Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the fat loss, the smaller sizes, feeling stronger and lifting heavier and heavier things. But the thing is, God has brought me to a place where I just love me, my body, with all its perceived ‘flaws’, bumps and squishiness. (I say ‘perceived’ because who says there is one ideal anyway?) He brought me to a place where I could look in the mirror, startlingly naked and feel nothing but pride, love and admiration. This human body of ours really is a wonderful and amazing creation and when we get our eyes off of what Hollywood or the magazines say is beautiful we can begin to see the incredible design and beauty in what God has created. Yes, amid all the squishy blubber and yet remaining body fat, stretch marks and hangy-down skin. (not that I don’t pursue greater health and strength)
When God began to heal and deliver me from the lies of my value and beauty having anything whatsoever with how I looked the chains fell away and joy was restored to my heart.
I used to cringe if someone touched the back of my arms or I saw their eyes quickly dart away from my outstretched arm. I knew what they saw, I saw it too. Hangy-down skin, stretch marks and fat. I realized just how deep the healing has been, when just the other day, in a tank top, I noticed someone looking at my arm. It was positioned in a way to sort of squish the extra skin and stretch marks forward, probably not so appealing. I smiled the biggest smile. You know why? Because not even for a nanosecond did I cringe, feel shame or embarrassment. I have learned my ‘body’ is not the real me!! I live in this body, but it is NOT ME.
Another thing I realized recently is that I look in our bathroom mirror at my reflection! I mean, our mirror is directly opposite our shower. You throw open the shower curtain, and unless you divert your eyes, which I am THE master at, you see yourself, in all your glory. I don’t look away anymore. I actually stop and appreciate what I see. I see a smaller waist or stronger legs. I also see an upside down ‘T” C-section scar with squishy on all sides of it, stretch marks everywhere. I see a belly that will never reveal six pack abs (trust me, not even a goal) but did carry nine amazing living souls. But guess what?? I feel no shame, no wincing, no sense of a hideous sight. Nope, I see a strong woman, with battle scars and soft and squishy. A woman who loves and gives. A woman who is adored by her husband and has been, no matter her level of squishy. Oh, had I listened to him and saw myself through his eyes years ago. A woman who has been given SO much, forgiven so much, LOVED so much, all of which have nothing to do with her body shape, size, or body fat level.
Does this mean I don’t have goals of becoming stronger, healthier, closer to what is an optimal body fat level for MY body, health, age, etc.? Not at all, I do have goals. But the really cool thing? The motivation behind following after my goals is from a place of peace and acceptance. Acceptance, peace and love by my Father, who while He desires health and good things for my life, is not in the least concerned about the size of my clothing, but is concerned with my heart. Do I believe He smiles over me when I accomplish something I set my heart to? Yep, I actually do believe He does. Once His love goes deep and our value and worth is based on what Christ did, the motivation comes easier, I think. When we realize just how ‘worth it’ we are, making wise choices and loving ourselves becomes easy. You nourish those you love. You feed well those you love. You take care of those you love. When you love YOU, you take care of yourself.
All this is not to say I don’t still struggle with flesh and blood and that the enemy comes with the same old lies, but I know the truth. I am loved and accepted and valuable, not because of my size or the food I eat, but because of what Christ did for me. I am not made righteous by my food choices or how much I exercise, but by the blood of Christ.
When we find our value and worth in Christ taking care of the ‘vehicle’ He has loaned to us becomes and enjoyable thing. Not a punishment, not a difficult task, but a joy and delight. You are worth it!! So worth it!
I am a work in progress, God is not done with me yet!! I am painfully aware of this fact. But the work He has begun, He is faithful to finish. I strive to rest in His love at all stages.
You are blessed, chosen, holy, loved, accepted, worthy, righteous, forgiven and made alive and seated with Him in heavenly places!! If you know Jesus, this is who you are. Right now. At this size. At this level of ‘health’. There is nothing you need to add to or can take away from what He has done for you and absolutely nothing you can do to make Him love you more or be more pleased with you.
Let your journey to health begin with, or at the very least, include diving headfirst into His love and His Word to find out who you really are and just how incredibly valuable you are! I always know when I am getting ‘off the rails’ in my thinking, it is because I have lost sight of what HE says about me.