sons. She has wanted to be a writer since she was ten years old. She loves writing about her journey and sharing the love of God with others. She believes she is exactly where God wants her to be, writing exactly what He wants her to write. Connect with Jerusha at her website jerushaborden.com