I didn’t wear open toe sandals or shoes until late high school, early college. Why? I was ashamed. I absolutely hated my feet. The way they looked, the way they were made, my toes and my toe nails, I hated it all. The worst part was that my second toe is noticeably longer than my big toe. I also hated that I inherited slightly darker toenails than most people. Furthermore, I’ve never been good at polishing my own nails and when I did it was a sloppy mess. All of this made me extremely self-conscious, so since I couldn’t fix the “problem” I covered it up.
You don’t know how hard it is to find closed toe sandals, but I did. I was also the person who you rarely, if ever, saw barefooted. For some reason, I thought that if my feet were exposed everyone’s eyes would be drawn immediately to them as if my “flaw” would be the subject of everyone’s thoughts and ideas. Of course this issue was one I never voiced publicly but dealt with inwardly, partly because I was so embarrassed and ashamed and partly because I felt like in the grand scheme of things, I knew much more could be “wrong” with me and that those who loved me would agree. Yet, it was such a big insecurity for me. Throughout childhood and especially adolescence I felt deFEETed.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. (Luke 12:22-23 NIV)
I now know that was a trick of the enemy. One day the Holy Spirit spoke to me and I realized I had nothing to be ashamed of. He also convicted me, reminding me of a part of an old gospel song, “I complained that I have no shoes, but then I saw a man who had no feet to use, I’m blessed, better than blessed thank you Lord.” I realized how ridiculous I was being by not being thankful for the feet God had given me. I thought about how sad it was for me to be acting that way when there are people who don’t even have feet and people who have feet and can’t walk. Plus, like most young people I wanted to wear “cute” shoes and not be “ruled” by feet in such a negative way. I had to learn to accept me for who I am including my feet and to become comfortable in the skin I’m in.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14 NIV)
I realized I was allowing myself, my thoughts and my actions to be manipulated by the enemy. Life is so much bigger than the aesthetics of one’s feet or any other particular part of the body. When you find yourself worrying and complaining about your “feet” remind yourself that at least you have them and for that we praise Him. God gave us what we have for a reason and we should embrace it and be thankful. II Corinthians 4:8 tells us, “We have troubles all around us but we are not defeated…” (deFEETed)! Let’s remember that as we battle with insecurities regarding body image, self-esteem and self-worth because God is able to handle it all.
Thank You for creating us in Your image and as You saw fit. Help us to embrace ourselves including our differences and use them as an instrument for You. Help us to remember that self-doubt and insecurity are not of You and that through You we are overcomers. Thank You for being strong where we are weak and for Your Holy Spirit leading, guiding and convicting us. Help us not to feel defeated in any area of our lives. Thank You for being the ultimate esteem builder and the awesome potter having created us in Your image and molding us daily. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you not to fret about things you cannot change. I EMPOWER you to embrace your feet, nose, lips, hips, legs and whatever else you may be self-conscious about. I EMPOWER you to be thankful for what God has blessed you with and use it for Him. I EMPOWER you to defeat self-doubt, self-pity and low self-esteem. I EMPOWER you to accentuate the positive and to be comfortable in the skin you’re in!
Below is the song “I’m Blessed” recorded by Louise Candy Davis. May it bless you!
Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a registered nurse and recent Family Nurse Practitioner graduate. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church in Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.