First of all, I would like to say I am writing this because I need to hear it. If you have ever read my article I posted last spring, than you would know that I have in my past struggled with the desire to be fit, allowing my body to undergo unhealthy treatment in order to look “hot”.
But lately, I have found myself with those similar cravings again. For me it is a control thing. When I get in a “no boy will ever like me, I stink as a girl” mindset, and “I feel like everyone hates me” belief, I find myself fixated on the only number I can control–the amount of calories I am burning. This is why I’ve gotten to the point where I use my towel as a shield from the calorie count because if not I simply stare at the number waiting for each incriminate to increase.
However, I know this isn’t who I want to be. I know I want to be remembered for more than a girl who lost weight before spring break. I want a legacy greater than being “fit”. I want to live a life that is beautiful, not live a life trying to be hot.
So for me these are 8 things I would rather have than a perfect body:
1. A heart that is emphatic.
I desire to have a heart that loves my Lord so much that I naturally love His creation. I want to feel the pain of others, and work towards helping them in their time of need. For me, the ability to care and clothe myself with compassion sounds more appealing than a six-pack.
Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
2. French fries.
Also add a side order of monzerella sticks and a slice of cheese pizza. Life is too short man. Treat yo self from time-to-time.
“And on the eighth day God created french fries…” OKAY JOKING… but you get the point.
3. A mind that seeks growth.
I desire intelligence that knows there is always more to learn in this life. Each morning, I want to wake up smarter than the day before, because I allowed my mind to soak up each learning opportunity possible.
Luke 2: 52 “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
4. Feet that go where the Lord tells me to go.
When we follow Christ, we dance with Him. He takes our hand and glides us to His purpose step-by-step. We follow His lead and His footwork. I desire feet that go where told in such a way that others watching can’t help but want to get on their feet and dance with Him as well.
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
5. Ambition that allows God to use me to change the world.
I want a drive to make the world better. I want to wake up each morning, watch the sunrise and think how can God use me to better this world today. I desire to use every breath to spread His name and desire to feel eager about His purpose for me.
Colossians 1:29 “For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.”
6. Friendships that make me laugh, push me, and be the person God intended me to be.
I desire to spend time with a community that points me to Christ. The other day, even though I worked out everyday of the week, I almost skipped out on an opportunity to watch my school’s basketball team (who are pretty dang good) with a friend of mine so I could workout. What the heck Grace… I get it working out is important but cherish the moments you get to hangout with good friends who love you and the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 4:10 “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
7. A light in my heart that shines for the Lord so bright, the everyone who knows me knows the Lord.
I don’t want anyone to leave my presence without feeling the Lord. I desire for my actions to show Christ each morning and that everyone who meets me sees the Lord in a new way. I know I will mess up. I know I will fail. But I want to strive to be someone who brings light in a dark world.
Matthew 5:16 “So let your light shine before men so that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in heaven.”
8. A legacy of faith, love and discipleship.
I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, when you die you will not see “here lies Grace who once has a six-pack”. You will not see “at age 20 Ashley squatted a lot and had a great butt.” Your dress size and weight will not be on your grave. However, there is a dash on your grave and that is important. This dash separates the day you were born and the day you faced your Maker. Did you use your dash to love God and love others? Or were you more focused about looking good for spring break? For me I know what legacy I desire for my dash to hold… do you?
If you look at this picture you can see a girl who appears confident. A junior in high school who spent everyday after class at the gym, preparing for spring break. However, behind the girl in this picture was a girl unsatisfied. A girl who thought that seeking a perfect body was going to fulfill her. However, even when I hit my goal weight, had abs, and had people tell me they “wished they had my body”, I was still insecure. I still was missing something.
I hate showing you this picture. I by no means am bragging about who I used to be, because I was skinnier than I am now. I had a better body than I do now. I get tempted to delete these pictures from my life and pretend this girl never existed so no one can say “Grace had a better body then”. However, my past obsession made my relationship with God even sweeter. I learned that God says I am beautiful even when I’m bloated and haven’t worked out in a week. My God says, “you are enough for me”, even when I feel unfit to wear a swimsuit. My search for my worth in my weight ended up with me disappointed and made me feel worthless. However, it helped me realize that the only One who can satisfy the human heart is the One who created it.
My challenge for you is to seek Christ first. Seek His Kingdom, not a body that could end up on TFM girls or Old Row. Seek pleasing your Father, not the strangers in Cabo who will see you in a bathing suit. Trust me, I’ve tried the whole “maybe if I get a better body I’ll be happier” thing–and spoiler alert, it did not work. This world will never be able to make you feel enough, only your Creator can. Seek Him FIRST. Fight for a relationship with Him. Fight to know Him. Spend just as much time working out at the gym as you do in the word of God.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.“Matthew 6:33
Photocreds: https://www.instagram.com/jacobalves/ — JACOB ALVES