4.21.2010

when princes turn into frogs.

captivating020edited.jpg picture by wakeworkrinserepeat


Disclaimer: I don't share this post this to air my grievances, to get attention, or to be a generally whiny person, I share because truly, as women we trek through so much yucky emotional muck. But, as relational creatures, I wholeheartedly believe that it's our responsibility to be vulnerable, to speak truth into each other's hearts when we need it the most. So, here it is. Truth, honesty, and some rather embarrassing vulnerability.

About a month ago, I experienced a little
romantic hiccup that left my heart slightly smushed. While trying to debrief, better myself and learn from it, I trekked into my romantic past and e-mailed The Prince to ask his advice regarding what I was missing. We had stayed friendly and knew each other's minds and personalities quite well. I was certain he would have some insight that would be of assistance to my romantic future. In all of history, a girl has never been so wrong. He responded quiet lengthily, but in short said that I had so many other wonderful qualities, but that men are visual creatures and that my "achilles heel" was my weight. That men know that women will only deteriorate with time, and therefore won't jump into a relationship with a woman who is borderline overweight since her shape will only be further lost in time.


Charming, no? Essentially: You are unlovable because you're chubby, and you'll only get worse in time. It's nearly impossible to hear such hurtful words and not take them to heart. So, to my heart they went. My heart ached, and of course there were tears. For several days I found myself scrutinizing my body, overly aware of every pudgy pucker, every extra pound. I stood in front my reflection in mirrors or windows and tore myself down, believing I was unlovable because I am a size 10 and weigh 148 pounds. How dare I not have a bikini-ready body? How could I even call myself a woman? I did that thing we all do...you know, where you stand in front of a mirror jiggle your thighs, remark at your cellulite and pinch at your body to figure out just how much you need to lose. (I promised embarrassing vulnerability. There it is. My weight, and a confession of cellulite. It doesn't get dirtier than that.)


But then, the voice of reason, the voice of love. The voice of truth came through my very best friend, Becky. A few days later in the mail, I received a little envelope from her. Inside I found three photos of me, and a letter all attached to colorful paper and decorated cheerfully. I was to hang this in a place I'd see it daily, and be reminded of the woman that God had made me--the woman that she and so many others see, both physically and in personality. To listen to only truth and to refuse to believe lies put into my heart by one ridiculous man. To find the beauty in today, and put away the worries and damage of the past. (Now there's a woman who knows how to speak truth to the heart of a friend!)


And now, every time those damaging, untrue words float into the back of my mind, I pray that God remove them...wipe them from my heart and mind, because I know firmly from God that they're completely untrue and unfounded. I also pray wholeheartedly that he would change the mind of this man who clearly doesn't understand the heart and true value of a woman...what makes a woman lovable and beautiful...what God truly created a woman to be for a man. Then, I somewhat humorously request that God put this man under a romantic rock until he stumbles into this knowledge, lest he damage another woman's delicate heart with his viewpoints. I like to think that God laughs with me at this last piece of my prayer. :)


Curiously, in the few quiet moments of the last four weeks, my heart returns to Gabe. And, like I often turn a smooth rock in my hand, over and over, marveling over it's softness, so I continue to do in my heart with him...lost in wonder over days and moments of his deeply unconditional love for me. Size 16, size 8; blonde, brunette, redhead, accidentally purple-haired; covered in dusty spray paint and DIY mess or dressed to the nines; cheerfully jubilant or darkly down...that man loved me through it all. Even when I didn't deserve it. And although our relationship didn't lead to marriage and babies, I find a "happily ever after" in the lesson I learned from him. We don't speak anymore--haven't in months--but not a day has passed in which I didn't think of him, and sometimes while lost in thought, I remember to thank God for the beauty and peace I've found in what Gabe showed and taught me.


What I learned from Gabe was this: Parents, families, our closest friends love us unconditionally. They're pretty much required to do so. But to a woman's heart, there's something unexplainably heart-changing that occurs when she is loved unconditionally by a man. We crave it, we were made for it. So much hope is found in those years of Gabe's unconditional love-the firm belief that a few men are truly capable of seeing more than skin deep, and loving a woman for all that she is physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
 And I suppose, now that I realize I've experienced it, I've learned that no matter how a love story like that ends, the fact that unconditional love happened is simply the most amazing part. :):)

18 comments:

  1. Oh Bethany, you've made me cry. You are such a beautiful girl and I hate that froggy boy for saying such unkind things to you. He is wrong. So wrong. Not all men are like him. And the ones that are, you wouldn't want to be with anyway. The arrogance of his words makes me feel sick to my stomach. And your idea about him being stuck under a rock for a while makes me laugh too!

