I lean in close to the bathroom mirror to add a little eye shadow. Pulling back to assess my handiwork, I take in the entire picture. And tears spring to my freshly "painted" eyes. I can remember a time, before kids, where I was slim and trim. I had beautiful, long hair, and I could wear pretty much anything I put on. After having kids, my waist got larger, my stomach got rounder, and I got plump, well, all over. In some major effort in the past 3 years since the birth of my last child, I have worked hard to get my body back in some kind of shape besides round. But nothing really works.
In the past few weeks, my daily devotions, prayer-life, and serious one-on-one sessions with God have all helped me get a little bit closer to my Creator. And Satan does not like it. Not one bit. When Satan doesn't like you getting close to God, he cranks it up to pull you away. My three areas that get me the most are (and are not limited to):
- my weight
- my friendships with other women
- my mothering skills
The closer I get to God, the more I get discouraged in all those areas. I want to lose weight. I want to develop meaningful relationships with the women in my life. I want to raise my children in way that will encourage them to love the Lord, love each other, and to treat others with respect. So when my daughter called out (loudly and in public) how big I was...or when I was going to have a baby...or how large my chest is...I couldn't be more mortified. And it just happen to come during a time that I was struggling with feelings of being left out of activities with my female friends AND during a time when I was working on breathing and speaking softly to my children rather than lashing out with my words in anger.
Then God spoke to me.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 talks about the Body of Christ. It explains that each of us have a purpose in serving the Lord and serving each other in His name. No matter what my weight is, God has a reason that I just can't seem to lose weight right now. As tempting as it is to not eat (which is how I stayed a size 4 in high school) or take pills to drop the weight, I know that as long as I honor Him by just taking care of my body and eating well, then He knows why I am larger than most of my friends. Instead of sulking, I should recognize the blessing my weight can be.
For example, I have a dear friend who just had a baby. He is cuuute. I love that little boy, and I most definitely love to hold him and love on him. His mama is one of those blessed ladies who barely looked pregnant her entire pregnancy and less than a week after having her baby, she looked like she did before she ever got pregnant. She is one of multiple friends I have like that. And as much as that is a blessing they do not have to suffer the severe difficulties that comes with struggling to lose that baby weight, Satan can use that fact to discourage "well-rounded" girls like me. Those ladies cannot help it. The blame and my insecurities should never be put on them. So when I was holding the little boy the other night, God whispered to my heart "use what I have given you to serve others." The baby was being fussy, and I could see his mama getting frustrated. I offered to help, and it worked! I wasn't doing anything special or, really, anything different than what she was doing. The only thing I could think of was that my body is like one big pillow to that baby. Who doesn't like sleeping on a comfy pillow? I know I do!
When Satan wanted to use my excessive weight to discourage me, God was using my plumpness to serve others. And maybe this weight just happens to be holding on long enough for me to serve others. Maybe after this season, God will reward my hard work, and I will spend my later years fit and trim once again. And maybe he won't. Either way, it so important for me to remember that God is using me, every part of me, to serve others and be a blessing to others. When I live in His Glory and serve Him, I will be blessed. Extra weight or not.
|This is me years ago, when I was at my smallest (which is, at times, where I wish I was again). But I was a bit anorexic then. see my hip bone sticking out the side? Yeah. Too skinny.|
|And this is me at my sister's wedding a little over a year ago. I'm about 8 pounds lighter now, but not daring enough for a full body shot yet. :)|