I think I’ve mentioned before that I am a youth leader at church! I absolutely love being a youth leader and I 100% believe that God has called me to work with high school girls. When you have made as many life changing mistakes as I have, and have a God who has offered me as much grace as he has, I find it obvious and crucial to then turn around and share this good news with others! Hopefully along the way imparting some wisdom I have gained to help guide these younger ones, so that they can avoid/escape some of the pots holes I fell into.
Another reason I love leading in the youth group is that it honestly keeps me on top of my game. I value being an authentic and real leader, therefore I need to practice what I preach. If I’m telling you to spend time daily with God, I need to be spending time daily with God. If I’m telling you that His plan is good and to be trusted, I too need to trust in His plan and believe it is good.
This semester I am leading a study called Bodies and Souls. This study is all about our bodies, marriage, intimacy, sex, relationship, our worth etc. At first Satan tried to make me feel that I was unfit to lead this study. Here I am, recovering from anorexia, and I’m being asked to lead a study about bodies and souls. Satan would have me believe that because of my anorexia recovery I should not be leading this. Satan wants me to believe that because my marriage is imperfect I have no business talking to high school girls about how to choose a spouse. Satan wants me to believe that because I struggle with loving my body and accepting my body, I’m the wrong person for the job.
I really struggled with this for a while. I even talked to a few people about it and sought out their wisdom. I prayed about it and then I realized, Satan….is a moron!
It is those exact things that makes me perfect for the job. It is because I have lost myself to anorexia and then found myself in my identity with Christ that I am exactly who should be talking to these girls about body image and where we find our worth. God isn’t looking for the perfect person, he is looking for the person who knows him and loves him and his word and who has the heart for him to teach these girls about his plan.
So this past week in our small group we tackled the topic of “Divine Flesh,” and I want to share a little bit of our study with you today because it is SO good and SO true. Whenever I remind myself of what I’m about to share with you my perspective on my body changes 100%.
We started off our group brainstorming and listing what makes for a good body?! The list contained things like a healthy BMI, specific body type, strong, good diet, attractive, good blood flow, being fit. Then we discussed what this says about the purpose of our bodies. It seems it can be pretty subjective, they are meant to look good, to keep us a live. We also took it a bit further and offered up alternative perspectives that the world offers about what our bodies are for, like, childbearing, sexuality, pornography, pleasure etc.
After we brainstormed all of this we dived into scripture and read Lamentations 4:2, “And the people of Zion, once prized, far surpassing their weight in gold, are now treated like cheap pottery, like every day pots and bowls mass-produced by a potter.” (MSG) What we realized these verses were saying is that the people of Zion (a.k.a. Gods people), who are worth more then gold, are now treated like cheap pots and like they are all the same, made by a common potter. Hmmm sounds VERY familiar…It seems like now-a-days we are like mass produced pots all walking into sephora, doing whole 30 and searching for the same body type. But why? We were made to be gold! Not cheap replicas of each other!!
We go on to check out Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” We learned from this verse that we are made in GODS IMAGE. This means that we are made to be like Him! We also know he made male and female and both are made in His image and neither is depreciated or exalted over one another. They are equal and they are both made in his image.
It’s important for us, since we are made in his image, to understand what his image looks like right? So we talk about how God sent his Son, Jesus, to earth. This is God in human flesh! If we want to know what we are suppose to be like? Look at Jesus!
We started to talk about what Jesus looked like and to be honest, we realized we don’t know his BMI, we don’t know his blood work, we don’t know his exercise level (although we did assume he walked a lot back then haha). We were pretty sure he wasn’t into being a sex symbol and we had not idea how fit or strong he was, but what we DID know was that his purpose had nothing to do with his size or his looks or his weight, and everything to do with Gods plan for him on earth. This is WAY different then how we view our bodies and what we decided their purpose was earlier!
We then sat back and thought about how we think God looks at our bodies. Are they there to be fit and always on a diet worrying about what we eat or how they look all the time? Based on what we are reading in the Bible it seems like he is more interested in them being a vessel to further his plans and share the good news about him! It also looks like he sees our bodies as his perfect creation and as a part of HIM. We are made in HIS IMAGE.
I don’t know about you guys but for me this REALLY changes how I look at myself. Do I still want to be healthy so that I can be the vessel that God uses, absolutely! But wow, how much time to spend obsessing over my weight or how I look or how I can manipulate my looks when in all honesty God sees me as his perfect creation, as a part of him. I am certain that I can do whatever work he wants me to in the body I have right now, yet I sit in my room crying and contemplating if I really should restrict another food group because I want to lose fat from my belly. What am I doing?
In Psalm 139:14 it says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.”
God’s works are wonderful. I am one of his works. So you know that that means….I am wonderful and I need to know that FULL WELL.
When I really sit and think about how fearfully and wonderfully I am made I really can only sit back and be in awe of my creator.
