World View

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It’s a double-edged thing…

Most of the time when people refer to a “world view”, what they mean is how they see things, their philosophy of life.  I often refer to my own world view when I talk to people about how I see things, the filter or lens through which I view the world around me.  My world view is based in my faith, my belief that God’s hand is present everywhere, “working all things together for the good of those who love Him…” as stated in Romans 8:28.  I see God everywhere because I choose to look for Him.

What I don’t choose, and what is indeed beyond my control, is how the world views me.  I underwent weight loss surgery 23 months ago in an effort to find relief from hip and ankle pain that had gotten severe enough to impair my quality of life in a tangible, physical way.  I had sustained serious injuries to both my ankles in years past, and the extra weight I carried had put such strain on those joints that I was slower getting around than I wanted to be, and the pain became a real problem.  It has always baffled me a little that my knees didn’t really bother me, but the ankles and hips were bothersome enough.

Less obvious quality-of-life issues were related to my self-esteem, or the lack of it.  I felt a lot of judgment from everyplace, starting (and most painfully) in my own home of origin with a father who had, and probably still has, issues with plus-sized people.  For all his concern about my health, which was genuine, he was also just plain embarrassed to have a fat daughter.  And for all the academic achievements, good grades, musical accomplishments and other areas in which I excelled, there was always the overshadowing cloud of disapproval because I was fat and Dad disapproved of fat people.  

One hundred thirty-six pounds after surgery, the world seems to view me differently.  But I am still me, I just live in a smaller package now.  I move better and my joint pain is gone.  Navigating my surroundings is easier because I am able to fit into more places than I used to.  

My heart wounds are still with me, though, and I’ll probably spend the rest of my life working through those issues.  I still see myself inside as a fat girl.  That is not an altogether bad thing.  That little fat girl made me realize that there are more important things than one’s appearance.  She motivated me to develop the other, more significant parts of myself—my personality, sense of humor, intellect and musical ability—because I was never “the pretty one”, I knew I needed something else to make me special and valuable.  That little fat girl also weeded out a lot of losers during my dating days, because I knew that a fellow would have to appreciate me for the less obvious, yet more important, qualities I brought to the table.  So I don’t want to lose her entirely.  She is largely responsible for who I am today and who I continue to become.

God is good and I see Him at work everywhere.  That is my world view, one side of the coin. The other side of the coin, how the world views me, is up to the world.  How God views me is what really matters.

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