Today I’m welcoming my friend, and fellow Nebraska author, LoRee Peery, and her new release Repurposed.
Talia Ashby is a perfectionistic data analyst who, on occasion, sees her “fat” self when she looks in the mirror. As a svelte former obese girl, she reunites with her secret teen crush, now a pastor in the church she attends.
Cooper Valiant is dazzled upon meeting a high school friend he doesn’t immediately recognize due to her drastic weight loss. Since his sister had an eating disorder, he’d often felt empathy toward Talia as classmates teased and bullied her. In his pastorate position, he asks her to help girls in the youth group come to grips with body-image.
While working with the girls, Talia’s recollections of youthful hurts stir up past insecurities. She must reassess her spiritual journey, and what bothers her in the present.
Added to the mix are her reawakened emotions toward the man who once came to her rescue. Will their joint journey include a personal relationship?
The Story Behind Repurposed
I’m going to presume that every writer has an ideas file. I once had two file cabinet drawers filled with newspaper and magazine articles for possible stories. I’ve purged those files, but do have a notebook of stories that still intrigue me. Plus, I have a file on my computer. Who knows when I jotted, “A heroine who’s lost a lot of weight, but still struggles when she looks in a mirror.”
Body image is huge.
At age ten I overheard my mother tell someone, “LoRee’s waist is bigger than mine.”
I was self-conscious in high school. I matured early and my first bra was one of Mom’s. She was amply endowed. The boys obviously noticed. The prophecy at the end of my senior yearbook reads, “Loree Mosel is teaching arpeggios in a men’s school!” Then sometime between ages 18-19, my shoulders went wide.
If you’re female, I’m sure you can identify with the self-image issues I’ve addressed. I grew up during a time when pressure to be thin was everywhere. The most popular model of the time went by the name Twiggy.
Since I’m not very tall, short-waisted, and have a broad rib cage along with wide shoulders, I’ve always felt too big. (Even when I was thin, and that’s a shame.) Unfortunately, I voiced my negative body image in front of my daughters. The enemy used that to impact them both, but their stories are not mine to tell.
My girls married ten years apart and I was pleased to wear the same mother-of-the-bride suit for both of their weddings. Until that time, I maintained a healthy weight. Due to back pain, I became less active around age 50. Then in 2018 I went into my second back fusion surgery ten pounds overweight. I had an allergic reaction to morphine and took steroids for a month. Another ten pounds packed on what seemed like overnight, which according to BMI charts, classifies me as obese.
All of last year I tried every diet I could latch onto. (I know diets don’t work, but I was compelled to try.) Most of the time, I eat as healthy as I can. Come December, four months ago, I put “dieting” and “losing weight” out of my conscience and bought jeans in a bigger size.
For a few months, I lived in Talia Ashby’s head, my heroine in Repurposed. That was much more comfortable than living in my head.
It took me a long time to recognize, based on Psalm 139, how I am fearfully and wonderfully made (unlike the round rectangle I see myself as). God knows every cell and atom of my body. If I criticize my outward appearance, I’m slamming God because I am the way He made me. If I diet and think about ways to take off pounds, I’m not focusing on the Lord. (Remember, diets don’t work.) He loves me as I am, and I am one of His creations. HE DOES NOT MAKE JUNK.
May you find the grace to accept who you are, in whatever shape your earth suit takes. Be kind to yourself, as a uniquely designed child of God. He knows you because He made you. He looks at the heart rather than your outward appearance. Place your dreams in His hands, no matter how wild. He has you covered according to His time. And He has a purpose for your life.
As for me, I’m digging out that ideas file so I can focus on my next heroine’s struggles.
I thank Sharee for letting me expose my vacillating thoughts today.
Nebraska country girl LoRee Peery writes fiction that hopefully appeals to adult readers who enjoy stories written from a Christian perspective, focusing on the romance. These include novels and novellas for women and men in the Contemporary, Romance, Historical, Time Travel, and Mystery/Suspense categories. She writes of redeeming grace with a sense of place. Her Frivolities Series and the book based on her father’s unsolved homicide, Touches of Time, are available on Amazon. She is who she is by the grace of God: Christian, country girl, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-, sister, friend, and author.
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