The following is a guest post by Christa Black, author of God Loves Ugly — a book about her personal victory against powerful adversaries: her own thoughts, feelings, and reflection.
It’s hard to look in the mirror and see correctly when you hate yourself.
It’s like an ugly black tar pours slime over every glance, focusing in on the bad, no matter how much is good. I’ve come to understand, beauty isn’t a reflection issue–it’s a perception issue. When you perceive yourself as unlovable, believe me, you’ll always find something wrong with the person staring back at you in the mirror.
Because my first memory of life outside the home was sexual, I chose to believe I was shameful. When a group of popular boys told me in the 6th grade that I was “a dog and no one would ever want me,” I chose to believe I was unlovable. When the phone forgot to ring for an invitation to prom, I chose to believe I was unwanted.
Every one of these negative circumstances, compounded by hundreds more, secured a list of beliefs more permanent than Mt. Everest. I believed these terrible things more than I believed the sky was blue, even though I had an amazing family, friends, and God who were telling me otherwise. I knew that I was loved, but I didn’t believe it.
And unfortunately, we don’t behave according to what we know. We behave according to what we believe.
For decades, I behaved as a shameful, unlovable, unwanted girl. When your heart and soul are in constant pain, you’ll do just about anything to make the pain go away. I tried everything from drugs, alcohol, and boys, to achievement, perfectionism, food, and exercise. I did a lot of things to my body to try and appease the agony of my soul, but no matter what I tried, it never worked.
I needed deep healing from the pain. I needed truth to displace the lies. I needed to believe I was lovable.
And that’s where God came into the picture.
Now, let me preface with this. For decades, I could have spouted off a cliche phrase about God loving you and me, but I didn’t live like it. In fact, deep down, I believed the very opposite was true. I thought God’s love was contingent on my performance, my spotless record, and my abilities to clean myself up. But ‘unconditional’ means without condition, so you can’t earn it, be good enough for it, or lose it. You can, however, reject it, like I did for decades. But finally receiving God’s unconditional love into the supposed ‘unlovable’ places of my heart did much more than just give me warm fuzzies. It healed me. It changed me. And it shifted my perception from self-hatred and judgment to adoration and peace.
Now, when I look in the mirror, I finally see what I believe.
And because I believe that I’m loved, I always see beauty.
Christa Black is a popular blogger, speaker, and singer-songwriter whose songs have been recorded by multi-platinum-selling artists Jordin Sparks and Michael W. Smith. She has toured with The Jonas Brothers, Michael W. Smith, and Israel Houghton. After years of battling depression, addiction, and a chronically broken spirit, Christa was radically shaken by a God who truly loves ugly. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and son. God Loves Ugly is her first book, teaching practical ways to be loved into wholeness and freedom, and corresponds with her CD, God Loves Ugly. Visit Christa’s site at www.christablack.com to learn more and read the first chapter!
What about Christa’s story spoke to you the most and why?