Hello everyone! The day will come in the next month or so when my blogs will post on a more regular basis, until then, I ask for your patience and your grace. COVID-19 continues to be a real issue in my every day public health work, especially for our most vulnerable populations. I ask for your prayers for our most vulnerable in this country and for your continued support of protective measures.
Now on to today’s topic. I write this blog to us ladies, although I know this can also apply to men as well. Whether you are a man or women today, I ask you to read these words carefully and take them to heart as truth.
I spent 25 years believing I was not “enough” nor “acceptable” to others, particularly to men. These beliefs were based on lies. These beliefs caused a lot of condemnation and many a bad decision. These beliefs put me in the path of an abuser who further assaulted my identity and targeted my core beliefs about my purpose. At the end of that relationship, the lies I’d believed had been further reinforced. I am going to say this; if you don’t think you emit “signals” from your heart based on your beliefs about yourself, think again. Human predators are good at picking up on these “signals” and using them against you and to their advantage. Do not be deceived.
I spent 25 years using food and exercise to please other people. I have gained and lost weight at 3 major times in my life for other people. I am going to tell you this was not good for my body. It’s not good for anyone’s body. Can anyone else relate? Now that I am free of lies, condemnation, guilt, and the offshoots of both (thank you Jesus); I am actually at a stable weight. I have some toning to do, but it is for me now and for the overall health of my body; not so others will like me, find me “enough” or “acceptable.” I am not ashamed of who I am anymore. I do not feel guilty if I eat dessert or don’t run 3 miles every day. I no longer eat to ease pain. I no longer have this incessant desire to post on social media about what I eat or how I exercise (yes for me it was incessant). My exercise and my diet are for me now, not others, and I listen to my body. I actually enjoy exercise more now than ever! I am not ashamed of my body anymore. I do everything I do as unto the Lord, I don’t do it for people anymore – to be pleasing to or for others. I don’t do these things to find a man. Ladies and gentlemen, a good man or woman loves you as you are, he or she does not love a physical fantasy of you (that is for somebody). Oh readers, if you only knew how freeing this is! Now let me be clear; I take care of my body but I don’t stress over perfection like I once did. Stressing over perfection of body or diet is part of performance-based mentality and ladies and gentlemen, we are not circus monkeys. We were not meant to live life performing for others to feel good about ourselves.
We don’t have to feel guilty for who we were made to be and for what our body looks like. Yes, Jesus wants us to take care of ourselves. No, we do not have to all be a size 0 or a muscle-bound body builder. As a nurse, I have seen more physical issues with size 0s and muscle-bound body builders than I care to discuss. I have also seen plenty of both miserable skinny and not-so-skinny people. Misery surrounds issues of the heart which feed into issues of self and body. Misery, condemnation, hurt, and guilt feed viscous cycles that breed perfectionism, fear, shame, and depression. In this viscous cycle we hate ourselves, we hate what we look like, and who we are. The good news? It doesn’t have to be this way! Jesus came that we might live a life free of condemnation, fear, and shame – that we might live as free souls, not chained to the wants and whims of others, nor the wants or whims of the next fad or magazine. This is exactly why He died for us and rose again, to take away our guilty verdict of self! Guess what? You can love yourself and your body! You don’t have to be a slave to a perfectionist diet or exercise regimen. Yes, I said slave. Do you know why you can do this? Because He loved you first, no matter what you have done or what you look like! You don’t have to fear who you are. You are perfect to Him!
Ladies and gentlemen, once you realize how much He truly loves you, no fad diet, fad exercise program or other person will be able to determine your value or worth! Only He will determine your value and worth! And you are more precious to Him than diamonds with a worth far beyond that! No one else will be able to sign your self-worth check! No one signs my self-worth check but Jesus Christ. I am guilt free! I do not fear who I am! I love myself and my body! I have finally accepted you I am and Whose I am. I know Who and what I am subject to and who and what I am not subject to. This is true freedom that is worth far more than any political freedom or right. It is Divine freedom! And it is also yours to have in Jesus Christ!
You do not have to go through this life hating yourself, your body, or hating your personality. You do not have to spend your life trying to be “good enough” or “acceptable.” You do not have to carry around guilt - that is not living, that is existing. You do not have to put up with people who expect you to hate yourself or carry around guilt! Jesus came that you might have life and have it more abundantly! Abundant life is not being afraid of who you are or your body. Abundant life is loving yourself and your body. Abundant life is knowing Whose you are. Abundant life is His life in you – your best life! When His life is in you, everything else will fall into place. His life and love push out the guilt, the fear, shame, condemnation and the self-hatred. His life and love fill you up and leave no room for hurtful things. His life and love heal you like no one and nothing else can!
If you are tired of feeling guilty, hating yourself, and living life like you are a monkey performing in circus; call to Him and He will answer! It will be the best conversation you will ever have and will change your life forever! You will know truth and that truth will set you free! The opinions of people will fall by the wayside and life will really start! You will know love and peace like you have never known. Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? I am! Come and go with me! We will never be the same!
I will leave you today with the words of Paul, the Apostle:
Romans 8:1; Therefore, there is now [no] condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you…
Romans 8:33-34; Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.