Fire and Ice is so excited to participate in this Deseret Book blog Tour and have author Michelle Wilson here today with an exclusive blog post!
Michelle Wilson is a native of California. Through serving a full-time mission, teaching seminary, Sunday School classes, and speaking at various firesides and conferences, Michelle has developed a love of the power and simplicity of the gospel. She believes in the healing power of laughter and chocolate. She and her husband, Jerey, are the parents of three children and live in Washington State.
Thanks for having my on your blog, Heather!
I have really enjoyed the response I have gotten so far to ‘Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?’ The dual ideas of ‘learning to see’ who we are and ‘choosing to be’ are hitting home with so many.
In our hectic lives, it is easy for us as women to look beyond the mark of who we are and who we can be. We can, at times, get caught in the traps of comparing our perceived worst to other’s best, putting unrealistic expectations upon ourselves, or basing our worth on what we think others opinions are of us. These things keep us from seeing ourselves as we really are.
That’s where the ‘learning to see’ comes us—as we learn to recognize the things that block us from seeing ourselves as we truly are and come to understand how God see us, we can begin to understand who we really are. And not only that, but what we are capable of! So many of us live underneath our privileges! Perspective and confidence open the doors of understanding and opportunity, and allow us to walk through to find new experiences, growth and joy.
I didn’t understand that for a long time. Though my outward circumstances in life were good, I carried a weight of insecurity, fear, and sadness. I managed to hide it from most people (as we are so good at doing) but it affected my actions, choices, and priorities. I allowed myself to feel worthless and began looking around to my peers and others to make me feel differently. That worked sometimes, like when my friends told me they loved me, or when a boy said I was cute. But then, the times I didn’t get a phone call, or my friends went out without me, or my brothers were cruel to me, any feeling of confidence and worth I may have had went out the door.
My parents told me often I was wonderful, but somehow I let their role as parents turn their view of my into an obligatory compliment I didn’t allow myself to believe.
Lest you think I was a walking sad sack my teenage years, I wasn’t. In fact, I hid these feelings well. I became so adept at acting as though I had confidence and a feeling of self-worth that most didn’t know that to me that’s all it was, an act. Yes, there were times of joy, fun, and happiness. I loved my family and had some good friends. I even had a testimony of God and Jesus Christ. But, underneath the laughter and smiles, I didn’t have testimony of myself or my worth. I just didn’t feel I was good enough.
Thankfully, it wasn’t too soon after my teenage years that I began to recognize what my problem had been. It wasn’t a matter of who I was or wasn’t; it was the simple matter of which way I had been looking.
I spent years looking side to side, all around me, for the definition and summation of my worth. How did I compare with others? How did I fit in? How did they see me? It was only when I changed the direction of where I looked that I began to see—when I stopped looking side to side, but began looking up to God for my place and my purpose did I truly begin to understand myself.
As I mentioned before, I had always had believed in God. I never doubted He was real. I even understood, in theory, that He loved me. He had always been in my life, in the background. But when I put Him in the forefront of my thoughts and efforts, I began to not only believe in Him, but realize that He believed in me. He allowed me to see myself the way He sees me—with hope, admiration, tenderness, and love, such perfect love. Through my growing relationship with Him, I was able to see myself as He does, and, because He doesn’t lie, I had to believe Him.
His knowledge and vision are perfect. So is His love.
His love for me isn’t based on what I have or haven’t done, what kind of clothes I wear, whether I have a muffin-top or not, or what my peers think of me. Neither should mine.
His love for me isn’t dependent on how clean my house is, how cute my kid’s clothes are, are if I have an awesome Pinterest board. And neither should mine.
His love for me doesn’t diminish when I make mistakes, or fall short of my sometimes unrealistic goals for myself. And neither should mine.
His love for me doesn’t change because someone around me doesn’t like me.
He loves me with a perfect love because He can see beyond all of that into who I am and what He knows I can do. He made me. That means something. And though I still have a ways to go to become like Him, He loves me now. He sees me for who I am, and He thinks I’m pretty awesome.
I can’t tell you how that realization has freed and empowered me throughout my life. When the times of fear and doubt creep in, or I begin to worry what other’s might think, or maybe feel out of place, all I have to do is refocus and look up to Him, and I feel better. The worries and stress are put into their proper place, and I again at peace.
The beauty of this story is that it doesn’t apply to only me. It applies to you. God knows you better than you know yourself. His perspective is clear. His love is perfect. I believe He is there to help you see yourself through His eyes—the only way to see yourself as you really are. And as you look up for your worth and realize how He amazing He knows you are, you can believe Him. He is God. He cannot lie.
I used to just believe in God, and now I know that He believes in me. And nothing I can see from side to side can ever change that.
About the Book
• Why do clothing stores hang fun-house mirrors in their dressing rooms?
• The laundry doesn’t cry when it’s not folded, so why should I?
• Can I be confident even if an elevator calls me fat?
Michelle Wilson’s humorous yet poignant insights help women examine the limitations we place on ourselves out of insecurity and self-doubt. We have faith in God, but do we know that He has faith in us?
When we see ourselves with God’s eternal perspective, we can feel confident and whole—even in our imperfection. Just think what we might accomplish if we truly believe that we are more important than we know, stronger than we realize, and extraordinary in every way.
Find out more on the author’s website