Friday, November 18, 2011

My Biggest Weakness

When I began this blog, one of my goals was to encourage others in their journeys with Christ. I have been secretive for a long time about some of my past struggles and decisions, but I have learned that one of the best ways to encourage others is through the sharing of weaknesses and struggles.

My biggest weakness is something that I didn't know was a weakness at all until a few years ago..... I am vain. I once read years ago that Gwen Stefani joked that she could never get fat because she is too vain. This is something I would have joked about a few years ago as well.
This is me in a Turkish teen magazine which I did while living in Turkey. My modeling career was not a huge success, and was mainly something I did for a little extra money for school. But it was just a showcase of what I really was then. I cared so much about how I looked. I have been the same height and weight since I was 14. I loved being tall and being thin was something I was just used to. I usually ate what I wanted, but worked out a bit obsessively sometimes. I took a lot of pride in the way I looked.

I would always get a thrill when I got attention for my looks, and I took great pride in that. I used to subconsciously compete with my older sister to make sure I was always one step above her in attractiveness. My hair was always perfect, my legs were toned, my stomach was flat, and my makeup was perfectly applied. There is nothing wrong with those attributes themselves, but rather the attitude I had about those attributes that was sinful.

It took me years to figure out that my vanity is not something to joke about like Gwen Stefani, but something to combat and wrestle with until I overcome it. After accepting Christ back into my life, I began to feel a compelling in my heart to become a better person every day. I started watching only tv shows that were uplifting, and to this day the only show I watch is 19 Kids and Counting. I remember watching that show and thinking how beautiful the girls were, yet they were not sexy, they were not vain.

Proverbs 31:30 says:
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

You may have already read my post about my reasoning behind my modest dress, so I won't elaborate on that here (you can find that post HERE). What I will elaborate on is the change of mindset that had to come about for me to start overcoming my vanity. I think these steps are normal for anyone setting about for Christian change in their life.

1) I had to accept that my vanity was not only a weakness, but sinful, and something I needed to change.

2) I had to pinpoint areas of my life that contribute to this vanity and try to eliminate or minimize them. For me, this meant I needed to stop buying fashion magazines and going out with certain friends. It also meant purging my closet of clothes that emphasized my physical attributes as sexy.

3) I had to decide what I wanted others to focus on. I decided I wanted the focus to me on my heart, my actions, my faith, and my face (expressions).

4) I had to accept that other people were going to criticize the way I looked sometimes. Some would wonder why "if you got it, why aren't you flaunting it?"

5) I had to come to terms with the fact that my goal is not to be the prettiest, or the sexiest, or the thinnest, but to be a faithful servant in God's eyes. I need to be beautiful in his eyes, if no one else's.

Now, don't think I changed overnight, or that I am not still struggling with this. But slowly I have become more aware of myself in a new way. The depths of my soul are so much more beautiful than whatever is on the outside, and I am a bit ashamed of myself that I cheapened that beauty while emphasizing my physical attributes. When people look at me, I want them to think I am a beautiful person, not that I have a beautiful body. That body belongs to God and my husband, and I have really come to appreciate that as I have changed my focus.

I still struggle sometimes. We went to a wedding a few weeks ago and I wore a modest, though pretty dress, and couldn't help but feel a little put-out when the girls with their short skirts and long legs were getting lots of attention. I'm a little ashamed that I still feel that way sometimes. But as I said, this is my weakness, and I am working day by day to overcome it. (Luckily my husband made sure I knew how pretty he thought I looked, and he told me how proud he was that I WASN'T one of those other girls).

What about you? What do you feel is your greatest weakness?


  1. Vanity was a big one for me too. Unfortunately, I didn't even realise it was a weakness until my body was greatly changed by my first pregnancy and birth. My self-esteem plummeted and I didn't even know till that moment how much self-worth I had placed on my appearance.
    At first I incorrectly mourned how little I had 'flaunted' my body while it was still 'good'.
    Then, as my body became toned again, I was back to wearing my slim-fitting and sexy clothes and enjoying how well it appeared that I had 'bounced back'.
    Then God revealed my heart to me one day. I was reading a post on modesty somewhere that challenged me to think about why you dress the way you dress. I realised I dressed to make other mothers feel bad about themselves if they didn't look as toned and slim as I did after their pregnancies- in order to feel better about myself. I enjoyed comments like: 'Oh wow, you look like you've never even had a baby.' (why would I want THAT?) I was shocked by the ugliness in myself that God showed me.
    I prayed my first humble prayer about giving my appearance to God. I had a heart conviction toward modest dress (specifically skirt wearing instead of my former tight-tight pants) and God did a work in my heart. I don't struggle very much in this area anymore, and also have experienced a really peaceful acceptance of my appearance which I was never comfortable with before.

  2. This is a beautiful post - thank you for being honest and sharing.

    I would say one of my biggest weaknesses is my desire to be in control. To want to control my present and future. Because of this I have struggled to relinquish full control to God to use me for his work - and I have also struggled to respect and relinquish control in my relationship with my boyfriend. It has been a long journey of prayer and establishing accountability partners, but it is also a true joy to finally be able to acknowledge the strong presence of this sin in my life and realize that by letting go of my control I've actually drawn closer to God and others.


I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!