Over the last 6 years, body image has been something that I struggled with a lot.
When I was a Freshman in high school, my life changed forever.
I began having episodes where I collapse and am left with temporary paralysis in my arms and legs. These new episodes changed my entire life.
The smallest of things became really difficult to do. I missed half my junior and senior years of high school and doctors told my parents to pull me out of school and not let me out of bed more than 45 minutes at a time. During those years, I stayed at home by myself a lot and trying to go out became physically difficult at one point.
Every time I had an episode, I felt like my body was less than what it was supposed to be and less than adequate. I became hyperaware of my weight, especially when I was recovering from an episode, because I did not want to look like “the sick girl”. I didn’t like people telling me that a few more pounds would look good on me or people thinking I felt bad on a good day just because of the way I looked. Throughout this entire process, there are three things that I struggled with the most.
3 Lies I Believed About My Body
Lie #1: My Body Stands In the way of all the things I want to do
When I was in the sixth grade, I began to feel the Holy Spirit leading me to the mission field. But when I started having episodes, I felt like my body was the only thing getting in the way of all my dreams and the things that I believed God had called me to. At one point, I was honestly a bit frustrated because I was like “Lord, don’t you see all the good things I am trying to do for you and your kingdom? Wouldn’t I be of better help to you if I was healthy?”
In His sovereignty, God knows best.
Over the last 6 years, God has used this illness to open up countless doors for me to live a life of ministry each and every day. I have learned that missions is so much more than boarding a plane and flying to a foreign place. The mission field should be the ground between our two feet!The mission field should be the ground between our two feet! Click To TweetSometimes, He leads those feet of ours to other countries. Other times, we may find ourselves standing in our own homes or on a virtual platform. Missions should never be something we separate from our daily lives.
Over and over again, He has placed me in other countries to proclaim that our God is the God of the impossible. He has done this even when I did not think it would be a possibility. But each time I go, I am reminded that when I return home, the mission to proclaim Jesus and His love for others doesn’t stop.
I may not be able to go live in another country and serve as a traditional, full-time missionary right now, but that does not mean my body has disqualified me from being a part of the great commission.
Little did I know that my weak and broken body was what God used in my life to give me the very thing I wanted most, and that was more of Him.
God has provided strength and endurance for every single thing that He has called me to. He has given me a story that points right back to Him and gives Him glory.
Lie #2: I am less of a person because of what my body cannot do.
When I have an episode, I can’t really do anything. My arms and legs are in a state of semi-paralysis. During these moments, I don’t have the strength to walk or lift my arms up.
When I graduated from high school in 2014, I struggled to figure out how to become a thriving adult or how to become a productive member of society. Because I couldn’t work or go to school traditionally, I felt like I had nothing to offer. This made me feel like less of a person.
Slowly, God changed my heart and reminded me that He has placed me on this earth to glorify and please Him alone. If this was the way that I could do that, I had to believe that He had a will and a purpose for my life…even if it looked a little different from everyone else’s.
Lie #3: The problems within my body make me less beautiful and less worthy of love.
I am going to be super honest here and say that this lie was the hardest for me to overcome. At one point within the last few years, I believed I was no longer worthy to be loved. “How could someone love me? They will have to make all kinds of sacrifices to be with me. I am a burden. I am inconvenient”. Because of my body, I felt damaged, unworthy, and unlovable.
Thinking back to these moments where I truly believed this in the depths of my soul makes me so sad. This line of thinking goes directly against the Word of God and what He thinks about His children!
So what exactly does God think about us? Well, I’m glad you asked!
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14 (ESV)
He calls you fearfully and wonderfully made.
He created you with care and pride. It doesn’t matter if we could loose a few pounds, would look better with a little more “meat on our bones”, have a perfectly toned body, have a debilitating illness, or have more wrinkles and freckles than we care for. He loves us and cherishes us. Jesus didn’t die on the cross to give us the perfect bodies. He died and rose again so that our souls might find redemption and restored relationship with Him.Jesus didn't die on the cross to give us the perfect bodies. Click To TweetGod sent Jesus to be our redemption because He loves us that much. Our God is perfect. He didn’t start making mistakes when He created you. Not only does He love us, but He desires for us to walk in His victory.
When we are constantly talking badly about ourselves, we are exercising defeat and discontentment.
We should, of course, take care of our bodies and strive to be healthy. However, this is different than constantly thinking badly of ourselves. We diminish the work God has done and is doing in our lives when we focus on the parts of us that we believe are flawed and unloveable. He carefully crafted and thought of every detail of your life before you were in your mother’s womb. The Maker of heaven, mountains, sunsets, and stars calls you wonderfully made! What a powerful thing!
I don’t know what you are going through in your life today.
Maybe you feel unloveable and less than beautiful. If there is anything that I want you to take away from this, it is that God loved you enough to pay the highest cost for you. And that same God called you fearfully and wonderfully made.God loved you enough to pay the highest cost for you. Click To Tweet
What about you? Do you struggle with any of theses lies?