do you agree with God about your body?

Posted: February 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

It is January 2011.  I am living in Chicago, in an intentional community.  Everything in my life is new and different.  In an ongoing conversation with one of my very favorite new friends, I am reminded quite simply that, “God loves our bodies He created.”

Oh.  Yeah.  He does! 

I tend to forget that.  The evidence of my forgetting is how much I tend NOT to love my body. 

I don’t love the way my body looks.  True here in 2011, true back in 1984 I was about 150 pounds lighter, something like a size 12, and thought I was so large that I owed the world an apology for having to look at me.  Beyond even weight issues, I can pick myself over and tell you all manner of ways I am made that don’t fit the airbrush model ideal currently held for how a woman is supposed to look. 

I don’t treat my body with love.  Don’t feed it right.  Don’t work it out enough.  Don’t stretch it like I used to.  In ways both big and small, I am careless in the basic care and maintenance of this machine that transports my soul and spirit around every day. 

You know, the one He knitted in my mother’s womb.  The He one calls “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Many people make body-related New Year’s resolutions.  They choose diets.  They plan workouts.  They pick numbers – weights, measurements, clothing sizes – and set target dates for them.  I’ve made a whole lot of resolutions like that over the years.  

Those resolutions haven’t been total failures.  I eat a lot better than I used to.  I listen to my body much better than I once did – not listen as in obey its cravings but more listen as in read it as a barometer of my health and well-being.  I don’t live nearly as sleep-deprived as I have in past parts of my life.  

But those resolutions also haven’t been total successes. 

The evidence is in my weight. 

The evidence is in my lack of energy. 

The evidence is in how utterly I loathe any meeting with the mirror.

Setting aside appearance issues and such, the simple facts are these:

God loves my body He created.

Here in 2011, I don’t.

Where do I get off, disagreeing with Him so vehemently on this point? 

Who is right, God, or me? 

Really…who is right?

David Crowder sings, “You make everything glorious/And I am Yours/So what does that make me?”  I love the song.  I sing along.  I agree with it as an idea.

But I absolutely never factor my body into that “glorious” bit.  I pretty much keep it limited to my soul and spirit. 

I decide that my New Year’s resolution for 2011 is not going to be a specific diet, an exact weight, a certain size, a particular workout. Instead, how about this:

This year, I resolve to press into God in prayer, to listen to what He tells me, to do what He shows me, to press on and run the race, to not give up until…until…

…until I love my body. 

When I feel the way He cherishes it as a feeling within me…that’s an accomplished goal.

When I treat it like the gift it is…that’s success.

When I can agree with Him for real that it is glorious (and not complain within myself about the way He decided to make it)…well, all I can say is that would be a miracle.

Good thing I know Somebody who is in the miracle business.

Within a week I am panicked.  Love my body?  What was I thinking?!  I CAN’T DO THAT!  It’s just not possible.  A lifetime of experience testifies to its impossibility.  I know how to hate my body.  I know how to loathe every little detail about it.  I can’t begin to guess how to turn that around.

God is persistent.  Let Me teach you.  Don’t “try.”  Listen to Me.  Follow Me.  Do what I show you.

And I remember…I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Even love my body?  Really?

Even love your body.  He does not step back from this message. 

So, I don’t either. 

It’s February 2013.  I am 25 months into this adventure of letting Him teach me to love my body.  He is a good teacher.  He can give me this, because He has it:  He loves my body.  In the 2 years since I made that promise to let Him teach me, He has changed me, one tiny piece at a time. 

Taught me discipline with food. 

Taught me to love exercise – to crave it as much as I used to crave eating a whole package of Oreos or an entire family-sized bag of Sterzing’s potato chips…all in one sitting. 

Weight has come off.  How much?  I don’t know.  I don’t weigh.  It’s not about the numbers.  I’m letting Him teach me to love my body.  But weight has come off – that day in 2011, I was somewhere around a size 26.  Today, I am somewhere around a size 16.  I suppose I’ve lost between 80 and 100 pounds. 
   

The number doesn’t matter.  What matters is this:  today, even though there are probably still 75 extra pounds on me that need to go, for my health…I love my body. 

Right now.  As it is. 

He’s teaching me how to do that, more and more every day. 

God loves my body that He made.  The one He knit together in my mother’s womb.

If He does…shouldn’t I?

God loves YOUR body that He made.  The one He calls “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

If He does…shouldn’t you?

 

(Those of you who are tracking whether I keep my promise to write every day in 2013 – this was YESTERDAY’s – I didn’t want to post it until after I had read it in church this morning.  If you’ve been around my naked blog for awhile, you probably recognize that it’s slightly recycled, but definitely cleaned up.) 

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Comments
  1. laurie says:

    need this, I love this idea, but there is pain and layers involved….

    • karen says:

      Oh yeah, I hear you Laurie…pain and layers have been a BIG part of the last 2 years of advancing to freedom! He will do it in you as you press into Him for it!!

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