One of the ultimate tests I've been confronted with in the past several months is whether or not I could love God even if I never lost a pound.
I remember my heart racing as I washed dishes and feeling God gently bring this up... "So Jennifer, would you love me? Would you accept me and trust me? Would you believe I am still good.... that I still have a plan for your life.... even if you never lost another pound?!"
Oh ouch, God. I mean, don't you want me to be healthy?
Don't you want me to exercise?
Don't you want me to turn to you for comfort and in moments of distress?
Then how can you ask me that????
"Is your love for me conditional? Is your love for me based on what I'm willing to do or not do in your life?"
Oh... Lord. Have I turned you into my own personal genie? Have I made you small that I think that you should answer all my wishes... and be at my beck and call...
And so this surrender. Surrender of my weight. Surrender of my image. Surrender of my desire to be accepted by others. For other people to see me as an attractive person. I have become so caught up in myself that I have missed the point. I have limited my love, my willingness to obey and surrender to the Lord, on whether or not I can get "thinner".
Here's the truth. I can't change apart from Him. I can't be different on my own. I can do Weight Watchers or Atkins or Slim Fast or Low Carb or No Carb or South Beach Diet. I can eat raw. I can juice. I can join the Y. I can learn to run. I can ride my bike. I can drink water and take vitamins and get chiropractic adjustments. I can live holistically. Eat organic. Weed out all the fast food and processed food and junk out of my life. Give up soda and Starbucks. I can eat gluten-free. I can try metabolism diets. I can try and do all these things... and UTTERLY FAIL APART FROM THE LORD.
I need Him. Not just in some crutch sort of way but in the way that I can flat-out-not-do-this-apart from the Lord.
I'm on a journey... the same journey I've been on for many, many years now. Of living healthier, eating better, growing in good habits. I'm not there yet. Not even close. I'm eating more salads. Making more smoothies. Trying to eat more fruits and veggies. Trying to cook more and not lean on take-out or drive-thrus. Trying to ride my bike and just plain move more.
And I know in the midst I have to trust God. Surrender my life to Him. Surrender my daily choices.
And when I fail, I can rest in the fact that God has done it for me. He has lived a perfect life in Jesus Christ. He never sinned. And His perfect righteousness is applied to me. It as though I've never overeaten. Never been gluttonous. Never turned to food for comfort. Isn't that amazing???!
In Christ, I have never disobeyed when it comes to food. I have lived well and rightly. And so I rest in Christ's perfect work and not my own. And I am free to enjoy the great foods He has given us. And free to love and not hate my body. To be grateful for this tool God has given me. I want to use it wisely. I want to use it for His glory. I want to be a blessing to my family and friends. And so I ask for HELP from Him. And draw on Him for strength.
So Jesus, help me. Help me love and want you more than any earthly thing. And help me to use what gifts you have given me for your glory, for your purposes and for the furtherance of your Kingdom. Thank you for your faithfulness and that you aren't done with me yet! My hope is in you!
* Have lost 10 pounds on my journey thus far. Thank you Lord!