Crazy Or Not

Have you ever seen a picture of yourself and thought, “Oh my goodness, that’s awful?”  Or better yet, maybe you’ve been the one that called your friend or sent a private message to say, “Please take that picture of me off the internet.  It’s terrible!!”

When I saw myself on this video, I gasped.  I had never posted a video on my blog up to this point and was thinking I might never.  That whole thing about videos making you look heavier is right on.  I began battling thoughts like, “You look so fat.  How ugly.  You aren’t seriously going to post this video, are you?  What will people think?  You weigh more now than you’ve ever weighed in your life.  The majority of your blog followers will be “seeing” you for the first time.  First impressions can never be changed.  Are you crazy?”

I had seen this war before, this spiritual battle over my mind.  It was familiar.  I recognized the enemy’s lies right away.  This was my first video for World Changer Wednesday, which was a segment God had inspired me to start to encourage our generation to be world changers for Him.  The enemy never wants us to do what God’s asking us to do, so he’ll stoop to all levels of low to prevent us.  Discouraging me with my body image, which was a new one, was a good place to start!

The Holy Spirit reminded me, “Don’t be so vain, Rivera.  Humble yourself, and I will raise you up.  Charm is deceitful and beauty is fading, but a woman who fears Me is to be praised.  Stop worrying about what people think and worry about what I think.  To Me you are beautiful.  I designed you just the way you are, and I love you.  I’m the only One who matters.  I asked you to do this, so don’t let something so silly and self-centered keep you from following Me and the plans I have for you.”

Aren’t we all a little bit vain at times?  Pride gets mixed in with already volatile emotions and tries to ruin everything.

I knew the truth, but insecurity and lies were screaming loud.  Tears flowed.  Why was I being so ridiculous?  I had never struggled with body image.  I had other weaknesses, believe me, but feelings of looking terrible were not typically my struggle.  I was blindsided by it.  Now what!

As I poured my heart out, I asked God to help me see myself the way He sees me.  And I had a boxing match with Satan, in Jesus’ name.   I can’t say my feelings–hugely unreliable at best– went away, right away.  But Jesus helped me muster the courage to push the button and publish the video.

It’s easy to find ourselves battling the lies that so easily entangle us.  Remember if the Son sets us free, we are free indeed. (Jn. 8:36)   When the enemy tells us we’re crazy.  Jesus reminds us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).    Jesus is our source of strength, truth, and confidence.  Our relationship with Him gives us reason to stand tall no matter what battle we face.

26 thoughts on “Crazy Or Not

  1. Diamondsongrass ~ Darlene Wiggins says:

    Great Post. Thank you for your transparency, truely it is an encouraging message to step out of our comfort zone. God said, we are wonderfully made YA! Thanks so much for stopping by My Journal of Praise and liking posts. Much appreciation to you. God Bless you!

  2. nteague55 says:

    Thanks Rivera, I struggle with this a lot. The devil likes to get in my mind and discourage me. I’m the biggest I’ve ever been. I’ve joined Weight Watcher’s Again. It’s a very good program, I just need to get my mind set and be consistent. After I work all day, I sometimes don’t eat right and definitely don’t feel like exercising. I don’t know if it could be because of a couple surgeries, age or menopause… I know, I have a lot of Excuses. But Anyway, You are a Beautiful Lady Inside and Out. May God Richly Bless You for Your Service to Him and Others!

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Thank you for sharing Nancy. I think most of us, if we’d admit it, struggle with this from time to time:) I’ve known you since I was a little girl. You have always exuded Jesus. He makes us beautiful!!!! YOU are beautiful:)

      1. nteague55 says:

        I see you got my message…..please forgive me if you get several more… kept telling me I had the wrong pass word so I kept trying to repost…LOL…Thanks for responding…God Bless 🙂

  3. Laurie Whin says:

    Hi Rivera,
    I’d like to share with you what I thought when I saw the video: Oh how fun to hear your voice in addition to seeing your picture! Sometimes I look in the mirror and see the wrinkles. I see the extra 10-15 pounds that before age 50, I could work to get rid of, but now they seem to want to be mine forever. But every so often, the Lord gives me a gift as I look in the mirror and think, “you look good today”. I don’t know if I really look any different than other days, but maybe He is just letting me see what He sees.
    I loved the vision of Ashley for her mission trip, and her passion to bring hope to a dark place is infectious.
    At the end of the video, as you encourage each of us to step out of our comfort zone to do the work of Jesus: in your smile I see Jesus. And I thank the Lord for letting us be the vision of His glory, and I thank Him because He has given me eyes to see Him in the face of others.
    I will be looking forward to more of your videos introducing your sisters who are making a difference in His kingdom.
    Soli Deo Gloria! Laurie

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Laurie, Thank you for speaking truth to me, straight from God’s heart to mine. He not only allows us to see His face through others, He allows us to hear His voice speaking sweetly and gently through people as well. Again thank you for opening yourself up to be used by Him in that way today.

  4. Tonya says:

    This has been and still is a huge battle for me!! It has been crippling in so many ways. It is tempting to never be visible in a photo, but that isn’t realistic. This is a great reminder!

