However, it was the story God was giving me.
I wasn’t to edit it to suit my own desires.
Instead, I was to live it.
And write it.
I’ve struggled with my body image since my early teen years. I didn’t and I don’t share the iconic female shape of our culture—tall, long waist, long legs, and thin. Oh, so thin. With each passing year and each pound gained, that image taunted me more.
For many years, I woke each morning with accusations running through my mind: You’re fat. You’re worthless. You’re lazy. You’ll never change. My own personal Earl, the Accuser, hurled lies at me, and I began each day defeated.
So I hid. Not literally, but metaphorically. I hid behind a wall of competence. If I could do everything well, then the real me, the one weighed down not by the pounds I carried, but by the shame I embraced, would be invisible to others.
Invisibility is my persistent desire—my besetting sin.
I unknowingly carried that desire with me into my 49th year of life and into the writing of this, my third novel.
Then one afternoon, I happened upon this quote from Saint Augustine:
Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves
of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
The quote led me back to a familiar verse—one so familiar to many of us that we, perhaps, take it for granted:
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
I was stunned. As one who sees God in every glorious twig created, I had never seen Him when looking into a mirror. Instead, I saw brokenness. I saw shame. And I wanted to hide.
I’m not alone…
We’ve longed for invisibility, we’ve hidden in shame, since that fateful day in the garden when Adam and Eve recognized their nakedness and ashamed, they hid from God.
But just as He called to them, “Where are you?” He’s calling to us, “Where are you?” And just as He, in His great mercy, covered Adam and Eve in garments of skin. He covered us in the blood of His son—Jesus Christ.
Please don’t mistake Invisible for a story about weight—too much or too little. Nor is it a story about health, or food, or sedentary versus active lifestyles. Neither is it a story about competence or self-reliance, loss or grief.
This is not a self-help book written as a means of condoning or judging any of the above-mentioned states of being or practices.
This is a story of freedom from the bondage of shame. Freedom found through the truth of God’s Word.
Do strands of shame still bind you? The shame of abuse, addiction, pornography, promiscuity, weight, whatever… Are you hiding?
Listen… The merciful voice of the Father is calling you out of hiding. He’s wooing you to Himself. He longs to erase your shame with the forgiveness He offers through His Son, Jesus.
~ Ginny Yttrup