When I started this post originally it felt all wrong.
Me? Talk about beauty? Talk about feeling pretty?
God wanted me to talk about that?
Is this a joke?
I thought all of this!
The words didn't come out of my fingers right. They felt pretentious. They were...
I stood up from my desk, had a few words with God on this topic expressing my frustration.
I ran a hot bath because I can't remember taking one yesterday or even a shower...you know I'm a mom of three boys and 2 foster babies, right? Don't judge!
As I was soaking I picked up two books and read. One devotion was about fear. One story was about God's gifts. Nothing was connecting.... still frustrated I laid my head back closed my eyes and expressed one more time how I did not feel adequate to write on this topic.
I sat up, picked up my razor and started shaving and it hit me...I do have a story to share. I'm afraid to share it but...maybe it will be a small token of a gift to another woman. So here goes...
When I was in college I started struggling with my weight. I stayed pretty active but not as active as I had in high school. In high school I played lots of tennis, swam and trained as a life guard, etc. College was a different story. Just before school started I lost one of the most important men in my life. My Papaw passed away in August and because this man was so ingrained in my life...my life felt very broken. By the time the anniversary came around of his death I had put on 30 pounds or so. I had been miserable for an entire year and just didn't care.
Clothes started fitting badly, my self confidence shrank. Years past and I found myself finishing my degree, had friends encouraging me to workout or even get out, have fun. I was too self conscious. One night I remembered reading about the symptoms of PCOS. I had never heard of it before. I shot an email to my mom who is a nurse and said "I think I have this."
I graduated college and married my high school sweetheart right away. I started my first teaching job too. That next summer I was at home alone all day. James and I had been married in March and in June I missed my first period. I was scared to death. I was pregnant. July came and so did our disappointment but we were hopeful. We had a long talk about buying a house and moving forward as he was finishing school. I remember saying "having a baby isn't as scary as I thought". In September we found out we were pregnant with our oldest son. Complications during the pregnancy and delivery were scary...now those things are scary but having him was such a blessing.
We built a house and he was born early but healthy. Our lives changed forever. My health declined, silently. We wanted another baby right away...we struggled. Privately! No one knew!
For over two years we went through infertility treatments, going round and round with Clomid, and lots of disappointments. The PCOS that I suspected I had was real and evident and taking a toll on my body. We gave up! I gave my fears and worries over to God one night in January (that's a totally different story). In February we found out we were expecting the baby we call our "miracle" baby.
I found out I was surprisingly pregnant with baby number 3 when baby number 2 turned 1.
I had no idea that it would be so simple, so quick. We wanted 3 and God clearly wanted us to have those 3.
Having babies did take a toll on my body. I was busy as a mom, I let my health go completely out the window. I worked hard to stay home with my boys. Then one day a doctor said, "It's a miracle you even have kids." I couldn't believe my ears...yes, I could. I believed!
PCOS is ugly! The side effects of having dysfunctional ovaries makes a woman feel things women shouldn't feel. This is the reason I struggle with feeling beautiful...
Womenshealth.gov describes PCOS as...
Polycystic (pah-lee-SIS-tik) ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that can affect a woman's:
I feel ugly...I jokingly asked my husband once "how does it feel to be married to a man."
He didn't think it was funny that I was being so hard on myself.
So, when I said that I picked up my razor to shave...I wanted cry.
God is putting His arms around me. I know He can fix this. I believe with all my heart He can. I however do not question why He hasn't.
I am self conscious about my outward appearance I try really hard to be pleasing to the eye for my husband. It's a constant struggle to feel like people see your flaws and notice them. Can you imagine going into a business meeting feeling like you forgot to shave your "beard"? Or choose not to get a pedicure because your toes look like a man's because you forgot to shave them too. Or being depressed and sad on a cycle of ups and downs and friends not quite understanding why. Or while you are pushing a baby out and your doctor offers to clip skin tags while your legs are numb. Or pain...pain you deal with too. Orthopedic pillows helped me sleep. My hair is thinning right in the front...I bought clip in bangs once and thought they looked pretty but was afraid they'd be noticed and people would think I was being "pretentious." How about when the dandruff kicks in and your husband is dusting off your black sweater before church. Or the painful acne on your face and other awkward places....thank goodness for great skin care. That helps!
So there it is! ALL in black and white!
I know I'm not alone.
What I have found is that medication isn't my answer, or so far hasn't been. The thought of having my ovaries removed is proceeded by a big flashing sign in my head screaming NO! So, I have tried medicine. This is what happens...
That definitely doesn't make me feel pretty!
While running yesterday God laid it right on my heart that I was His. My body is His temple and He knows exactly what it needs. I've been feeding my heart Proverbs this month and my temperament has softened. I'm slower to anger at my family. I seem to have the right words for others. My prayer list is growing and I'm seeing answers and blessings from it. I'm working on getting my body healthy and to feel better...but the symptoms. They will try to bring me down. God is showing me right now through His Word that I am beautiful just way He made me.
As a woman, I worry what other women think about my appearance...no more. I want them to worry more about my heart.
I will do my best to take care of me. I will do things that make me feel pretty because that feels good to me and makes me smile. So selfies ARE fun. I get to see the light in my own eyes. I get to see the pretty side of me.