When I was nine years old, I moved from a South American country to one of the biggest, most beauty-centered cities in the U.S. My environment completely changed from a world where who you were and how you treated others mattered, to one where your appearance defined your worth.When I was finally allowed to wear make-up, I became addicted to it. I was not allowed to wear it to school, but every time I was out of school I had to cover up myself. My mom always made sure to tell me that I shouldn’t just focus on my appearance, but I didn’t listen. That was 6th grade. Then 7th grade came, and I had to switch schools because I moved. I have never been skinny, but I haven’t been morbidly obese either. Seeing all the skinny, perfect-bodied, pretty girls around me, I was intimidated. I became friends with the girls who had hit puberty early and always had boyfriends. I am a perfectionist, and in the appearance aspect of my life, I wasn’t perfect to myself. I started to starve myself, sometimes excessively drink laxatives. I would waste time in pro-anorexia websites. I’m thankful God answered the prayer I have made since I was little: He has never left my side. It was a horrible two-year period where I consciously hurt my body. I only lost a couple pounds, and always kept a pretty high Body Mass Index. The fact that I became addicted to it has had bad consequences in my life, though. During those horrible two-years I tried to destroy God’s temple, and I would suffer through agonizingly painful nights where I would cry myself to sleep. Slowly I have been able to get over it, praise the Lord for that, but it still haunts me. Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? I realized that the answer depends: to whom? To God? Outer appearance doesn’t matter to Him (For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. Samuel 16:7) and His opinion should be the only one to matter to us. Nowadays, I want to make sure I keep His Temple a healthy weight, but it’s still hard to balance a healthy diet and to keep it from turning into a destructive eating disorder. I know He will finish the work He started in my life and that He will fully free me from my own mistakes from the past. God has called me to full-time ministry as a service missionary in Senegal. This is the first time I ever share my story and it has brought me to tears to remember all of that, but I hope it gives someone hope and shows her God wants more for her life than what she is living right now. A song that really helped me through those hard times is called “Fingerprints Of God,” by Steve Chapman Curtis. Smile, Jesus loves you!