Friday, March 1, 2013

Not as Man Seeth






 I want to write this post because of my friends, I love them and I want them to know that I love them and how much God loves them.

 Lately, I have noticed that many of the girls that I am around are having trouble with their body image. So, today I was browsing through blogs that I follow and found this encouraging post. The reason it was so encouraging is because it sounded just like me, it made me think that it was about time to tell my story. This is not really my story, it's Christ's work in me, therefore it is His story.


If you've known me for more than two years you may remember me as this:
not a great pic I know


You see, this picture not only represents me from that day, or that year, but really what I felt was a good portion of my life, from 15-22 (really only 7 years, but crucial years of a girls life). I got this way first, because I didn't know the love of Christ and secondly, because food was my god, it comforted me and made me forget that I was lonely and motherless.

 This picture was taken on January 17th, 2011, the day I started my "diet". As you can see, this was my before picture, I would take one every five weeks so I could see my progress. It took me five months to lose sixty pounds. But, I didn't exactly do it the healthy way.


When I became a Christian at the age of 20 I knew my life was going to change, I was going to change. I had been raised in a Christian home and I knew the so-called ins and outs of being a "christian", but when I repented and gave my life to Christ little did I know how much harder, yet easier things would become. He gave me a new vision, a new reason to live. I realized I was no longer living for me, I was living for Him. Oh what a joy it was. But, the flesh would pop and say "me, me, me" and sometimes I would follow it. How dreadful it seems in hindsight that we follow the things of the flesh when Christ has given us a much higher road, though harder, it is much more profitable.

When I started dieting I was doing it for all the right reasons, I knew that what I was doing was offensive to the LORD. I was over eating for pleasure. The Lord does not call us to this life for pleasure, he calls us to serve him and in no way was I serving him through my lips. I kept a journal of all I was doing and all that the LORD was teaching me. It was very hard, but so very easy with the LORD on my side.

But then the flesh kicked in. People started noticing how much weight I had lost, they noticed that I was getting smaller and smaller and unlike all the other times I wasn't giving up, I kept going. People told me I inspired them. All these things made ME feel really good, it made feel like I was worth something. People liked me now, they paid more attention to me.

I was so focused on me that I got off track, not only with the LORD but with my diet as well. Instead of eating good wholesome foods and eating enough I ate only enough to give me energy to get through the day. I did this for a couple of months, I lost weight but I felt horrible while doing it. I knew it wasn't right. Thank the LORD he convicted me of it before it became a disease.

It has taken me almost two years to get back on track and give my complete focus to Christ. I weigh approximately the same as I did when I finished my diet. I have had my ups and downs. The past few months have been "downs" and I gained a few pounds, but the LORD is good and He, as always has seen me through and here I am about to run a 5k.

I still have a problem that I will carry throughout my life and that is caring way to much about what others think of me and the body God gave me. I know there are people who probably judge me because I don't look like a fitness model, or because I don't look like a fashion model, or because I am what they see as the"skinny girl". But I doubt that no one can judge me as much as I do myself. Sometimes I give myself living hell, but God did not call us to Him because of our bodies and the way we look. He called us because He loves us, no matter what. He sees our hearts and that's what I try to look at when I look at another person.

                                            This is me just a few weeks ago, just to give you an idea of what I look like now.

Now, as for diet. I do not condone over eating, although I still do it from time to time (LORD help me),  the bible speaks of gluttony in a very bad light. But, I don't judge people on how they look. Many people are bigger and eat a very healthy lifestyle. God made everyone different sizes and I love that Jesus Christ shows such diversity in His Creation.

I have said all this to say this because I think that I can speak to the young ladies with body image problems, they will listen to me because I have been on both sides. So to the young ladies with body image problems:

Dear Young Ladies,

You are so beautiful, and I understand how you feel when it comes to your body. You look in the mirror and you see this body that doesn't look like the picture in the magazine, that piece of skin there must be fat since it isn't muscle or bone. You look at yourself and you wonder why you can't be "normal"?
 Did you know that those women that you see in those magazines, on tv, they don't make up even half of the population. These women starve themselves and/or workout 10 hours a day. You have so much more to do in life than to worry about every single morsel of food you put into your mouth. Jesus said "is not life more than meat" and by this I think He meant you have more in your life to do than to worry about how much food you have or how little, God's work needs to be done either way.
 Your body is a beautiful thing, it's something God made for you to give to your husband one day. I do believe it should be kept up. Don't just let it go, but don't let how you look take over your life. There is so much more to beauty than just your skin. God created you, he knew what He was doing. Don't question why he made your hips so big, or why you have a smaller bosom than someone else. God made you just the way you are and He loves you.
 If you feel that food is a temptation then pray to the LORD about it, he says in His word "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." God is not weak, He is the epitome of strength. He says in His word that through your weakness His strength will come through. He also says "  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.". God does not save us and then leave us alone, He is walking right beside us helping us along. He will not leave you.
 If you do have a problem with your weight then you need to go to the LORD about it, I like what Betsy Ten Boom told Corrie Ten Boom while they were in Ravensbruk "Corrie, there is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still.". There is no quick fix, there is no magic pill, it didn't appear overnight, it's not going to disappear overnight. Don't constantly focus on you, keep you focus on Christ and His word, when you feel  hungry read His word, or if you are busy doing something quote scriptures to yourself.
 No one is perfect, but the human race is constantly seeking perfection without Christ. But, they will not find it. Your perfection only comes through the saving grace of Jesus Christ your LORD. Love the body He has given you, take care of the temple that contains the Holy Spirit. Don't worry about tomorrow or what it holds focus on Christ and all will be well.
 I Love all of you young ladies so much and I would hate to see you at such a young age be taken off track by the devil and his demons by such a small thing as self hate and food. REMEMBER that God is sufficient, He is the only thing that can fill us completely, the only thing that can comfort us completely and the only one who can use us entirely. Serve Him, Glorify Him, Praise Him.
I Love you and if you ever need to talk to someone I am here. Just email me through my blog and I will be glad to talk with you.
Blessings in Jesus Name,
Elisha


“Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”  
~ Corrie Ten Boom




Matthew 6:24-34 , 1 Corinthians 10 , James 4, 1 Samuel 16:7