By Dava T.
I am obese. I’m not just fat or heavy or over-weight—I am clinically obese. Sometimes it’s hard for me to feel like I belong because everywhere I look there are thin, beautiful people and I stand there in my 4x dress from Walmart, feeling like there’s no way that I can have been “created in His image.” Every day is a struggle to get up in the morning and see a person worth the sacrifice that I do believe was made for me.
A wise professor once told me about the day that he looked in the mirror and finally saw the person that God saw when he looked at this professor. My professor confided that until that point he’d never had a testimony of his divine nature. For me, it’s easy to see why God loves people. I am sitting between two women right now and, though I hardly know them, I know that their Heavenly Father knows them and loves them deeply. He knows that M is a valiant woman who has such gifts of obedience and strength that they rub off on those around her. He knows that L is a woman with so much love in her heart for mankind that she would immediately sacrifice of herself to accomplish the smallest of tasks for another.
But when I stop and look inward I see naught but fault—I see only what Satan would have me see. I am around 350 pounds. I have an addiction to soda. I have struggled with chastity and with respecting my family. I am bad with my finances and know that I will live most of my life making up for the debts that I already have. It takes every ounce of faith inside me to even glimpse the daughter of heavenly parents that resides within this unholy temple.
And yet there are moments when I push really hard past the demons that Satan places on my shoulder and around my mirrors and I get a peek at who I really am. I am bright, smart, and caring. I give all that I have to make those around me happier. I have, on more than one occasion, tossed my own dreams to the side to make room for the wishes of others. I am nurturing and I love ALL of God’s children. I have gifts and talents to help others to see the truthfulness of the gospel. I have the gift of tears—the gift of empathy. I can feel with others and sense their pain and I endeavor to help them. I am beautiful. I am a daughter of divine heritage and I look like my heavenly family. In my smile, in my eyes, are the rest of my divine family. I am amazing.
I know that it can be hard to see past what is on the surface to the well deep inside. I know that there are forces that would have me stop at the negative feelings and never move forward. But I also know that there are people on the other side—Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and others—who anxiously await the moments when I remember who I truly am. They are pulling for me. And someday, when I’m on the other side, I’ll look in their faces and I’ll see me. I’ll hold them in my arms and feel their love encircle me and know that my body always was exactly as it was meant to be.
I am obese and I am a daughter of divine parentage.