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Friday, March 11, 2016

What Type of Body Did God Want Me to Have

While fasting, the following thought ran through my mind:  I've always desired the type of body the world told me to have.  I never considered the type of body God wanted me to have. 
I started thinking about the messages the world teaches a woman about her body.  Distorted female body images were everywhere from airbrushing models to anorexia.  If a woman didn’t look a certain way she was deemed not beautiful.  Funny thing was many of the women who were models had been open about their own body image issues.  Despite their beauty, they struggle with accepting their body as well. 
Several years ago, I was talking with my thin and physically-fit sister-in-law.  I shared my frustration with my body and my inability to maintain a healthy weight. 
“I have the worst genes,” I said.  “My metabolism sucks.” 
I told her a bit more about my body image, how I could hardly look in the mirror without having an inner dialogue of shame and hurt.  This sister-in-law, in her state of almost perfect physical appearance mentioned she suffered with the same trial.  She had the same inability to appreciate the physical perceptions of her body.  As a teenager, she’d struggled with an eating disorder and spent most of her time in a state of anxiety about how her body looked.  I was shocked.  With her outward physical beauty, why would she struggle? 
What type of body would God want me to have? 
Chandler in January 2000
I thought of what my body had accomplished.  I’d given birth to six beautiful strong children.  I’d nursed them each through the first year of their life.  I’d ran ½ marathons and 10K’s.  Every day I lifted furniture and held babies.  I’d done flips on the trampoline and dove into the refreshing waters of my backyard swimming pool.  I’d taught my children to swim and how to ride a bike.  With my fingers I’d pulled the stinger of a wasp out of Payson’s foot. I had the knowledge to make a paste out of baking soda.  After applying it to his skin the pain subsided.  How did I know that?  When Mayer, at the age of 14 months fractured his leg, I knew it was so.  How?  The fracture was so small only an x-ray could detect it, but I knew by the sounds of his cry something was seriously wrong.  I’d wrapped him up in my arms and rushed him the emergency room.  I painted dresser after dresser to help pay for Chandler’s braces.  It only took 3 months to earn the money and I’d marveled God provided me a job with such immediate financial results.  Because of my body I rocked sick babies to sleep and pushed babies in a double stroller up the giant hills of Seattle.  On my wedding day, when my husband insisted carrying me in his arms, I stated “We have an equal-opportunity marriage” and I did the same to him.  Although he weighed 40 pounds more than me, I wrapped my arms around him and with all the strength I could muster carried him over the threshold into our new home.  I could giggle like a crazy bird and leap like a gazelle.  That was the type of body the Lord wanted me to have; a body that allowed me to live and feel and love. 
God didn’t care if I looked good in a bikini or wore a size six – I cared about those things.  The world told me a bikini body was the ideal.  The focus on my body had been for my own gain, for attention and beauty.  No wonder I felt uncomfortable when other men looked at me.  No wonder I felt little control about setting boundaries with men when the focus on my body was how the world wanted me to look.  Every image of women from billboards to magazines was screaming “Look at me, lust after me, desire me.”  Now longer did I want a body that desired to be “looked” at in such a way. 
When I thought of the body God wanted me to have I was a mom in a comfortable pair of jeans on a Saturday morning mowing the lawn.  I mean really, what use did I have for a body that froze-framed in poses of enticement and seduction.  These images of women forced sexuality down society’s throat.  It all made sense.  The devil was a liar.  He’d convinced my body wasn’t worth much if it didn’t look like the false images of woman all around me, but I had the wool pulled off my eyes.  I wasn’t falling for the lies anymore.  I only wanted what God wanted.  He wanted me healthy, strong and vibrant.  My body was perfect how it was for He had created it.
Come see me speak on intermittent fasting tomorrow Saturday March 12, 2016 at 2:30 at the Christ-centered Energy Healing Conference in Mesa AZ.  More information here.

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