Going back to Paris for Christmas was the greatest gift I could have possibly received from my parents. There is nothing better than being with your family. I met Grace on Boxing Day. We have been friends on "Instagram" for a while now but there is nothing like meeting someone in the flesh, laughing with them until your stomach hurts and being able to share heart to heart. This blog post happened. It wasn't planned. Grace and Rose (another friend of my family and I) came to spend the day with us on the 26th and we decided to go out for a nice walk and a little boat ride alone the Seine. It was such a special day. The light was gentle and beautiful. Grace was just glowing and blooming. I couldn't resist but take a few sneaky shots.
Back home, I went through the photographs and realised that a lot more of her was captured through the shots than I had originally realised. And so, I messaged her and asked her what she thought of me blogging a few shots and have her share some of her journey with you guys. It was such a joy when she accepted.
I know that her raw, honest and very vulnerable story will inspire and touch many of you. May you be filled with hope as you read hers. It's never too late. You can learn and choose to love yourself today. Doing so is the beginning of a beautiful story. A true long lasting change that can only take place in the depth of our hearts, in my opinion, with God.
It was too hard to look at the mirror. Too hard to take a photo of myself. Too hard to say “I am beautiful”. Too hard to appreciate myself. I became my greatest bully. I just accepted the fact that I would forever be this overweight girl who is pitied by others. I couldn't walk much, it was too hard to breathe. I couldn't finish a song, the struggle was real. I envied my sister; this beautiful girl who dances so gracefully, and I was not. I became this overly confident girl on the outside, but inside I was insecure and felt bad about myself. People saw me just as I wanted them to: this tough and strong girl. I thought I was doing okay, but in August 2017, I decided to face myself and see who I truly am.
I saw how God sees me. Honestly, even now, I still can’t believe that’s how He sees me. Yes, I have lost more than 80 kilos in a year, but my weight is not a factor on how He sees me. He saw me at my heaviest. He saw me at my weakest. And yet, He saw me beautiful. He saw me as His child, His creation, His beloved. Facing myself was a painful experience. But I am so thankful He gave me the opportunity and strength to do it, with Him. So, instead of me seeing myself through my eyes, I could see myself through His. And with that, I value myself more, I am starting to believe that I am important, and have made a vow to speak only good things to myself. I changed my way of speaking from negative to positive. Whenever I think that “I can’t”, my heart and my lips say “I can”, through faith! It’s been over a year that change has become a part of my life, and I know that it's not finished yet. They say change hurts; it’s true! But I believe it that it hurts more if I don’t. Step by step WE can make it. Yes, YOU can make it! Just believe in yourself, and if you don’t, believe God for He can make a way for you! That’s my secret! Because at times it can be hard to trust ourselves, and so I trust Him. Then, little by little, as God is making a way, you will see that it will be done, through you! And He will bless everything you do.
The challenge is not done yet! A few more kilos to go! It’s been a few months now that my weight has remained stable. When you reach that point, it does get harder because you don’t see much result. But I also understand that I need this rest and so, I'm enjoying it. I know that whatever the challenge we are facing is, we can either dread it or enjoy it. And I have chosen to enjoy it.
2019, I know you’re my highest mountain right now, but next year, you will be my stepping stone as I reach my success!
I'm Grace. Living by His grace! ♡