Ok, how many of you women out there love shopping?
I went jeans shopping the other day and the devil tried to run absolutely rampant with my thoughts and emotions. You see, I’ve gained some weight back. Yikes, that’s not fun to put on paper for the whole world to see.
In the past I’d been down the road of “not caring” at all and ate with abandon and didn’t exercise at all. Then I headed down the road of “control”. I figured if I could control how much I ate and how much I exercised, I’d get the results I wanted. The problem was I did get the physical results, but my heart was a long ways from whole!
I’ve been trying to find balance in my life and knew I’d gone WAY too far with obsessing about food and exercise. Somehow I thought freedom from that was full abandon. I wasn’t finding myself obsessing about what I ate which is good. In what had been my “mottos operando” for quite some time, I figured if not obsessing a little was a good thing, not caring at all must be even better. Wow, I can’t believe I was right back where I started. So frustrating!
So, in that little dressing room, trying on jeans that have fit in the past but now didn’t, I had a revelation. First, God really does love me even when I struggle with loving myself. I don’t think he sees the cellulite, stretch marks and baggy skin. He does, however, see my heart. He saw the enemy coming after it right there in that tiny room with too many mirrors!
I felt Him call out to me and remind me that I’m a daughter of the King. There is no condemnation with Him. Only mercy, grace, and conviction.
You see, part of my revelation that day was that there’s a balance to this life. I would probably tell you that freely if we visited but I don’t think I really believed it.
I just knew the opposite of being in bondage to so much control had to be complete abandon. NO!
God spoke to my heart walking out of that dressing room. I’d found freedom from obsessing about food, exercise and my body image.
I GET to take care of my body/health. It is a gift from the Lord and I WANT to steward that gift well.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
What I’ve also realized is MY best is not the same as YOUR best. I’ve been stuck in the comparison trap for way to long too. Time to crawl up out of that pit.
God loves each of us right where we are. Whether or not we make the choice to take care of our health. You can’t earn His love in any way. You can’t starve yourself and he’ll love you more. You can’t exercise yourself into the ground and expect any more love from the Father.
You also can’t just turn completely away from obsession and swing to the other extreme of abandon and find more love. Peace is found in balance.
It’s just accepting that God loves you, for YOU. Not your jean size. Not a number on the scale. Not a false sense of freedom. Just YOU!
This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
1 John 4:10 (NLT)
What a great post. I think that all women should know this, especially teens.
I myself have been tempted by bad thoughts in the dressing room. I give in and end up feeling gross and horrible. Then when I change my health habits I am tempted to fall back into bad ones.
But when I give it to God, things do get better.
Thank you for sharing such an awesome post!
Thanks Valerie! I work with teens and share this kind of message a lot. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it.
Yes, peace is found in the balance – it is not a black and white issue. The Lord loves us and he calls us to love ourself. Thank you for sharing your discovery with us Laura. I have walked down similar roads. Your words speak life. I am honored that you joined the #RaRalinkup with Purposeful Faith.
Thanks Kelly. I'm really enjoying the #RaRalinkup group. Great bunch!
I am so glad! It is truly a gift of a community!