Monday, June 25, 2012

Devotion: I'm the Fat Friend in the Group...and I'm okay

"But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be." 1 Corinthians 12:18
Photo Credit 

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. :) 


  1. I appreciate your transparency. It's not easy to say the things that you did. Thanks also for your ministry to me and mr. Cranky pants :-) baby Whisperer for sure :-) keep working hard at being healthy... cuz that's most important! I pray that in His time that God will bless your efforts.

  2. I really don't know how to say this without sounding superficial--- we all have to come to terms with our changing bodies, and that is so H.A.R.D., I have spent many a tearful moment in front of that mirror--- but you are really, really pretty, Jana. Not the kind of girl who you think, 'oh, she would be pretty if she would just lose 10 lb.'... but the kind of unashamed, natural pretty that speaks to your confidence, coordination, and ability to comfort. You look good in a slinky dress, or in a football jersey and jeans. You have a welcoming and charming personality that shows through your body language as much as your face or words. No mush intended, just honesty. Love ya, girl! P.S.-- wish I was there! I long for your kindred spirit!

  3. Wow, Jana! Your post really touched my heart. I think a lot of moms struggle with the new reflection in the mirror; I know I do! Thank you for speaking so openly and for always being able to remind me to seek and praise God in every situation.

  4. Wow! My cup runneth over! I step away from the computer to watch the College World Series, and come back to see these beautiful comments (and quite a few emails)! My intentions in writing this post was NEVER to pull compliments from anyone. This post has been working on my heart for a while now, and I felt I needed to share. I pray that this will serve as a source of encouragement to all of you, especially those who are struggling with the same issues. God loves all of us...and ALL of each of us. One of the biggest truths He has been showing me more and more lately is that if I am disappointed in what I am, what I look like, how I am formed, then I am basically telling God He didn't do a good enough job. I am coming to terms with my weight, and am loving the truth that God can use me, no matter how big or small I am. May you be blessed!

  5. What a wonderful message to hear God speaking to you. I just think of what those curves have given you - 3 gorgeous children! You are beautiful inside and out. I always hear these David Crowder lyrics when I am down on myself - "You make everything glorious, and I am Yours, what does that make me?" :) Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Thank you for the encouragement this morning! God used you today in my life. . .I needed that!! You make me smile, and some days I wish I lived closer. But I'm content. . .we will have all of eternity to catch up, and in heaven we will have new bodies, so we won't be comparing ourselves (sin free bodies too, yay!) and some say they will all be size 0, but who knows? Something makes me doubt that. Miss you friend!

  7. Oh, and by the way, you look a little scary in that first picture. . .I hope you aren't wishing to go back to that!! The second picture is definitely the most beautiful and my FAV!!

  8. I really enjoyed reading that! For the record I have always thought that you were a beautiful lady! I love when you post new pics of you and your adorable children, and I have always loved your smile.:)

  9. Oh, I love you, Lady! It's a struggle for most of us...(espeically after I see that little glimpse of me standing next to you, at your slimmest...that gold dress, WHAT was I thinking!?). To be honest, I have always envied you a bit when it comes to weight. You have always seemed so comfortable in your skin, no matter what size you are. You just kind of go with it, with an "I am this size because this is the size I'm supposed to be right now" attitude. Looks great on you, no matter what the pant or shirt tag says. Beautiful inside and out...love you!