I just got done working out at good old land of purple, Planet Fitness, not that you needed a play-by-play. At the end of it, on my 15-20 minute drive home, my wheels were fully engaged in what I would say to the trainer I’m meeting with tomorrow to learn a good workout plan that fits where I am in life. I’m that girl who sits and role-plays everything in her mind, whether it is what she will say, might say if such and such things happen, or wished she did say. I tend to over dwell on things. More than anything, I was trying to figure out how I convey to the trainer tomorrow just why I am working out and why I cannot be there for more than 40 minutes. After adding in travel time, I just can’t make it any longer than 40, and I am working out (again…) because I am choosing to love myself enough.
I was journaling last night about some things that had been on my heart. About a week ago, a thought came to me that the sexual desires and impulses I once fought and got freedom from in high school had merely changed its name and face. The crux of that perversion of truth was me satisfying my own desire for love, which is silly to say now. Though I don’t struggle with that anymore, I do struggle with an array of other sins that at the crux are me fighting against my sinful desires when what God wants for me, and what is best for me, is quite the opposite. I see now that I am free from the things of high school, and in a way it may seem to have just changed names and faces because I am a human that has layers of sin to deal with as God takes me deeper with him. It is all different sides of the selfish desires and enticement of sin.
So, I was basically journaling about the sins I see in my own life that I need to deal with, and I started to realize that calling them out and writing what I would like to see happen really was doing me no good. It only made me feel like less of a person and less of a Christian. Yes, I need to make changes, and as John Bevere would say, “What you don’t confront, doesn’t change,” but I was going about it all wrong. My focus was entirely on what I needed to do different and not on who gives me the grace and strength to do it different. That’s when I started to write instead a prayer asking God to teach me how to love myself better because I saw that my identity was broken.
I don’t think I can honestly have enough pages, Lord, to fill with all the ways I feel like I fall short. So, in the journey, help me to never forget that I don’t have to strive in my own strength. I don’t have to feel worthless because of what I feel I should or should not be doing. Help me to know Your heart toward me, Lord. Help me to not get overwhelmed with the process. Help me to see myself better, the way you see me. Remove the layers and make me more like you.
My Journal, June 28, 2016
I think this is where the thought started to birth that I need to change the way I view eating and working out. It can’t be about weight loss. It can’t be about looking better than so-and-so. It can’t be about making everyone in high school look on me with amazement if I ever go to a reunion. It can’t be about my husband. It can’t even be about getting healthy. It has to be about loving myself the way God loves me.
God tells me that I am his precious child. I am called for a purpose. He says that he loves me; He calls me His beloved. He cherishes me. He delights in me, even though I feel like I fall short. That doesn’t mean I am perfect, and that doesn’t mean I should stop trying to be more like Him; rather, it compels me to pursue Him more. And if He loves and cherishes me that much, even where I am, then I should love and cherish myself, too. If I had children, I would want them to eat well-balanced meals and stay active because I love them and want them to be healthy, should I not expect the same for myself? So, perhaps working out and eating healthy needs to have a make-over in my mind because learning to see myself as God sees me, with love, starts with how I take care of myself. I am beautiful and loved the way I am, but to make healthier choices is to love myself better.
As I day by day learn to listen to God’s voice telling me what He thinks of me, I’m going to choose to love myself enough to take care of the body He has given me. One choice at a time. One day at time. I’m not going to let myself get stuck in the process or stuck in the what I should be or could be, but I’m going to press on into what loving myself looks like day-to-day. And really, this goes beyond just my physical health. It goes into my spiritual, emotional, and mental needs as well. This frame of mind even breaks the cycle of self-condemnation when I do mess up. It is saying I choose to love myself enough to get up and keep trying, not in my strength, but in God’s strength.
I’m redefining what loving myself looks like, in every aspect. And to do that, I have to allow Him to teach me how much He loves me.