|With my boarding mates and me on the top right corner!|
It was not only the issue with men that made me identify my desperate need for Jesus; it was also my physical well-being, my hygiene as a young girl growing into a woman! I got my first period at a very early age and unfortunately I never had anyone explaining to me the process that was taking place in me! In fact when my monthly period came I’d keep it a secret and use toilet paper as a sanitary pad! I was just scared that they would think that I had done something wrong because my mum always suspected that I’m pregnant even before I knew nothing about sex! Nobody taught me how a girl needed to take care of herself, things like folding clothes and keeping a neat wardrobe…As a matter of fact I grew up in a messy house and when I say messy I mean mud being brought into the house, bubble gum stuck on walls and furniture, clothes all over and a dirty bathroom! My mum would command us to clean (my cousin and I) and after a long day of cleaning she’d come point out all the dusty patches we missed! I think most mothers have this bad tendency? It’s not good because this controlling, frightening behaviour creates fear in the hearts of children, they are afraid of people they should actually be free with! I was so scared of my mother like she was a stranger, when she walked in the house or room I’d hold a broom or think of anything wrong I could have possibly done! This led me to being scared of every adult actually, I couldn’t have a proper conversation with adults and I resorted to children for company because I knew that they could not intimidate me! My dad would wonder why even in my teenage hood I’d still spill food on my shirt when I ate or was always under the mercy of my peers! It made him cross and it also frustrated me because I did not know what was wrong with me! But now I know what was wrong with me, I always believed that I’m a fool! My mother would actually tell us that we are DMD’s which meant fools and she’d make us agree with her and say, “Yes I am a fool!” Whenever we committed mistakes like all other kids do she’d say in our presence, “I don’t know why God gave me such dumb children! I wish He gave me boys instead!”
When I went to boarding school I was very afraid and intimidated by my peers! Wondering what they were thinking of me made me so uncomfortable and clumsy! I could not handle myself as a person and I think I was considered the dirtiest in my dormitory! My dorm mates would gossip about me, made me feel like an outcast and some of them actually confronted me! This still left me feeling terrible about myself and I knew I had no one to talk to because obviously my mum wouldn’t tell me anything different! The low self-confidence in me showed in the outside! I did not consider myself like a living, valuable human being, never cared about the state my hair was in, the chipped nail polish, my smelly armpits perhaps, my body getting fatter and fatter! I did not love myself to such an extent that I freely give my body to be used! When I re-dedicated my life to Jesus, He made me see that He’s been longing to take care of me, not only my spiritual being but my physical being and other dimensions too! ( He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11). Without feeling condemned and unloved or disgusting, my room has gradually changed from clothes lying all over to a neat clean space because I understand that the presence of God is always there and He can’t dwell in a filthy place! I am being taught to take care of simple stuff like nail polish, smell good, bathe when necessary and how to eat properly! There might still be people who find me dirty and disgusting? In fact there are, I see it in the way they look at me and the words they tell me, “You must love yourself!” And in my heart I say, Lord I know where you brought me, I used to be worse! (“I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil3:13-14) When I make them uncomfortable because I don’t dress the way they do, I just thank God that I have clothes covering my body! When they have problems with my room which has “germs”, I thank God that I have a room to sleep in! See, I am not complicated! (I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:11-13)
One day my sister reckoned that I am no close to being a proverbs 31 woman! I think she was just embarrassed by me saying that in somebody’s presence! It hurt me because even if she didn’t show any qualities of the proverbs 31 woman, I still called her that because I know that she could become one, why couldn’t she just return the favour? But like I said, your loved ones won’t always tell you what you want to hear only God will! God’s unchanging promise gives me the confidence to boldly state: I may not be where I want to be yet, but I’m not moved by what I see! God builds my character and strengthens me each day! I am that virtuous woman proverbs 31 talks about! I’m experiencing God’s wonderful love, no more fear, low self-esteem, intimidation or hatred of myself and body! The love of God is with me! I don’t need visual evidence, I believe because I live by faith and the kind of faith that moves mountains! I am what THAT I AM says I am!
There are a lot of young women out there who grew up with no mother, or had no one taking care of them in the right way, teaching them how to conduct themselves as young women who will one day be wives and mothers to somebody! These women are just in need of Jesus as much as I was in need of Him! He has taught me things nobody had ever taught me, He has taught me to love and appreciate myself! Every girl needs to be taken care of like a princess! She needs to be told that she is wanted, valued and wouldn’t be traded for any boy or anything on earth! No matter how people have broken you in the past, you need to let go and start seeing the beauty in you, and this will automatically make you take good care of yourself! Remember…” Beauty is not expressed outwardly; beauty is more than how you look! Beauty is how you accept others for who they are! It comes from the inside no matter what the image in the mirror suggests or what society dictates!” Serita Ann Jakes
Beauty is found in Jesus!
I have a crown of beauty instead of ashes, oil of gladness instead of mourning! Garment of praise instead of despair! Isaiah 61:3