On the heels of my last post, which focused on the chains and masters we bind ourselves to apart from Jesus, I wanted to discuss one of mine.
One of the constant struggles of my life has been my weight. Overeating and shaming myself, over-monitoring and starving myself in the name of dieting – its a tiring and seemingly endless cycle; my own personal little hamster-wheel-of-the-mind. And you know what? I’m exhausted.
For years I have let weight, or my perception of my weight, determine my value. I let it hold me back from being fully known by those around me because I couldn’t really wrap my head around the fact that maybe people didn’t define me by the thing I used to define myself. I couldn’t believe that people would like me for me, for who the Lord had created me to be, and not for what I looked like.
In Psalm 139, we are so beautifully reminded of the Lord’s sovereignty not only in our life but from our beginning – “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”
I used to look at this verse and only apply it to the things about me that I like. Surely the Lord had not created the things I deemed “bad” or that weren’t in line with my vision of the perfect Stormye. God was sovereign and omnipotent but I felt I still needed to work towards the me that he created me to be.
I’m not sure that it hit me what it truly meant for him to be over every detail and everything until I was meeting with my mentor, Tara-Leigh, a few weeks back. In trying to be as transparent as possible and “lead with my junk” as she calls it, I admitted to Tara-Leigh that I had really been wrestling with shame – both over my eating decisions (which, honestly, were not awful) and my body. She reminded me that if we truly believe that God is omnipotent and omniscient (all-knowing and all-powerful) then we should trust that he has a hand in every detail of our lives, including the things we eat. She challenged me to pray over my meal decisions for the week and noted that we can’t find shame in something that the Lord ordains.
That simple reminder, that the Lord IS over all, was what I needed. Of course I knew and believed that about God, but I don’t know if I believed that about God in my life. I’m not sure if it was pride or past hurts that clouded my vision to that fact, but to be reminded of the Lord’s presence and care for my life – that I have a Great High Priest in Jesus and a caring and very present father in God – has started to change the way I view myself.
I love Hebrews 4:14-16 for its description of Jesus as the Great High Priest: “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
The power of Jesus in these verses alone is so sweet to me. He knows our hurts and can understand our weaknesses – how beautiful to have a King that experienced life as we know it.
The battle of weight weighs heavily on being kind to myself and remembering that the Lord purposely created me just as I am. He isn’t waiting for me to get it together and work out 2 hours every day so that I am the fitter, faster version of me. He isn’t withholding his love until I reach a certain point in my walk or my mindset – Romans 5:8 says that, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Friends, I am ready to have some victory here. I want to be kind to me and walk in the Stormye that God has created – not the Stormye I think I should be. I want to be able to encourage the teenage girls that I lead to love themselves well because the Lord has loved them in ways they can’t imagine. My heart breaks over and over again when I hear these sweet little ones tearing themselves apart because they don’t feel adequate or like they fit the mold. I want to be able to direct them to put faith in the Lord for creating them wonderfully and to show them that they are the mold. Teenage years are hard enough without us having ourselves as our number one enemies. LIFE is hard enough without us having ourselves as our number one enemies.
Sin is a battle. Every day is filled with wins and losses. I know that I am weak but I put my faith in Jesus, who is mighty and powerful, to help me make the wins more than the losses while I still walk this Earth. I know that I can and will have victory with Him.
If you have a few minutes and this struggle resonates with you, I encourage you to check out this beautiful spoken word that my mama shared with me a few weeks back. It is powerful and may just awaken the desire to fight for yourself more than against yourself.