Welcome Nydia Fuller, wife of Los Angeles-area pastor Britt Fuller, momma to four and current foster mom of two sweeties :). She is one of my college roommates, and I have trusted her Godly insight since we met, over 20 years ago. I hope you enjoy her thoughts on body image as she reflects on her past and looks ahead toward the future.
I’m not sure that I thought much about my body before adolescence. I remember my father never said much about my appearance.
However, my younger sister was always getting in trouble for what she was wearing; it never mattered much what I was wearing. Later, I decided that negative attention was better than no attention at all.
The biggest thing I learned early on was that there was a connection between your appearance/how you presented to people’s perception of you. So I decided that I would make an effort as much was possible with the resources that I had available.
Looking back, I have learned some important things; I feel the best perspective is a balanced one. It is important to accept what God has given you and care for it, and it is also important to avoid over-focusing on our bodies as temples. Our bodies are temporary and ever changing.
I recognize that many people feel great daily pain because they struggle with a disability or with cystic acne or with being “too” anything. Or with something very general, like not conforming to a European digital fantasy of beauty.
So, when I say don’t over-focus on it, I don’t mean how you see your body doesn’t matter or that the pain someone feels in the midst of struggle isn’t real. But the deep and foundational truth is that we are all different — inside and out. And the only real healing starts in our hearts, with God. We can have contentment, even when we can’t have control.
My faith and trust rests in a Sovereign God. I am now working on walking with my 3 daughters to try not to pay too close attention to: 1) the accusing mirror & 2) the images presented to them constantly about how to gain the love of others.
I walk with them, encouraging them to choose the unshakable perspective that only a perfect lover can give in Jesus.