When we hear of being comfortable in your own skin, people always think that one would be talking about their weight. But this time, I want to target something different.
When I was growing up, I knew a girl by the name Heather. She had beautiful green eyes and long blond hair. We were best friends in the 3rd grade. We did everything together. We played tag on the playground, we sat in the cafeteria during lunch and we loved to take turns reading in class. I never saw anything but a best friend.
Then one day all that changed for me. I saw several girls on the playground with 3x5 cards in their hands. They were waving it around showing everyone. Being the curious child that I was, I walked over and asked what they had. They explained it was a birthday invitation and they couldn’t wait to go. I asked who’s it was and they looked at me and said; “Heather”.
My Heather I thought? My jaw dropped and I stood there on the playground looking for my best friend.
Where was she? Why wasn’t she out here? OMG, could it be that she forgot to give her best friend an invitation? As all these thoughts raced my mind, I saw her beautiful blond bouncing hair as she walked out to the playground.
She usually ran towards me, but not that day. She walked over and sat on a bench and pretended she didn’t see me. I walked over to her and asked where she had been. She explained that she was in the office with her dad. He had come by the school to drop off her birthday invitations so she could pass them out.
I breathed a sigh of relief and thought to myself (she didn’t forget me after all). As I waited with anticipation, she sat there looking at the ground but never gave me the invitation. I finally just had to ask her “Aren't you going to invite me?”
She looked at me with sadness in her eyes. It was weird. I had never seen her sad. She said “Chrissie, you can’t come to my party”. I was like WHAT? WHY? I’m your BEST FRIEND!! She said, “Well you’re not white and my dad said I could only invite girls with white skin.”
Now, I know what you all must be thinking. How in the world was a little third grader supposed to know how to handle this? How could she possibly explain why she couldn’t have her best friend at her party and not even comprehend what it all meant?
I took the biggest gulp and walked away. Sadness filled my heart. I looked at my arm, I stared down at my legs, then I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. As I began to cry I said to my reflection “Why do you have to be brown? “
Before that day, no one told me that I had brown skin. No one told me I was Hispanic, and no one explained to me that one day I would be either liked or disliked by the color of my skin.
What I didn’t realize is this incident opened a door for self-loathing and rejection that I didn’t come to understand until years later.
It caused me to look at myself in an unhealthy way.
The reality is, I thought that because I wasn’t light skinned or had blond hair, I was always going to be someone’s second choice or not chosen at all. I thought that when I took pictures, I would stick out like a sore thumb because I was the ugly dark girl in the group. I thought that the reason I wanted to marry a white guy was because it would help me forget who I was. Little did I realize that I would lose my true self because of that hurt I carried for so many years.
It’s sad how the enemy can blind a person so that all they see is color.
Some of you may never be able to identify with my story, however, you may have your own story of why you didn’t like who you were. Maybe you had to be perfect in a family who expected you to never mess up. Maybe you didn’t have money growing up, so now all you do is work for the fear of being poor, or maybe you don’t want to commit to a serious relationship because you were once wounded and now you hide behind a 10-foot wall.
Whatever your story is, I am here to tell you that it’s time to start feeling comfortable in your own skin!
I can truly say that God has restored my heart by showing me that it was never the color of my skin He was concerned about, it was the condition of my heart.
Here are a few things that the Lord used to bring healing in my own life:
1. Love yourself right where you’re at. - There is only ONE you. Whatever size you are, whatever color skin you have, or wherever you are in your healing journey; you were created with purpose and there is no one else like you. Rock what you got and Roll the junk off! Psalm 139:14
2. Don’t compare or copy others- It’s okay to have style, but you don’t have to copy someone else to feel accepted. You are unique. Your ministry, your family and your journey cannot and should not ever be compared to someone else. Gal 6:4-6
3. Give yourself a break - So many times, people think we should just fake it till you make it. However, what we need to do is process through the pain. When we do this, we are being real with ourselves while allowing God to heal all the insecurities that we are carrying instead of pretending they don’t exist. Psalm 34:18
Walking out our healing isn’t always the prettiest picture or the easiest journey. But it is a gift from God. When we allow God to show us who we are IN HIM, we can learn to embrace our imperfections while still loving ourselves through the process.
Chrissie Moore is a mother and grandmother from Keller Texas. She is a survivor of mental, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse. She has a passion to help other women who are seeking freedom.