My Thoughts Thursday: Faith, Body Image

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a stress-free week, I know it can be hard to have a laid back attitude during the school week but just remember, this thing we call “life” on earth is short, so remember not to be too hard on yourself!

I just wanted to give praise to the Lord for all he has done this week, for myself and for others. He has helped me overcome some of my struggles that I deal with on a  daily basis, such as food, exercise, “perfection”, sleeping, connecting with others, etc. He has shown me the light, the joy I was missing during the days where I wasn’t fully aware of his presence, but now that I know He is always here, I see things so so much differently. This week I have had a healthy relationship with a lot of things. School, friends, eating, exercising, praying, sleeping, reading, texting, everything! It wasn’t 100% healthy, but each area of my life as improved and I’ve become aware of it this week especially. I’m currently dealing with a situation involving a guy right now, but I know that God comes first. I can’t let the thoughts interfere with my relationship with the Lord, for he is the most important aspect of my life and I owe Him all that I possibly can give Him.

I’ve come across some videos that talk about Body Image and God, and I seriously can take so much valuable lessons and information from it because I myself have struggled with body image, and have battled a 4 year eating disorder. It’s been a rollercoaster ride let me tell you that, but ever since I called on Lord and asked him to be with me, and forgive me, it’s almost like this rollercoaster is coming to an end and I can finally get off, take a deep breathe, and walk away with relief, confidence and comfort knowing that it’s over.

So tonight I’m going to be talking about something I think is pretty interesting, and hopefully relatable to the women out there who are reading. Guys, if you’re reading, you may find this interesting too.

I want to begin with talking about creating your own faith. The first thing that you need to know is that creating your own faith is the first step in anything. Ya know, a lot of us grow up under our parent’s roof and abide by their rules, their expectations, their faith, and we attend church with them. But we all reach a certain age where we move out of our parent’s homes and go off on our own, and begin to realize that maybe we don’t have our own faith, we’ve been living on our parent’s. For those who grow up in the church, may not continue to go once your own your own, because you’ve been living on someone else’s faith. As a result, you begin to let go of whatever kind of faith you had because it was never yours in the first place, and there is nothing for you to hold on to. I believe that right now is the best time to decide if your faith is your own, and if you don’t think it is yours, create it for yourself. Ask questions, figure out what you can’t wrap your head around or what you don’t understand. This is the time to as questions and take your faith seriously. This is something worth investigating because this is the one thing thats going to last, the one thing that is going to carry on throughout all your days. There is so much more than just the beliefs that Christian’s have, it’s about asking hard questions and finding out that faith continually grows, there is no limit. Let me tell you something, I knew that becoming a Christian was the best thing I ever could have done for myself because it shows me who I am and what I’m living on this earth for. There’s 3 things that I want to live by that I want to be held accountable for during the rest of my life on this earth and that is : 1. To be kind 2. To be myself, and 3. To love Jesus. That’s why I love being a Christian, because knowing that I love jesus and belonging to him, I feel that I can face anything, and I can serve Him and serve others.  I’m not saying you can’t believe anything others tell you, it’s good to listen to other’s opinions about God and listen to them as they share their faith with you. I encourage that you find mentors and find people who love you, people who will help you and support you. I’ve talked to Pastors who have shared with me what they believe, and it’s good to hear their perspective, but make sure that whatever you hear and take from what other’s say to you, you know that your faith is your faith, no one else’s. Ask yourself why you believe in God. Have you experienced Him on your own? Have you built a relationship with Him? Some of us say we believe in God and title ourselves as Christians, but without the relationship, the faith isn’t there or isn’t as strong. God has placed grace on all of us in different ways. God is developing us in order to serve Him and His Kingdom, and the people on this earth. He wants to heal us, and any voices that you hear that are devaluing are not voices of God. He loves you. God had set us aside for a special holiness that hasn’t been seen yet. We’re all gifted in our own ways and have a role to play. It was

Ephesians 4:11-13

“It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers. To be prepare God’s people for the works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up. until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

I used to believe that having a role in ministry was the only way I was going to please God with what I was doing with my life on earth. Having a job in the ministry is absolutely amazing and I believe that it is something that pleases God, but it’s not the only way to please Him. No matter what career you decide, your please Him in some way. You’re serving others and that’s what He wants. I had doubts about nursing because I didn’t think it was enough focus on God, but I’ve realized that God wants to see nurses help others, and to be selfless. He wants to see them care for other’s needs.

