Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How I'm to View My Body

I woke up at 6:00 a.m. with a head full of thoughts on two different subjects, so get ready for word vomit from me and to share your own thoughts. Here’s the first thing bursting out of my head: our physical bodies.
We (I know I can’t speak for everyone, but follow along if this applies to you) are so consumed with our physical bodies. Think about how much of your day is spent thinking about your body. How much do you analyze it or compare it to others’ bodies?
I am starting to get fine lines on my face. I see those and get a little startled that I’m old enough to have any! I try to take care of myself and this body I’ve been given. I apply creams and remind myself to drink water and do everything I can (within reason) to delay the aging process. I seem pretty fine with it...until someone contacts me saying they have a miracle solution to help with my aging. Then I ask myself if I really look that bad!
Let’s just skip over the grey hairs for now, because the 12 or so I’ve counted are sticking around for the time being. I’m not giving them any space in my mind right now. 😂
We’ll move on to the larger area of the body that is covered in stretch marks and cellulite. Thanks to a rare condition I have that causes my body to swell and has done so for a few years short of a decade, my body has stretched and released to accommodate the fluctuating fluids. Every line on my hips, waist, thighs, legs, and elsewhere is a constant reminder of physical and emotional pain I’ve felt from this condition. I’ve tried creams to make the lines and cellulite fade, because they’re not pretty by most people’s standards.
And, oh, my c-section. It left a scar, which really doesn’t bother me. But it also left a fold of skin above the scar. No matter how many workout videos I follow that are intended to make that fold vanish, it’s still there.
I, at times, avoid the mirror or will stand in the mirror and critique. Why? Because I’m not meeting the world’s standards. Because people say hurtful things. Because freckles, fine lines, stretch marks, cellulite, and folds are things you’re not supposed to have, right?
So what am I supposed to do? I’m to care for this body I’ve been given. Drink water, feed it nourishing food, get up and move. Even more than that, be thankful for it. Treat it in a way that’s pleasing to God. The fine lines are a reminder that God has gifted me with 33 years on this earth. The stretch marks and cellulite tell the story of the pain He brings me through. The evidence of a c-section is the evidence of how he brought my daughter into this world, saving her life and mine. They’re all signs of a life I have to be thankful for.
We take these bodies that were created in the image of God and are meant to house souls and spirits that are to glorify Him, and we instead worship the temple instead of Who created the temple. We worship the creation instead of the Creator. We tell God that what He has given us isn’t good enough. Would we really be happier with what we view as ideal bodies? I don’t think so. I see people with ideal bodies facing heartache too. Their physical bodies haven’t prevented them from pain.
My goal is to change my thoughts to thoughts of thanks each time I’m tempted to critique this body. Thank you, God, for life. May I worship you and what you’ve done in my life and view this body as a scrapbook of those stories and experiences, a body whose purpose is to reflect You.
I am made in the image of the Triune God: Genesis 1:26-27.
This body is God’s temple: 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20.
I’m pretty sure this will be a lifelong battle of choosing thankfulness over criticism, but don’t you think it’s a worthy battle?

[I’m pictured here with my daughter at her fourth birthday party. There’s nothing like having a daughter that will make you think about the way you speak about yourself and about how God created you.]

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