    I'm so glad you've found comfort in your friends and family, in knowing that you really are beautiful (jiggly thighs or not), and in your memories of Gabe, who loved you just the way you are. There's a man out there that's like him in that way, but this man- when he finds you- he's going to stick around for the long haul. And he'll have been worth the wait, I'm sure.

    For what it's worth (and I think it's worth a lot, the love and support of our friends in the blogosphere!) I think that you are just gorgeous.

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  2. Wow, Bethany. I appreciate his honesty, really, but at the same time, he is SO NOT WORTH IT if that is what he considers your "Achilles heel." As Erin, said, NOT all men are like him.

    I am also slightly overweight, but my husband says (quite honestly) that he loves my little pooch and how I'm NOT ridiculously skinny. He thinks superskinny women are gross. At first, I thought he was just trying to make me feel better, but I've come to realize that he honestly loves my curves.

    I firmly believe that one day, whenever you and your future mate are ready for it, God will bring you and a wonderful man together. Before I met Eli, I used to pray that I would grow closer to God, my future husband would grow closer to God, and we would grow closer to each other. My prayer is the same for you. :)

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  3. I am a guy and came to your blog about 6 months ago. I have really enjoyed it I can tel you that this guy is a fool.

    Based on what you have written and the pictures you have posted, you are beautiful. I can also tell you that what the other two said is true. Not all men are like that fool.

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  4. I think it's pretty obvious that this toad is not worth your time or tears.

    What an ass. Ugh. I don't even have the words to describe my distain right now.

    Ironically, before I even read the entry, I took one look at the picture and thought how good you looked.


    LB

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  5. Erin worded it so beautifully Bethany so I will keep mine short -

    Please follow this link - http://www.trufflegirls.com/ and view the Daisy and then dear Bethany please, please, please remember the compliments and forget the other ******les!

    Sorry not quick so elegant with my words!
    xx

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  6. Wow Beth, this is written so beautifully. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    I. cannot. believe. he said that. I secretly hope the ex-prince is reading this.

    And I think that all the women in the world need to read this and be reminded that beauty truly does come from within and that God has intended for us to be the crown of creation.

    I think you're gorgeous in and out. purple hair, craft explosion or not.

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  7. I had to step away after reading this post this morning. It kinda infuriated me. 12 hours later, I'm not infuriated anymore but thrilled to know that while there are boys out there who think that way, there are sooooo many others that can think on their own and have their own idea of what real beauty is.

    I love the idea of Gabe and I know you'll you find your forever-Gabe. You deserve him and so much more. You really are ridiculously adorable and I'd totally date you ;)

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  8. Dear Bethany~
    If I were the frog's mother I'd be so ASHAMED of him! I think he should be completely embarrassed that he is so shallow and vain! Mark my words…one day in the future you’ll run into him and smile when you are aging gracefully and he’s wrinkly and old, and gray, and miserable because he’s in a superficial relationship that’s going nowhere!
    You are a beautiful, compassionate, creative, young woman and froggy boy should “go jump in the lake” with the other frogs!
    Bethany, trust me when I say that I believe you are a beautiful young woman inside and out. Your true prince will make this guy look like a croaky old toad. God has a plan for you, sweet girl. Be patient. And thank God for Becky, that wise and dear friend of yours. She’s the real thing. You really are blessed.

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  9. I kind of feel bad for the toad.... he's never going to find love if that's where he is starting from.

    You are such a smart and beautiful woman, I'm glad that you can recognize that. You have some good friends on your side!

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  10. seriously, you are adorable, and also so stinkin articulate! The right guy is worth the wait.

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  11. Beth, Beth, Beth, Beth, Beth...

    My greatest empathy for you. I, being man/guy/boy - or so I'm told - knows what this "prince" is talking about. We are visual creatures. But where I have the biggest beef is that he's using that as an excuse. I would really like to find this guy and make him...
    Hurt isn't the right word, but it's the first that comes to mind.

