If I asked you to jot down the first five words you think to describe yourself, what words would you use? Would they be positive and uplifting, or negative and self sabotaging? Focused on looks or heart posture? Affirmations or derogatorives? Biblical truths or lies from the enemy?
As much as I would love to say that my words would be centered around Biblical truths, I know that it would depend on the day. On a day where I was exhausted, I would likely focus on my shortcomings and excuses. On a day where I was angry, I’m afraid self-loathing thoughts may win. On a day where I have nothing left to give, I would likely lament on how inferior I am as compared to where I should be located. Honestly? 96.93615563% of the time, I would likely not be voicing Biblical truths about myself.
I struggle, friend. On the daily. As a single mother and IT professional, I have to be “on” all the time. I’m an introvert by nature, but my job requires extroversion. I can fake it, but it. Is. Exhausting. I could go days without speaking to another soul if I could. Maybe even weeks. Wow. #ohthatsoundsamazing
It seems as though there is always something requiring my attention. I’m good at dealing with those distractions, but not quite as brilliant at self care. I start healthy behaviors, but then fail in a fiery display of nopeness. I try. Oh, how I try. And fail. Sigh.
Well, my health sucks at this point. Cardiovascular, endocrine, musculoskeletal, immune….. All of these systems are freaking out and – my suspicion – they are failing because of a lack of self care.
I encourage others to see a massage therapist for joint pain. I recommend healthier behaviors to others to help them feel better. I remind diabetics to eat healthy to keep blood sugars in check. But…. I do not apply those rules to myself. I eat whatever is convenient because it’s just me, I’m in traffic, I don’t want to cook and dirty dishes, I have too much to do when I get home, and so many other things. Where do I find time/money for massages when I’m trying to remove all debt? My sugars cannot be bad if I only check them on days I eat healthy-ish.
Friends, these things are distracting me from my purpose. I have to do better. I have to take steps to heal, both spiritually and physically. I must make the time before there is no time left.
The bigger issue is the idolatry that surfaces. I’m choosing convenience over my relationship with Christ. I’m choosing horrible behaviors over treating my body as the Holy-Spirit-housing vessel it is.
I have a purpose, but – unless I am around long enough to fulfill it – it will go to waste and be lost forever. Jesus died on the cross so I could grab fast food? No way. He was beaten beyond recognition so that I could play a glucometer game? Negative, Ghostrider.
So I’m starting a journey. More than weight loss. More than lip service. More than just existing. I’m taking back my life. Not for me, necessarily, but for Him. So that I can do what is asked of me.
I know from experience that the only way to make these changes is through baby steps. I am incapable of making drastic changes that last a lifetime. I am, however, capable of small changes that become habits. I need to learn to love myself and speak truth and prophesy over my life.
This is a journey. There is no end date. Each day needs to end with a nugget of wisdom gained. A truth revealed. A step forward. A gesture of respect toward myself.
I must allow myself to ask for grace, and I must grant it. I need to focus on progress over perfection. It all boils down to better choices. Weighing the options. I’m ready
I have an amazing support system in place, for which I am grateful. God places those we need on our paths. He has set me up for success.
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:1-2 NIV