Your Body is Not a Battlefield
Two months ago on a Sunday morning, I was sitting on the edge of my bathtub looking in the mirror. Hating what looked back at me. I looked myself straight in the eyes and began to say things I would never say to another person.
“I hate you.”
“You are so hideous.”
“Look at your stupid hair. How do you expect people to want to have you do their hair when you look like this.”
“How did you let yourself get so fat? You look disgusting!”
“You are worthless.”
“Nobody will love you.”
As I sat and soaked in those words, my kids, Owen and Cora came in and stared at me. Cora then gave me her most prized possession...her softie. She said, “Don’t be sad Mama. You can have my softie.” Owen handed me his new bow and arrow to try and cheer me up. This shocked me because I wasn’t even crying until then. I never imagined that my negative self talk would effect my kids or anyone else around me. I thought I was just hurting myself because it was all done in my mind. Their reactions let me know how wrong I really was. I knew this was such an important moment in my life and all I could do was say, “God help me.”
He heard me and a few days later, I got an email from a life coaching program I’m doing. The title was “Your body is God’s greatest work of art and His living temple.”
This was the beginning of the work that God is still doing in me. As I worked through the material that came to my inbox, God began to speak to me about my body. It wasn’t long after, that I was asked to speak for a women’s event at my home church and I knew right away that God wanted me to talk about this. About the way we see our bodies. I made some quick calculations in my head of how much weight I could lose before October 13th. You know, so I could seem more legit. I have actually lost none of those pounds! So it was an excellent opportunity for me to live out the message of authenticity I spoke there a few months ago. I want to have it all together and offer you a pretty packaged testimony with a beginning, middle, and end. What I have for you is the middle and it is full of heartache and healing.
God has shown me that my body is not a battlefield.
As women, we are in a constant battle with ourselves. We fight aging. Fight fat. Fight fatigue. Fight cellulite. Fight frizz. Fight grey hair. Fight our minds.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
I’ve always thought of “wrestling against flesh and blood” as fighting with each other but God showed me that he wants us to stop wrestling against our own flesh and blood. Not in regards to sin, but fighting and warring against our physical bodies. Satan is the real enemy, not ourselves.
When I get in this place of spewing hate at myself, what do I do? What tools do I have to get out of it or to stay off that road in the first place?
I have to know the difference between what is true and what is a lie. What is from God and what is from the enemy? Does God ever tell me I’m worthless, fat, ugly, stupid, or disgusting? No. Those words, that voice is separate from me and I get to choose what I let in. He tells me that I am his temple, his finest creation, I am made in his image, set apart and made holy, I am his cherished daughter, I am seen and fully known and still loved.
Isaiah 64:8 says, “You are our Father, we are the clay and you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
Matthew 10:30-31 says, “You, beloved, are worth so much more than a whole flock of sparrows. God knows everything about you. Even the number of hairs on your head.”
I want to believe that my body is more than just an obstacle to overcome, but that it is an instrument I may use to experience the abundant life that God offers. My body is not something to be beaten into submission, but to be cared for in love. My body is precious and it is a limited asset. It deserves high esteem.
What if you started asking Him for truth? What would it be like to hear his voice and know what he thinks about you specifically? I wonder what some of you would hear if you opened up your heart and gave him permission to speak truth where lies have taken root for too long.
This beautiful prayer is part of what came in my email that day when God started me on this road to healing. (Visit purposedweller.com for more)
“Lord, I bow my head in humility. There is a deep sorrow within me as I mourn the way I have, at times, treated your greatest architecture. Lord, I did not know. I have not really understood how precious my body is to you. I understand now…
I understand that you love my body enough to call it your home. Will you help me love my body enough to call it my home as well?
I abandoned this house many years ago. I’ve thrown rocks through its windows and called it hateful names. I’ve judged it, been ashamed of it, condemned it. In ways, I have boarded up the windows and left it to ruin. Your truth has been hidden from my eyes and lies have eaten out the walls of my house like termites.
But I’m back now. I long to live here again. I want to reclaim what it mine, what has been passed down to me by my Father. I believe you will help me restore this house! I believe you will make me new. I am willing to take part in the restoration. I am willing to do the manual work required in a project like mine. I need you Jesus, to be the architect again, to show me the plan, to make sure the foundation is secure, to teach me how to rebuild. I know that, even as I knock, wondering if anyone is home, that You are opening the front door to welcome me. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for taking care of my house while I was away. Help me once again to make this house a home. Help me see it for the glorious inheritance that it is. I desire to move back in, even while we are in the restoration process. Lord, please help me be present in my house and extravagantly tender as we rebuild. Thank you, Jesus for showing me how precious my body is! May I honor and glorify you by taking care of our dwelling place. Amen.”