Have you heard the saying, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”? I really hate that saying.
Partially because, to me, everything tastes good. And, second, because it lads to the impression that skinniness equals happiness. Are naturally thin people just bouncing around with an endless amount of joy, because they fall into a worldly definition of “skinny”? It conflicts with everything the Bible says to be true.
Over the past few years, God’s done a number on my heart. You see, weight maintenance has never been a strength of mine. I tend to yo-yo around and for far too long, fell into assumption that my self-worth was somehow tied to a number on the scale or the size of a pair of pants. I believed if my jeans fit a little better, than my life would be overflowing with happiness and joy.
But you see, my joy comes from Him. Not a completed food log or a certain amount of calories burned in a day, but from the fact that He is my strength. And that despite the struggle, despite the fact that each day may be a challenge, there is true joy that can come from the battle.
“Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 ESV)
These verses open a new form of opportunity for me as I continue to try to live a healthy lifestyle, the one He wants for me. In fact, as a result of these verses, eating well and exercising has become a form of worship. A chance to praise Him for helping me make a decision that doesn’t come naturally, a chance to cry out to Him when a fitness class is challenging, an opportunity to be reminded that my obedience to Him isn’t defined by a number on the scale.
Now the tough part, for me anyways: to keep running the race before me, with the strength He’s provided me. Goals are healthy and important things to have. I am motivated by goals; however, God is teaching me in this season to solely focus and rely on Him. I am not the accomplishment of my goals. My identity is in Christ alone.
And in the meantime, God’s teaching me that the steadfastness He is talking about in James 1. Our battles, whatever they are, body image related or not, are joy-filled opportunities to develop willpower, faith, grit, courage, toughness, and stamina.
When my brain says I can’t, God says I can! When the scale doesn’t move, God says, “Your satisfaction comes from me, nothing else.” When I feel defeated, God reminds me I wasn’t created to live in a state of defeat. When Satan tries to weaken my attitude and drive, God speaks, “I came so that you have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10b)
And so I push on, actively. Waiting to meet my goals, by His glorious strength and only because of the Hope He brings. I may not be where I want to be all the time on the scale, but as a daughter in Christ, I am right where He wants me to be.
Chelsea is a wife to Josh, a dog-mom to Cali, and spends her days connecting with those around her. She can frequently be found sipping iced coffees at a local coffee shop, always with a few too many books in her oversized bag. Her heart finds joy in untangling the trials in life and allowing God to help her find beauty every day. She blogs about her life and battles with infertility over at trialsbringjoy.com and would love to connect with you on Instagram at @chels819.
Looking for something to help you keep the faith and grow in a season of waiting? Chelsea has co-authored a 6-week devotional, In the Wait, which dives into how to live actively when feeling like you’re in a stagnant place. It broadly offers biblical application for all types of seasons of life and provides action steps to make life happen today. The heart of this book is to encourage women regardless of what they are waiting on, to not give up, and to fight for full reliance on God. You can find this interactive book for sale on Amazon or at Holly Holt Design and join the community of encouragement at @IntheWaitStudy on Instagram.
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