This week, I was thankful for the faithful care of our little town in clearing the bike trail after a brief winter storm that gifted me with my longed-for blanket of fluffy white stuff!
As I ventured down the familiar path, I noticed the surroundings with different eyes. The remaining snow accented tree branches, quiet lanes, and the graceful curves in the channels weaving through the back bays that seemed more beautiful than ever!
Snow-kissed banks drew my attention to water, sky, the gentle trickle of streams, and a worn but sturdy land bridge. It was stunning and I paused my run to soak it all in, to bear witness of His majesty, this glimpse of glory!
My thoughts were interrupted by a gentle but somewhat jolting whisper from His heart to mine. “What makes *these* curves beautiful? … Who told you your curves are not?”
You see, earlier the same day, I had been unburdening my heart to the LORD about a long-standing struggle with body image. It has reared its ugly head again in recent weeks, following two simple injections of prednisone to rescue my hands, crippled and in pain from the renovation efforts over the past year in our coastal New England home (circa 1915).
Although I am truly grateful for relief from pain and the ability to use my thumbs again, the side effects of the medication on my mid-section have not been kind. I have new curves from sudden weight gain and inflammation. I am not a fan. The changes in my body defeat me and discourage me and I berate myself for letting that defeat tempt me to over-indulge and make matters worse.
When He whispered to me, “who told you those curves are ugly?” it sounded like an eerie echo from the devastating impact of sin and the enemy’s lies in Eden, “who told you that you were naked [and now you are ashamed]?” The enemy’s taunts are brutal and crushing – and send us crashing down a spiral that blinds us to GOD’s truth!
Instead, I sensed the LORD gently, but firmly urging me, “will you let Me define true beauty?… can you tune out any other voice and ask Me what I think about your body?”
The heart of GOD is beautiful. His touch on my life is powerfully redemptive and beautiful, too. And He seemed to say to me, “JOY is beautiful… and a genuine smile!… are you willing to look at your physical body with fresh perspective too?”
Obviously, these few thoughts only scratch the surface of the work He will do in my heart as I struggle with body-image. For now, this much rings true to me: Care for our physical bodies is valid and important, but not more important than hearts that sincerely reflect the heart of GOD, that simply rejoice in His love and rest in His truth and saving grace!
The LORD’s kind efforts to realign my thinking reminded me not to be defeated by lies from the enemy, but to offer praise to the One who bestows His beauty upon us! It is yet another glimpse of glory!
Today’s breakfast “psalm” echoes some of these same truths: 🌿
𝘞𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥
𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘎𝘰𝘥𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺,
𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘧𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘩𝘭𝘺 𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘥𝘰𝘮
𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘖𝘋.
𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴,
𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘎𝘰𝘥 …
𝘭𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘣𝘦 𝘢 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦.
𝘠𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 … 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯,
𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘦.
𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦, 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘺 𝘎𝘖𝘋 𝘪𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺
𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘎𝘖𝘋’𝘴.
𝘞𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘷𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘴,
𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳
𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘣𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘖𝘋 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘶𝘴.
[𝘏𝘦] 𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦.
𝘓𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘖𝘙𝘋 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘎𝘖𝘋
𝘣𝘦 𝘶𝘱𝘰𝘯 𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩
𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴.
𝟐 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝟏:𝟏𝟐 • 𝐑𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝟏𝟐:𝟏 • 𝟏 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝟔:𝟏𝟗-𝟐𝟎 • 𝟐 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝟒:𝟕 • 𝐏𝐬𝐚𝐥𝐦 𝟏𝟖:𝟑𝟗 • 𝐏𝐬𝐚𝐥𝐦 𝟗𝟎:𝟏𝟕