In addition to pain that accompanies eating that is often a symptom that Lymies/people with mold have to deal with is bloating. This is not fun for anyone. In my last post, we discussed the practical things about it, but here I want to visit another part of it all: the physical appearance part. For teenagers especially.

I mean, teenagers are supposed to be the people most concerned with their physical appearance, right?

This hasn’t been a huge personal struggle in my life… sure, I think about what others think of my physical appearance from time to time- I’m human, just like everyone else! And I like to look pretty. But it hadn’t ever been something I had given excessive thought to. I know it is a huge battle for some people, my struggles are there for sure, but though I of course thought about what people thought, it wasn’t the biggest battle for me personally.

Then, add bloating into the mix. Every time I ate, it looked like I was pregnant or something. Or stung by a bee. 😉

Again, to be honest, contentment with physical appearance had not been a particular battle for me… but I distinctly remember one time when I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, looking down at my bloated stomach.

Tears escaped. “I just want to be pretty, God.” I whispered.

Not knowing this,  two of the things that friends said to encourage me was they called me these two things: ‘beautiful’, and ‘strong’. Two things I did not feel at all.

God knew what I needed to hear though. What I needed -what you need- is to remember the truth that you know. I had briefly lost sight of it.

God loves you.

He made you beautiful.

The bloating will stop.

The bloating is caused by the sickness.

You are made in God’s image.

Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
    “You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
    “You know nothing”? Isaiah 29:16b (NIV)

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)

The Lord will vindicate me;
    your love, Lord, endures forever—
    do not abandon the works of your hands. Psalm 138:8 (NIV)

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

(Also Isaiah 45:9, 64:8, Jeremiah 18:6, and Romans 9:20-21)

Your body will get through this! Do you know what is harder, though, and more important? Your heart. Will your heart get through this? Will it come out beautiful, praising God? Or will it come out bitter? Instead of dwelling on what people think of your outward appearance, be concerned about your heart, the part that God is concerned with. Ultimately, what will matter? Besides, you will have a lot more through this sickness that people will notice rather than just your bloated stomach. You are more mature than most your age, you have to live with pain, you have to live with hiding from chemicals… If someone doesn’t think good of you because of your bloated stomach, they are not going to be someone who will stick with you through the rest of it.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
bitter heart
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