I Will Praise Thee

Published June 3rd, 2024 by The Great I AM Faith Center

I’ve always been very sensitive when it comes to my weight, as an overweight child and adult. I’ve been called a pig, a whale, an elephant, and much worse, from family members to complete strangers. Everyone had an opinion on my weight. It never motivated me to lose weight; in fact, it fueled me to eat more to show them how fat I could really become. Did I want to lose weight? Of course, I did, and I began the cycle of yo-yo dieting at the young age of twelve. 

I shed almost 100 pounds throughout a five-year period of my adult life. It seemed strange to be praised for being thin. People were kinder and treated me better once I lost weight. I was even promoted at work while being the same employee, just 100 pounds lighter. I went from invisible to visible. I was uncomfortable with the attention, and it actually made me angry. It made me realize how fickle and superficial people are. My mental health deteriorated rapidly, and I soon found myself depressed.

I scheduled an appointment with a therapist and found myself crying a lot during my sessions. Where was the pain coming from? I was suffering from PTSD. During one of my sessions, I told my therapist that I wanted to find a church but was waiting until I moved, and she questioned why I couldn't find one right now. I lived in Los Angeles at the time. It was as if a light bulb switched on in my head.

I found a church and attended, not having any expectations. My life changed forever. I gave my life to Jesus. Every time I walked into church, I wept. I didn’t cry because I was sad. I cried because, for the first time in a very long time, I knew someone loved me. It didn’t matter what I looked like or how I performed. 

Since moving to Taiwan, insecurities stemming from my weight have resurfaced. Every morning, as I wait for my bus, I’m greeted by an elderly man with a speech impediment. He can’t make out any words but can only make sounds. Language is not only spoken through speech but also through body movements. He points at me and uses his hands to gesture the word fat, laughs, and then runs in place to express the word exercise. Being called fat is as natural as saying hello in Taiwan. It’s not seen as rude or inappropriate in Taiwan as it is in America. My flesh naturally wants to rage and scream, but I simply force a smile, wait for my bus, and leave. This has been the start of my day Monday through Friday for the last 10 months.

I’ve had to remind myself multiple times a day of God’s words, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30 NIV) “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV) I’m a child of God, and He says, “I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14 NIV) He sees me. He knows me. He loves me. While it’s been challenging living in a completely different country with cultural differences, the one thing that doesn’t change is God’s words. His love will never change for me if I’m 100 lbs heavier or lighter. He’s the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NIV) I’m so thankful to God!

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