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      I didn’t write this to fish for compliments, but THANK YOU! You’re sweet. And yes, I think this is something all women struggle with, which is why I shared:) It’s always good for us to know we’re not alone in our struggles, AND there’s a way to fight!

  5. Leah DiPascal says:

    You did an amazing job on your video with Ashely! I’m so incredibly proud of you, sweet friend. You’re giving an priceless gift to your blog followers through the rich content and insight that you share.

    I’m praying for Ashley as she heads to Ireland. I’m also praying for you – as you continue to love God passionately, follow Him wholeheartedly, and seek Him with all of your being.

    By the way, you are gorgeous! So there…stop listening to those empty lies that the enemy is feeding you. He’s nothing but a bunch of hot air!!

  6. Mary says:

    Rivera, you and your followers make points that are so important!! The enemy would have us believe that we’re beautiful ONLY IF we look like a supermodel, with perfect hair, glowing and blemish-free skin, sculpted cheekbones, long lashes, manicured nails, and a size 0 figure. (Who came up with such an idea? I understand that nowadays, there’s even a size DOUBLE 0! I don’t think I would have fit anything THAT size in childhood!)Then again, most supermodels don’t look like that without a lot of work (hair and make-up artists, photographic airbrushing, cosmetic surgery and the like)! God would have us remember that our body is but a shell that carries our spirit around. It will die one day, but our spirit will live on; and as Christians, we will receive a “glorified” body – one that will not be judged for its size, shape, complexion or color.

    The first time I met the man who would become my husband, I would say I looked frightful. I was prepared for a full day of “spring cleaning” around the house. I had on the ugliest gray sweats; the top and bottom didn’t even match. My hair was pulled tight into a thin, rubber-banded ponytail, and I was wearing absolutely no make-up. I knew a salesman would be stopping by, and my goal was to get the information I wanted as quickly as possible and get rid of him so that I could move on to my objective! His 90-minute sales presentation turned into a 7 1/2 hour conversation between us about everything under the sun…or so it seemed. When the conversation turned to the topic of “faith,” I had the first notion that God had brought this man to my porch for a purpose other than sales. Many months later, when we started to date seriously, I asked him how he’d ever gotten past those “first impressions.” He looked puzzled. “I don’t know what you mean. You couldn’t have looked more beautiful!” I reminded him of how I was dressed. “Honestly,” he said, “I couldn’t have told you what you were wearing, or how your hair was fixed, or whether you were wearing any make-up. What I saw was a woman with a sweet, honest and humble spirit, one who loved and chased after God. You were breathtakingly beautiful in my eyes…and you still are!”

    In that moment, I caught a glimpse of how God looks at us. None of us is perfect, but He loves us unconditionally, as if we were. When I remember this, I can let go of any concern I have for what “the world” thinks…

    I love you and thank you for putting this message “out there…”

  7. Pamela Healy Nogueira says:

    You will rarely see a full body picture of me…anywhere!!! If you do, rest assured, my chin is positioned so you don’t see it’s twin, chin #2!!! I will suck in whatever amount of belly I can!!! I am usually sideways, so I don’t look like a double-wide!!! Yeah, Satan makes me aware of my physical imperfections. My comfort comes when the Lord reminds me that I have friends–really great friends–who like me and aren’t embarrassed to be seen by me!!! Most importantly, HE is always there for me, no matter what I look like!!!

  8. Marshal Burns says:

    Thanks for posting, I sometimes have those feelings, more often than I would like to admit. God definitely did an amazing thing when He created you! Once again, you’ve inspired me not to worry how I look or how I think I look to others. ❤

  9. RebeccaAarup says:

    Wow, Satan really has no new tricks!

    A friend of mine hosts a summer Bible club for kids and this year I really wanted to take Samantha. Problem is, it meant I’d have to wear a bathing suit in front of strangers, something I hadn’t done in 5 years!

    I live in Arizona, right now it’s 115 degrees, and I STILL wear pants everywhere. You know I’ve struggled with eating disorders and addiction and have been insecure about my weight since childhood. But this time I knew God wanted me to shed the insecurity, literally, get in a bathing suit (very modest though!!!) and get in the pool with my daughter. The first week was soooo hard! Most of the women were smaller than me while having more kids, even babies! I remember one who had rockin six-Pak abs! BUT, this time, like you, I was prepared. I prayed up, spent time reminding myself out loud who I am in Christ, knowing I’m doing my best to live a healthy lifestyle and I weigh what I weigh so I had to choose to let it go.

    After that it was much easier. Today I walked around and really did not care how different I looked. I know I’m obeying, serving, and loving God with all my heart including my food choices so that’s good enough. Even if I wasn’t, He still accepts me.

    Freedom is marvelous!

    You’re beautiful, you know that-because of your heart! I’m so happy you didn’t let Satan poison your mind and I’m honored to have known you for 15 years now. 🙂 A lot of what you’ve shared has helped me overcome my insecurities. Thanks for sharing. ❤

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