After much prayer, I've chosen this forum to reveal a secret of nearly 30 years. People close to me know the truth, but graciously avoid saying much about it. They sense the embarrassment, the helplessness. Yet, as spring turns to summer, I feel called to be more transparent -- literally and figuratively. So, here goes:
My name is Sharon, and I have cellulite.
Yes, it's true. My thighs are actually sausages stuffed with cottage cheese. Shorts and bathing suits are the enemy. Crop pants and cover-ups are my friends.
The lumps arrived the summer before my freshman year in college, and I distinctly remember the day they flaunted themselves. I wore a pair of fuchsia shorts and was attempting to look casually cool one evening while hanging with friends. I had always been skinny in high school, but the curves came to full bloom within a short span that year. I wasn't sure if anyone noticed, until one of my besties, who had been away for a couple of months, walked up and looked at me wide-eyed. She thought it was a compliment when she half-grinned and whispered, "Look at you with the cellulite."
Oh, how I wish there was a quick-fix, a cure, but fitness gurus say it is not so. The lumps have more to do with my genes than my weight or anything else I can control. Once, a trainer taught me to roll a cylinder-shaped thingie back and forth over the sausages to smooth out the puffs. They flattened some for a short while, but reappeared, never leaving nor forsaking me.
Of course, you expected my secret to be more serious than lumpy thighs --which is likely why you kept reading in the first place. While I lied when I wrote that I'd prayed about this, I had a good reason for leading you on. You see, I bet you found my secret frivolous because you can either relate to it or you know women who can. You're thinking: What's the big deal, a lot of women have cellulite!
That's precisely my point.
Has it occurred to you that many people also endure the same secret you keep trying to hide? Have you considered that you're not the only one who failed, or made a big mistake, who had to transform her life, or who's drowning in a swamp of fear and insecurities? You aren't the only one who took drugs, or has a mental illness, or chose the wrong man, or cheated on the right one, or had an abortion, or wasted all the money, or yelled at the kids today. But sometimes you feel like you are, don't you?
When we share our glitches, our commonality snatches away the negative power of our secrets. We see that we're not alone. We open ourselves
up to the support of others who have gone through the same thing.
When we keep secrets and hide behind flimsy cover-ups, however, we isolate ourselves. We smother beneath our own harsh judgment. We don't give ourselves a chance to heal, because we're busy comparing whether someone else's lumps are as big as our lumps, only to find out that it doesn't really matter because we're all still lumpy in the end.
What is the secret that makes you feel shame, rather than the freedom Jesus promises? I would love to help you take the first step in releasing it by praying with you. Read below to find out how to send your prayer request. In the meantime, I'm vowing to wear more shorts this summer. It's time the secret got out.
By the way...