Tag Archives: Health

My Body is Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

30 May

Hello Friends,

I’m sorry for the long delay in posts. Those of you who know me in real life know that I’ve been growing a baby boy for the last seven months. Needless to say, pregnancy, in addition to pastoring a church and being a full-time graduate student, makes for a very busy life and blogging simply hasn’t been a priority. However, pregnancy has also brought about some remarkable spiritual insights.

I could probably write a dozen blogs based on my recent life experiences, but I’d like to focus on one thing today: the realization that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

“Fearfully and wonderfully made” is a biblical expression that a lot of people use in reference to babies. I’m sure than when my baby is born, and I count his ten little fingers and ten little toes, I will be uttering these words over him. In this season of life, though, I am marveling at how God has made me.

Like many women, I have struggled with body image for as long as I can remember. Diets began early. Obsession with the number on the scale was fostered by middle school. Even though I was always “healthy” I was never thin- at least by celebrity standards (I graduated high school at 5’6” and 132 lbs and now see that my body was perfect as it was). Even when I was doing well, my obsession with weight was always waiting- just below the surface- to creep back up and take over my life. Since adolescence I’ve gone through periods of extreme self-denial and over-exercise. Even when I’m not abusing my body, my mind has never been free of my disordered thoughts. Often I will lie awake in bed, grieved and repentant- not over that day’s sins, but that day’s dietary indulgences. And it’s only gotten worse in the last four years as my weight has increased. The only time I’ve felt in control was when I was exercising hours a day and counting the calories of every crumb which entered my mouth. I believed Satan’s lie that being beautiful and worthy was contingent on being thin. I believed the lie that being thin was a virtue. I believed the lie that I was a failure because I wasn’t skinny. I would never have said that aloud- I knew better intellectually. But our actions reveal what we truly believe. My actions reveal a diseased thought life. I learned how to hide it; how to disguise it as a concern with “health.” In reality, my mind was the unhealthiest thing in my body.

And then I got pregnant. I am now the “fattest” I have ever been. But for the first time since I was nine years old, I am free from my own body-hatred.

Pregnancy has shown me how beautiful my body really is. Every change reminds me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made- exactly as I am. My body has been designed for this task of motherhood. A swollen belly is hardly the only evidence of the life growing inside of me. The same chemical that causes nausea and heartburn prepares my hips to separate. The fatigue I experience is my body conserving energy for the work of growing a baby and growing the placenta which now sustains him. The aches and pains in my back, abdomen, and side are just indicators that my boy is growing. Every change is a reminder that my body is doing something amazing. It’s growing, sustaining, preparing to deliver and nourish a human being.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I know that my present condition is temporary. My son will leave my body- and leave it changed. I probably won’t love my extended belly when the baby is no longer there. The Spirit of Christ inside me will likely have to re-enter the battle against my own disordered tendencies to hate my body. But this time, things will be different. I will have experienced the truth of Scripture- that my body is wonderful and beautiful- not because of how it looks, but how it works. And so:

DSC_5111-1I will delight in this body that carries, delivers and nurses my children.

I will delight this body that allows me to roll down hills, dance around the house, and squeeze my husband tight.

I will delight in this body that is strong enough to lift children into my arms, push wheelchairs around a department store, and pull the weeds out of my yard.

I will delight in this body that allows me to be the hands and feet of Jesus; to serve however he asks.

I will delight in this body that God has called good; because even my body can reflect the image of the One who made me.

And by the grace of God, I will replace the cycle of disorder with the cycle of delight. I will teach my children- especially my daughters- that they too have been made good; been made fearfully; been made wonderfully- just as they are.

Thanks be to God.

*Photo credit goes to Laura C.  Check her out at https://www.facebook.com/laura.c.camerakisses?fref=ts

 

 

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