To the Fat, the Ugly and the Messy—This One’s for You

A colorfully unique Facebook post written by Jordan Lee initially caught viewers’ attention because of the haphazard pen scrawls and highlighter strewn all over the left page of this Bible.


But there’s SO much more to it than that…

Jordan admits that it’s what some might call “vandalism,” but the powerful reason behind her carefully calculated scribbles is sending a message that this generation of ‘not good enough’ desperately needs.

This woman of God has a charge to anyone feeling “fat or ugly or heartbroken or discouraged or ANY form of messy,” as someone who’s been down that road herself—and her identity-driven message speaks straight to the soul:

“When I was 9, I cried in a dressing room because my thighs were bigger than all the other girls at school. So I wore sweatpants to hide my size.

At 11, I hid in a bathroom stall during lunch because the boys teased me for being the only girl wearing a bra. So I wore baggy sweatshirts to cover up.

At 14, I cringed when we had to take class photos because I was taller than all the boys and thought I was ugly. So I scratched out my face in the print.

At 17, I cried when that boy broke my heart over spring break because he met a prettier girl. So I quickly chased after a new one and posted photos to Facebook so that everyone would believe I was happy.

At 19, I collapsed on a long run because my body aches as I starved myself another day.

At 20, while listening to K-LOVE Radio, I realized that I had spent the first two decades of my life believing the lie that I needed to look like the page on the right. Clean, crisp, perfect, and poised. So I did all I could to hide my messes. My insecurities. My doubt. My discouragement.

But the truth is that I always felt out of place. I felt too messy and big and awkward and ugly.

And that’s half the reason why my bible is all messy and unusual and what many people call vandalism. But the truth is that it’s a sanctuary for me. A place where I can drop the filters and be the sad little girl that hid in a bathroom stall. Except there’s no hiding behind baggy sweatshirts, no comparison, no judgment, no holding back. It’s me, my heart poured out in every color, scratch, and squiggle. There’s kind of system to it, sometimes, but not really. & that’s okay.

Because at 20, I had found confidence in one place alone – at Jesus’ feet. And today, it’s still the only place I’m free drop the filters, to feel imperfect and ugly without wanting to hide, and free to be messy with a God who adores every ounce of me. That is radical. And my outpour on the page is my response.

It’s true for you, too. So if you’re feeling fat or ugly or heartbroken or discouraged or any form of messy: that’s okay. You weren’t made to be like the right page. You were made to be like the left: bold, bright, beautiful, and maybe a little messy.

Because messy in the Word = confident in the world.”

In a world where it’s easy to feel like a misunderstood square peg in a round role, remember God’s not in the business of creating cookie-cutter Christians.

He’s out to pursue the unique, crazy, awkward, whip-your-hair-back-and-forth weirdo that makes you YOU—and your big, fat, messy, not-so #InstaPerfect life may just be exactly what he’s using to craft His perfect love story.

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“Many find me a mystery, but You are my rock and my shelter—my soul’s asylum.” ~Psalm 71:7 (The Voice)

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.