If I’m being honest I’ve never really been into science. I’m more of an art girl. During biology class I tuned out 90% of the time. I did my work to get my B (let's be real..probably a C….) and moved along. I never really took the time to think about my body and its intricate design, until I entered treatment.
Let me tell you something, our bodies are SMART. I mean REALLY smart. So smart that we don’t understand them fully. To be honest I feel a little dumb even talking about how smart they are because I don’t even understand them!
During my anorexia my body was so starved for nutrition that my body was intelligent enough to slow down its metabolism, shut down processes that waste too much energy (like having a period), and take nutrients from my bones, just to keep me alive. That is smart. My pancreas learned to create extra insulin to feed my muscles as I beat up my body with over exercise while starving it of nutrients. That is smart. Now that I am recovering I stand in awe of my creator at the resilience and design of my body. The fact that my heart continues to pump and my organs fight back to heal after I selfishly restricted food from them for seven years is crazy! The fact that my body is smart enough to hold onto extra fat right now because it wants to make sure that if I choose to starve again it is prepared and ready to go. THAT my friends, is being fearfully and wonderfully made by a creator. Our bodies are complex organisms that are unique and it speaks volumes about the mind of its creator. Have you ever really sat back and thought about your body? Like literally how do we see? How to my eye balls look at something and I somehow understand it? How do I walk around without telling my feet to take a step each time? How crazy is it that we can make babies?! Bodies that are this intelligent were designed by a God that is incredible.
I get angry at my body for not bouncing back quickly in recovery, but maybe I need to change my perspective and be grateful that my body is taking its time to heal and get back in order! It is SO easy for me to get caught up in the mindset that what matters about my body is what it can do for me, or how it looks, what my weight is or how clothes fit on it, but man am I cheapening myself to something common by doing that.
I was made for a purpose. That purpose is not to obsess about my weight or the food I eat or the calories I intake.
This week my goal for myself is to start to see my body how God sees my body. I know I am going to need a LOT of help to do this. I wrote this blog, went to Old Navy to buy a sweater and almost broke down again about my weight...clearly this perspective is going to take some time and work, but wow, what freedom that would be to be able to live that way!
What if I started to concentrate on my purpose rather then my appearance? I bet it will be far more
Thank you God for creating me. I am Your perfect creation. I am made in Your image. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am gold, not common. I am designed and born with a purpose. Take that ED!
- Sara -
p.s. Because you know I love worship music... just wanted to share another great one that goes along with this blog about our awesome creator! It's called So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong. Literally my favorite song right now :)
Some Fun Facts About Our Bodies!
1. A tongue print is absolutely unique; remember this when showing it to somebody!
2. A single hair can hold the weight of a hanging apple. However, scientists don’t specify the dimensions of the apple.
3. The number of bacteria in a person’s mouth is equal to the number of people living on Earth, or even more.
4. Nails that are soft and brittle, with no moon, could indicate an overactive thyroid.
5. The speed of an incoming brain impulse is about 400 km/h.
6. There are not just four different blood types as we used to think, but in fact 29! The rarest of them belongs to the Bombay subtype, which is common for a small group of families in Japan.
7. Over the course of just one day, our blood ’runs’ the distance of 19,312 kilometers.
8. The total length of all the nerves in the human body is 75 kilometers.
9. A human makes approximately 20,000 breaths per day.
10. Almost all people in the world have special mites on their eyelashes called demodex.
11. A human eye can distinguish up to 10 million different colors. But our brain can’t remember all of them.
12. Our ears keep on growing throughout our lives with almost unbelievable speed — a quarter of a millimeter per year!
13. The heart beats 35 million times a year. Yes, 35 million. A year!
14. Every day, the human body loses about one million skin cells — that amounts to 2 kilos every year.
15. 1 square centimeter of your skin contains around a hundred pain sensors.
16. Boys have fewer taste buds on the surface of their tongues than girls do.
17. The average person consumes about 35 tons of food during his or her life.
18. A human spends about five years of their life blinking. Fortunately, we can do many other things simultaneously!
19. 100,000 chemical reactions occur every second in our brains.
20. The speed of your sneeze is 160 km/h.
21. Smiling triggers 17 muscles of the face while crying activates
21. Your mouth produces about one litre of saliva each day!
22. Your brain is sometimes more active when you’re asleep than when you’re awake.
23. Laid end to end, an adult’s blood vessels could circle Earth’s equator four times!
24. The word “muscle” comes from Latin term meaning “little mouse“, which is what Ancient Romans thought flexed bicep muscles resembled.
25. Bodies give off a tiny amount of light that’s too weak for the eye to see.
26. The average person has 67 different species of bacteria in their belly button.
27. You lose about 4kg of skin cells every year!
28. Babies don’t shed tears until they’re at least one month old.
29. Information zooms along nerves at about 400kmph!
30. Your left lung is about 10 percent smaller than your right one.
31. Human teeth are just as strong as shark teeth.
32. Scientists estimate that the nose can recognise a trillion different scents!
33. Humans are the only species known to blush.
34. Your blood makes up about eight percent of your body weight.