When she's not busy rugby-tackling people to the ground in giant hugs, or throwing snowballs, Christine blogs over at The Mom Cafe, where she writes beautifully and with HUGE enthusiasm for encouraging others, for sharing of her own gorgeous heart, and in hopes of shining the light of a Love bigger than any we could comprehend.
I am honoured to call this wonderful lady my friend, and am *so* touched and blessed by her post, written after she read A Body of Disappointment, which I wrote about my struggles with body image. She said that something like this had been on her heart to write for a while, and that
I hope you adore her words as much as I do...
There are countless women out there scrutinizing the dimples on their thighs and standing on scales to measure their worth. They are desperately longing for the perfect size and shape, while burning fat and counting calories, in hopes to love themselves more and in turn be loved. They are seeing ads that scream “thin = happiness/success/love”. They are searching high and low for that equation that leads them to a distorted definition of beautiful.
Oh, how my heart aches for them. Why? Because they are on the wrong path to happiness/success/love. It will drive them through turns and hills and speed bumps that jolt them into a distracted life of striving for the perfect ‘storage space’.
Yes, our bodies are just that: storage space.
You see, somewhere along the journey of seeking those very same things…
I figured it out.
Those miles clocked, and sizes dropped don’t bring you joy. Oh yes, you may feel better, be more fit and look better- and there is most definitely something to be said for that. But the richness of who you are will never ever, ever be measured by your weight or size. Your worth my friends, is measured by your heart, and what you do with it.
The body is a temple. A temple of what? Of the greatest creation that is unique and beautiful all in itself.
God’s design may have outer layers that when dressed up and slimmed down may look gorgeous to the naked eye…
But I wonder…
Do you think your Creator measures your beauty and your own distinguished worth through counting the hours you spend at the gym?
Do you believe that He sees those stretch marks or bulges, rolls or sagging skin and looks down on you in disdain?
Oh, my friends! What on earth are we searching for? Will looking good bring us the deepest most profound joy in living? Have we missed the mark entirely? Do you believe that angels see the shape of our bodies? That Heaven weighs you in when you enter? That God, in all His Might and Glory will say to you when your life here is over…
“You could have lost a few pounds.”
At the end of your life, while you reflect on the days and years gone by, will you wish…
You ran harder?
Spent more time at the gym?
Fit into those size 6 jeans?
Spent more attention on your figure?
I suppose it depends on your perspective. When you look at the ‘big picture’ of your life, what is most important in the end? Perhaps your shape will matter. But, maybe- just maybe you will realize that HOW you lived will matter more. What were your priorities in your life and where did you invest your time and energy? Was your time here on earth well spent? If you believe you were put here on this earth to look perfect and thin and beautiful, then maybe that was your goal.
Is that your life goal? To be lying in the casket with a perfect size 6 body? Would that make your life complete?
Who are your heroes? Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr…. Did they leave their mark on this earth by having a gorgeous figure?
Or did they fulfill their mission, their purpose, and their uniquely designed potential?
What’s your mission, your purpose, and your uniquely designed potential?
3/4ths of this world consists of precious people who have never once thought of toning their abs or tightening their glutes. Are those people missing something significant? I believe not.
We all have our temples… and yet, I am saddened by the constant focus on the house with which our precious hearts dwell, instead of what dwells within our walls.
I want for those women who long for a better body to realize their worth and to see the value of what’s inside rather than the accessories that ultimately die. I want them to see the emptiness of their coffin now, before the years go by wishing and wondering how much happier they would be if they were thinner/prettier/curvier. I want every woman to see their potential in numbers of people they touch, and moments they embrace… not numbers on a scale or in their food.
I honor my temple. I am surely not proposing to neglect our bodies. And I believe that taking good care of them is important. My storage space holds a valuable treasure God designed in me. BUT, it’s just that- *Storage space*
My hope is that when I come to the end of my life, I will look back and see the lives I touched, the tears I cried, the blessings I both gave and received, the good I did, and most of all -
That the time I spent here on earth was used on things that mattered most.
If I used up all my attention and energy on the cargo with which God housed my heart, then the heart God gave me would have gone to waste.
I believe God wants me to work on and with the interior of my ‘temple’. I believe that is much more important than fitting back into my cute jeans.
Now THAT’S where the beauty lives, sweet friends. That’s uniquely, and wonderfully ours to work with, improve, empower and embrace.
I don’t believe there is anyone who remembers the size of a person after they have passed…
But many who will remember the size of their heart.