    If he's so hung up on superficialilty and can't bother to know the real you then he's a bigger ass than the one he wouldn't pay any mind to. You know what I think when I see that size 2 or 0 gal? EAT A SANDWICH!!!

    I see a girl who looks what should be NORMAL and I just fall in love, so to speak. And most guys are like that - and will confess to such if you get them alone, far away from their peers, and promise not to reveal said information to anyone.

    I... Sometimes you want to help a friend, but it's difficult to know how or what to say to lead them in the right direction. Name-calling and blasphemizing the culprit of the pain is one path to explore. So is violence... But you have to keep in mind that you're not the one who has a problem - he is. If he can't get over himself then to heck with him (yes, I said heck, but only because Evan's nearby and I think he can read...).

    Beth, you're one of the most beautiful people in every aspect I have ever met and you have so many friends and family who agree. Care about the people who care about you.

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  12. I'm not going to comment on your blog, because we've already discussed this and you know I love and think you're beautiful, so instead I'll say..."nice picture" *insert hilarious lines we discussd when looking at this picture earlier* P.S. Did I tell you that the flowers I had at work had some in the arrangment.

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  13. Bethany, I am utterly amazed and impressed by your level of maturity as a Christian young woman. Yes, his comments hurt you, but you have a thorough grounding in how your Savior views you; that is what matters most! Frog Boy's comments are not just irrelevant, they are worthless. I have known for a long time that you are a beautiful person, inside and out. Also, I couldn't help noticing the book on the table in the picture! :) Awesome read, isn't it? I believe your former 5-6 teacher recommended that to you, right? Much love and God's blessings to you!

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  14. Bethany,

    I have been through much the same thing - with the exception being that the guy who told me he "could never seriously date me" told me that because I was a virgin.

    Truth be told, when boys aren't ready for a good, Godly, healthy relationship, they convince themselves of the first excuse that comes to mind and head for the hills. This isn't a reflection on you; this is a reflection on them.

    I hope, for Frog's sake, that someday he can leave the shallow waters. The sad thing is, that when he does, he'll probably believe it's because he finally met a truly much more special woman -- when, in reality, all that happened was that he grew up.

    Much Love,
    Me

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  15. Bethany,

    Thank you for sharing this. I think everyone else summed up my thoughts in there comments. but I do have to say this, God does have a plan for each one of us, and that "prince" wasnt met to be in your plan besides a stepping stone and a way for you to realize who you are and how beautiful you are in and out. I wish the best to the guy, he is on a long winding road of heartache and disappointments if he can look past things that are changeable and not focus on the soul of a person. It wasnt meant to be and while your heart was bruised by it, it has made you that much stronger! keep your chin up, he's out there I know it, I can feel it.

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  16. Bethany,
    I found myself holding my breath when I read that you were going to check with this guy for insights....
    He's right - guys are visual stimulated. Your other commenters are right when they say he's shallow and immature. All of us who have come to know you through your delightfully articulate blog hate to see you go through this...
    Obviously, though, you are learning and growing and developing a character that honors the Lord. Your value comes from Him - not a good husband, or fulfilling career (though both can be found!)or so many other
    things that we set our sights on over the years.
    I hope you find a guy that values you, that shares your love for the Lord and with whom you can be confident and secure. I hope it can be accomplished without any more interludes like this. I hope you know we will continue to hover on the sidelines, supporting you in whatever lies ahead.

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  17. what a beautiful post. brought tears to my eyes and gave me chills. because it really does speak to my heart. I am like you, that girl in the mirror, forever criticizing. and I don't even need an "infantile" toad to make some ridiculous comment to put me in that place. I get there myself. but, when I am in a better, more true place, I know that I am worthy of love. that I am a beautiful person... a beautiful woman, just like you, with value and substance. I once felt loved unconditionally, too, and sometimes I think back to that time. and though it can be hard and probably not good for my psyche, you are right, it does help me believe that one day, somehow, with some man, I can feel that loved again. and hopefully, it will last forever.

    I love you Bethany! you are a beautiful, amazing, strong woman. thanks for always sharing your heart with us! I wish I could be as honest and vulnerable as you sometimes.... just know how much it means to us... to me.

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  18. "The body is a sacred garment. It's your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honor." -Martha Graham

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