We’re loving reading and seeing your reviews on our new song “You Are I Am”. Thanks for sending these all in. Here’s a couple more from some folks around the country.
– Jayne Thurber-Smith
I relate so much to the words in this song as they tell my story, a story of despair that turns around to have a beautiful ending.
I’ve been the one to shake with fear, and wonder if you’re even here. I’ve been the one to doubt your love. I’ve told myself You’re not enough.
In 2011, I struggled deeply with negative body image. I couldn’t stand to look in the mirror. I had just taken part in one of God’s most beautiful miracles, childbirth. I have a beautiful son, who completes my life. Yet, when I looked in the mirror, I hated what I saw. A body not worth loving, by myself or anyone else. I was disgusted with what I saw and I told myself terrible, horrible things. I was comparing myself with the standards of the world, not the standards of my King. I didn’t understand why other women, after having their babies, could immediately have their bodies back. Why wasn’t that me? It seems such a vain thing, but I really hated my body and because of that, I hated myself and I began to struggle emotionally and spiritually.
I’ve been the one to try and say, I’ll overcome by my own strength. I’ve been the one to fall apart and start to question who you are…
I struggled with my birthing experience, as it was not what I wanted at all, feeling as though my body had failed me. Those feelings of failure intensified when I looked into the mirror, and it made me fall deep into a postpartum depression. I just didn’t understand why God would let me struggle so much, and because of that I tried to fix it myself. But this wasn’t something I alone could fix.
I’ve been the one held down in chains, beneath the weight of all my shame. I’ve been the one to believe, that where I am You cannot reach.
For over a year, I created those chains that held me down. I was in a state of self-loathing. I felt like nothing would ever get better. I felt like there was no way anyone could ever save me from hating myself.
The veil is torn, and now I live with the Spirit inside. The same one, the very same one who brought the Son back to life. Hallelujah, He lives in me!
God used a conversation with my husband to open my eyes and begin the process of saving me from that dark place. My husband told me “I love your body. It is what brought our son into this world. You mean the world to me, and to our son.” When he said that, I realized that if my husband loved me this much, then how much more does my Father in Heaven love me?
This God, the one who conquers giants, calls out kings, shuts the mouths of lions, and tells the dead to breath, how could I possibly think that I was too far gone for Him to find? He did find me. He pulled me out of that awful place of despair. I am a “negative body image” survivor! It is only by God’s grace that I have learned to love my body, and see something beautiful when I look in the mirror. And He has used that awful experience to draw me closer to Him, closer than I have ever been before! Hallelujah, He lives in me!!!
– Stephanie Farley