I’ve also realized things that relate to body image. We were all creating so unique by God. Isn’t that something to jump for joy about? No one else in the entire world can be like you, no matter how they try. And besides, who would want to try and be somebody else? I have tried and it’s a dangerous route because you end up living a lie, you begin to realize that your talents, and gifts, and dress and everything you’ve been given by God are slowly fading because you’ve been trying to be like someone else. I am guilty of this, but I am not blaming myself entirely. Growing up in a generation where social media is so in-your-face, all the time, is difficult especially for young people. We are always seeing the”good” things happening in people’s lives, and it gives us a false idea of what their life is really like. We are then left feeling disappointing with ourselves because we aren’t living a full, rich life like we see others living. The truth is, people usually only post what they want others to believe about themselves, again I am guilty for this. We also try to seek validation and self-love through the “likes” and comments we get on our posts and pictures(again, 100% guilty for this). But the reality about all of this is that, no matter how many likes and comments you get, it doesn’t help you in the long-term. Sure, it might make you feel great for a short period of time, but how does it effect you in the long run? You may feel like social media is the only way to seek love, and that’s something that can also be dangerous because what happens when one day you don’t receive the same number of likes or comments. What if one day social media crashes. I know this sounds a little extreme and unrealistic, but at the end of the day you aren’t growing in any way, your losing yourself in the whole process without even realizing it. During the depths of my E.D, I was constantly comparing myself to what I saw in others on Instagram, twitter, and Facebook. I would wake up in the morning and think “Okay, gotta get up work-out, cause that’s what people do, that’s what people my age do, that’s what a fit person does, that’s what society expects of me”. I had this very false belief that people my age would be at the gym 80% of the time and that’s how they had so much confidence and validation. But I learned that not everyone who did post selfies at the gym went on a regular basis, some people my age didn’t go to the gym at all, but I had this belief that everyone my age did, and so I had to do the same. I lost a lot of time that could have been used to practice my own hobbies, grow as individual, and grow in my faith. Once I figured out comparing myself to others was getting me no where near where I wanted to be, I began to let go of those comparing habits. I still compare myself in ways, but it’s not to the point where I can look at myself in the mirror and not recognize who I am. Its sad because that’s what would happen when I’d look myself in the mirror. I’d be confused about who I was and what I was supposed to be doing. Once I become one with the Lord, I began to realize my purpose, my beliefs, and my values. I do enjoy working out, but I like doing it at times where I feel that I want to, not because I am forcing myself too. The motivation is beginning to derive from Godly ways and not from Satan’s ways. I had the devil telling me I needed to be moving  my body at all times, 24/7. I  wasn’t allowed to sit down, or I’d become obese. I would be held down by the devil, I was abused and felt so alone. I felt like I was the only one who was dealing with this kind of mental and physical abuse, but I know that there are people reading this right now who can relate and it breaks my heart to know that but it’s true and it is a very evil and sinful thing that satan does. The good news is there is a bright side, whether you think there is or not. There is light through Jesus Christ. He sets us free from sin and death. There’s a huge difference in my exercise motives, where as before it was to be like others and to be this “fit” girl and to show people I was “fit”. Now, I don’t always let that kind of motivation lead me to exercise. I still struggle with it, but I’ve been challenging myself and being intuitive with my exercise because it feels so much better to be doing it when I am ready to release some energy. I’ve been letting go of running all the time and replacing it with dancing and singing, and jumping up and down. There is nothing run with having a passion for running, but for me it was an addiction. I’ve been listening to Christian music during workouts too because it puts me in the best mood, and it allows me to still feel God’s presence while I’m doing something that can sometimes be a very big distraction for me. My mind used to be all over the place during time of exercise, thinking that I had to do specific workouts that others would do, and had to attain a certain body weight or image, and I began to set the bar way too high for myself.

Guys I hope this was helpful, in any way. I was inspired to write this by the video I watched called “Brave girl” by Jen Hatmaker. She has inspired me so much, and I encourage you to watch some of her videos if you can.

I hope you all have a great rest of your evenings, God bless you.



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