Today we have a special guest post for you by our friend Jessica Campbell. Jessica is a newlywed, first grade teacher, tutor, cheer coach and school committee leader who tries to teach her students about healthy body image in the public school system. She is also a faithful financial supporter of Wonderfully Made. Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your story of truth and hope with us!
My body image insecurities began in 4th grade with a group of girls who bullied me mercilessly for about 5 years. Trying to stay focused on my faith, I made it through high school and college. I married my college sweetheart of 7 years and truly believed him when he said I was beautiful. Yet, a few months after our wedding, I started seeing ugliness again in the mirror. I was 5’3” and petite, but all I could see were legs covered with cellulite. During this time, a dear friend was in an accident and had his leg amputated. I tried telling myself that I should be thankful just to have my legs and not worry about their appearance. Sadly, I was still miserable over the reflection in the mirror.
My turning point came when I went to the dermatologist, had a mole removed off my leg, and was told I probably had melanoma. Depending on the depth, I could have lymph nodes biopsied to see if the cancer had spread. My whole world felt shaken. 28 years old… with cancer? What about starting a family? I looked in the mirror after that initial phone call with the doctor and fell to the ground in sobs. Cellulite concerns seemed so incredibly stupid… all I wanted was a leg without cancer on it.
And so the praying began: emails, calls, Facebook posts, church visits, etc. About 5 years ago, my mom had given me a book called Christ the Healer during another time of health concerns. I had never opened it. That night, though, I started reading it hungrily. I prayed and read and prayed and read. 5 days later, the call came: NOT CANCER. I still had to have more skin taken off as a precaution, but I was healed. When I opened up my book again, I noticed I had left off on page 77. Mom said that was God’s way of giving me a hug.
Today I look in the mirror and see a leg with a huge bandage on it. It is the most beautiful leg God could have ever given me. Jesus healed it and there is nothing wrong or ugly about it. It took a traumatic scare for me to see myself the way my husband sees me, the way God sees me… beautiful.
And oh yeah… I threw away my cellulite cream.
How do you find balance with health and body image?