"Huh! That was interesting!" It's a phrase I've taught myself to say in response to those instant, unexpected, condemning thoughts that literally come out of nowhere. They are LIGHTENING fast aren't they!? This morning I walked into my strength class at the gym feeling great. I was in a really good mind, body and soul space. As I walked in though, I very consciously noticed that one of my sweet gym friends said hi to me and then obviously looked at my legs. I mean she really, noticeably GLANCED for a delayed moment. Immediately, a complicated conversation began in my mind! Assessment was made. Judgment was decided. I concluded immediately that she saw my legs, thought that they were horrible and it took everything within her to hold back from telling me I really shouldn't wear shorts. It's crazy right? Let me explain!
As I write this the depth of craziness is obvious to me, but in that moment there was nothing crazy about it. Years ago (like 20!!), after a hurtful comment, I made a false agreement with myself that my legs were "gross" and that I shouldn't wear shorts until they looked perfect. Perfect!? What!? Of course now, on this side of healing I see the outrageous absurdity of it, but the Enemy is wiley and his lies are sneaky. As I paused today and reflected on my "huh, that was interesting" moment, I realized that old, broken agreement was simply trying to find its way back into my life. It was a quick blow from the enemy to test my resolve, would he be able to get back in with that old familiar whisper? Thankfully no. I immediately recognized him and shut down that lie.
My point in sharing this? Even after we do the work to break through lies, strongholds, and disorders, we must still stay on alert and ready to actively resist the devil and his tactics. Yes, it takes effort and endurance. But we can be truly joyful that He who is in us is SO mighty, and that in Him we are free and victorious!
Another important point on this subject!?! A fleeting thought does not trump your victory! Victory over food disorders, diets, weight struggles, distorted body image, and disordered thinking doesn't mean everyday is a grand slam. Some days don't feel like a win and that's ok! Some days are more of a draw. Struggling is not the same as defeat!! I want to say that again - struggling is NOT the same as defeat! Struggling is part of the human condition, but it doesn't "undo" your victory! As long as you feel the conflict between flesh and spirit, you're still in the race! It's when the conflict ceases we need to worry! The battle simply means the Lord is at work in you! Take heart! In Christ you are victorious indeed!
When lies, whether new and nasty or old and tired, try to take root we have the light and truth of God's word to protect and guide us.
We also have the ability to replace those thoughts just as quickly as they come...and it begins with being thankful, and here's how...
Instead of focusing on what my body is not, let me tell you what it is....
This body is almost 41 years old. This body endured years and years of unthinkable self-abuse but prevailed. This body gave birth to two of God's most incredible creations! This body is strong and gentle. This body can do an impressive amount of push-ups one moment and the next, with the same strong arms, comfort and cuddle little bodies. This body is able. This body is powerful. This body is flawed on this side of heaven but in the eyes of its creator seen as flawless! This body is far from perfect, but it is the chosen dwelling place for the One who is! This body is mine. I will be thankful for it and I will use it to glorify its Maker! Everything I am means NOTHING if He is not my one thing!
If you have been tempted to believe a lie that would cause you to question your value and worth when it comes to your body, let me challenge you to shift your focus. Instead of thinking about what your body is not, let me ask you, what IS your body, and what about your body can you be thankful for?