When I was in eighth grade, my mom bought me a book titled The Cat ate my Gymsuit by Paula Danziger. It’s about Marcy Lewis, a young girl on the verge of adolescence who struggles with her weight and self-esteem.
She is always inventing reasons to be excused from gym class so she doesn’t have to be subjected to jokes about her weight. Through a series of events, and with the help of an English teacher, Marcy learns to accept her body and stand up for herself.
Mom bought me this book because she thought I could identify with Marcy, and she was right. Not only did I have weight and self-esteem issues, I made excuses to be dismissed from gym class for the same reason. The words of my peers hurt, and I let it define who I was.
I never did possess any amount of athletic abilities, and the days I did participate in gym, usually ended in humiliation.
During a particular game of touch football, I caught the ball. I didn’t do it on purpose. I was just standing there and the ball dropped into my arms.
Stunned by my good fortune, I turned and ran with the ball. And guess what? I got a touchdown.
I could not believe it. I, the shy, overweight and non-athletic girl had just scored for the team.
I was so excited. This was my moment. I was sure my team mates would run over to me with high-fives. I pictured them carrying me on their shoulders while I raised my arms in victory.
My thoughts of glory and fame were disrupted by shouts from my peers. I could not hear what they were saying but saw them pointing in my direction. I thought they were telling me I did not run far enough down the field, so I turned around and kept running.
I ran under the goal post and past the scoreboard before a friend caught up with me. “You ran the wrong way,” she said. “You just scored for the other team.”
I wore blinders that day. Once the ball was in my possession, I became focused on one thing – to get a touchdown and win the respect of my classmates.
All those the father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I will never drive away.
God created us with a need to be loved and accepted. When we expect others to fulfill that need, we set ourselves up to be emotionally hurt. God never meant it to be that way. No one can completely fill our need to be loved and accepted.
Only God can do that.
He wants to fill that need.
He wants to love us.
He wants us to open our hearts towards him. Then the love and acceptance that only he can provide will be ours.
Psalm 27:1 (NIV)
The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?
Let the Lord lead you with his light and you will not be dependent on others for love and acceptance.
I thought I could earn the acceptance of my classmates by being a good athlete. Thankfully, I was wrong. And when I took those blinders off, I was free to see I already am loved and accepted.
God’s love and acceptance is infinite. No matter how deep your need is, he can fill it.
This week, I am joining my friend and cheerleader of faith for a special compilation of encouragement. Join us at Purposeful Faith.
This week, I’m linking up with these great ladies:
Good Morning Monday | Monday Musings | Motivate and Rejuvenate Mondays | Sharing his Beauty Monday | Intentional Tuesday | RahRah Linkup | Tell his story | Testimony Tuesday | Wedded Wednesday | Woman to Woman Wednesday | Woman With Intention Wednesday | Faith Barista | Thought Provoking Thursday | Faith filled Friday | Fellowship Friday | Grace and Truth | The weekend brew | Susan B. Meade | Still Saturday