I stand in front of the mirror feeling deflated. I am breaking my very own rule about examining and labeling my body parts, but I am determined to see something that isn’t there. Why do my thighs look like this? Is my tummy bloated or is this the way it always looks? I want to see what I used to see when I was younger, but my body is different. Why does this matter so much to me? I want to get off this merry-go-round of thoughts that consume my time and energy and start living a fuller and freer life. I want to hang on to the beauty in every season and situation.
As I talk this out with important people in my life, I uncover something quite interesting about myself. I don’t trust. I don’t really trust that God has my best intentions at heart or that He knows what I need. Without realizing it, I have always worked to make things happen myself, grasping at control to feel safe. I have believed that I am the only one I could bet on.
Body image for me has become another “agent,” if you will. It is an addiction or distraction as I try to find that missing piece and that place where my heart can finally rest.
If I can just keep control over my weight, then I will be safe and find peace!
Sometimes it takes moments of desperation for me for surrender to Christ. What a relief, dear sisters, that we don’t have to do life on our own!
Even when we know the truth, it can be hard to trust and hold onto that truth. I know that having control over my body and the scale is not going to bring me peace. But just like shopping for a new pair of shoes, or cleaning my house obsessively, I am trying to satisfy a void that only Christ can.
I was recently reading the book of Habakkuk (Yes, it’s a real book). It is a book of faith; a book about a prophet who at first begins to question God about the sin and pain that is happening around him, but determines that no matter what, he will live by faith and trust that in any circumstance God is good.
Habakkuk 3:16-19 says:
I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
You see, sweet sister, no matter what is happening around us or how much we think we have to be in control to feel safe, we don’t. Habakkuk was trembling, things were falling apart around him, but he still held onto the fact that God is good and worthy of our trust, and that was reason to rejoice.
This morning as I stood in front of the mirror, I decided that instead of believing that life could be better if I just could lose some weight, I wanted to give trusting God a try. Maybe in His arms, I can be okay right where I am at. Maybe if I walk alongside Him and let Him direct my path, I can find beauty in my life and body right now. Maybe I can get off the merry-go-round, and start living like I am loved and God is good!