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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Elephant in the Room (12/05/13)

TITLE: I Am The Elephant
By Lisa Hudson


The apostle Paul wrote about a ‘thorn in his flesh’. In 2 Corinthians 12:8 he said, “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” I think I know how he felt. I don’t know if Paul’s thorn was an unwanted physical attribute or an inner turmoil he was dealing with, but I know how it feels to wish something would go away, or change, or end. I don’t write this down for the purpose of seeking pity or sympathy. It is merely a fact, and I often wonder if it is my ‘thorn’ to keep me humble. It is in this weakness that I lean on God continually.

Ever since I can remember, I was a ‘big girl’, or at least I believed myself to be. Ironically, what I thought was terribly fat, turned out to be me just being big-boned, with an early growth spurt. For my age, I was always the tallest girl in my grade, so I always stood in the back row for class pictures. I would be chosen first to play on a team because I was built more like the boys. That was pretty cool, but that would be the only good thing I can remember. I was only ten years old when I started my monthly cycle, and I was the first girl that needed to wear a bra. I had to buy my clothes in the women’s section of the store when I was in the sixth grade. Trust me, department stores in the 1970’s did not have the vast array of choices they do now. I felt like a complete freak, to be sure.

As the baby of the family, my mother had a special way of introducing us to others. She would always start with the oldest, down to me. When it came to introducing me, she’d say, “And THIS is my baby!” I guess my size was abnormal even for her, to draw so much attention to it. Yes, I felt like the baby…Baby Huey! My sister is four years older than I am, yet I had to look down when talking to her and I was envious of her tiny wrists and bony legs. I am able to laugh about this now, but I was sincerely a hurting young lady.

As I grew older, the other girls started catching up with me in height, but I still managed to exceed most in the weight department. I look back at old photos, and I’m amazed to see that I really wasn’t that big. If I could just have the time back that I wasted worrying over how I looked. There were so many days when I would pine over the fact that the other girls could wear their shirts tucked in their jeans with their flat little tummies, or could wear a two piece bathing suit without being mortified. To this day, I dread summer because I don’t like wearing a bathing suit in public. I’m much more comfortable in the fall and winter, so I can put on my sweat shirts and jeans, my favorite clothes to wear.

I have come a long way since those younger days. I have learned to love myself as I am, because I know the Lord loves me as I am. I know I have gifts and talents that are mine alone, and I am so grateful for them. Perhaps if I were thinner, I might become too full of myself, and lose what humility I do have. I am not the largest person in the world, but I have never been, nor do I think I will ever be, the smallest. I do diet if I reach a weight that is completely unacceptable, but never enough to satisfy the doctor’s charts. I’ve always been plump, and I think I’m okay with that. This is where I can relate with Paul. I have asked the Lord to remove this ‘thorn’, or my inability to commit to weight loss, but I have concluded that like all things, it will come in time, if it is meant to. If I’m truthful with myself, perhaps it isn’t as important to me as I’d like to believe, or I would have already succeeded.

Still, no matter how pretty I may feel, or how comfortable I may seem to others, I will always feel like the elephant in the room. Baby Huey will always live within me.

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This article has been read 318 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Toni Babcock 12/15/13
I really enjoyed reading your story. I too find that as I get older, it is easier to accept the things that may not ever change. I developed somewhat of a vocal impediment and have learned to live with it. Maybe someday the Lord will take it away, but I won't work myself into a malcontent in the meantime, waiting. The Lord has so much better things for us to do with our time, than mope about our "thorns"! Keep writing.
Judith Gayle Smith12/15/13
This truly spoke to me. I carry eighty pounds of extra adipose tissue. One day I just looked at a photograph of me - and decided, "hey - she looks like a friendly sort, she'd make a good loyal friend" - and so she has . . .

Please "throw a brick" for others to enjoy, comment and support your writing:


Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/18/13
This is a wonderful testimony. There are many girls who struggle with body image. Fitting in is so important to a young girl. The scars can last a lifetime as you so aptly pointed out. The great thing is God can use those situations to bring glory to his name if we allow it. I have no doubt that your words will touch the hearts of many. It may have been a tiny bit weak on topic, but sometimes it's more important to write what God is putting on your heart. And I do see the topic touched upon. I can feel the MC's discomfort as I read. It also made me reflect on my on body image and how it has affected my life. An article that makes the reader think is always a good thing.