Who knew that cutting hydrangeas would teach me so much.
Each snap of the shears is symbolic of the Lord’s pruning. A clipping away of my sin so something beautiful can grow in its place.
(If you are just now tuning in, go back and read Mason Jars for Jesus.)
God is revealing areas in my life where I clip from the bottom – giving away my “good” but rarely my “best.”
Honestly, one area I give from the bottom is right here. On this blog.
I might expose a glimpse of my heart. A few hardships. But there is more to share. I give with reservation. I expose only what I feel suitable to keep myself in good graces with you (parenting struggles, a marriage squabble, an occasional “ah ha” moment).
Paul says, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Oh, I really really want the power of Christ to rest upon me. Really really. So. I must start first with my weaknesses.
Boast (kauchaomai) to glory on account of a thing
Think about that. We aren’t suppose to just brag about our weaknesses. We are to glory in them. That is polar opposite of what the world promotes.
Silence is much more flattering.
But, in true Apostle Paul fashion, I am called to boast…to glory in the fact that I am eaten up with weaknesses.
Eaten up. Did someone say eat? Oh, don’t get me started on food. Or body image. Those are areas I’d rather not talk about.
But out of obedience I will. Because they are areas of weakness. And God deserves the Glory.
This morning…I glory in my food & body image weakness.
Right now, I wish I could write in second person. Or write inclusively – “We all” struggle with body image. Or “we all” have food weaknesses. And yes, we may, to some degree, all have these issues. I think many of do.
But writing inclusively would make me a coward.
I have weaknesses in this area. I have for years. Am I healed? Yes.
Has the Lord brought me through it victoriously? Absolutely.
Do I always chose to abide in victory and healing? Not always.
In college, I was queen of the eating disorder. I had mastered the art of quietly throwing my head over a toilet. Even in public restrooms. I was quite skilled in vomiting so that no one knew I was gagging my lunch….dinner….dessert.
I haven’t done that in a decade or more. Praise Jesus. I am so thankful.
But here I am, 33-years-old, why am I still not 100% satisfied with what I see in the mirror? Still? Why do I not see myself how the Lord views me? Beautiful? Unflawed? Created in His image?
Question: What’s a girl to do?
Answer: Exercise faith.
Fat is not a feeling. Ugly is not a feeling. I know better than to say, “I feel ugly. Or today I feel fat.” Feelings are not truth.
This weakness of mine boils down to the ongoing battle of me against my flesh (a.k.a the sinful nature).
Instead of saying, “I feel ugly today” I should really say, “My flesh is crawling with insecurities today.”
Somedays are worse than others. Somedays I am just fine.
My mentor once said to me, “Sometimes you have to slap your flesh around and tell it what to do.”
Well put. So that is exactly what I have to do. I have to speak to that mirror and tell the girl some truth.
I must tell her what the Lord thinks about her. Tell her how she was knit together in her mother’s womb. Destined for good works. Created in the image of the Most High God. Tell her that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. I have to remind her that she a child of a King, redeemed and justified, righteous, sanctified, and a temple of the Holy Spirit. I have to remind her to not look to earthly things but to Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of the Father. Take off her old self, and to put on the new. She has been crucified with Christ and raised up with Him. She is created for good works….
I could go on. Do you see who we are? All of these things are not only true of me. They are true of you, too.
We are His prized possession. The apple of His eye.
His biggest hydrangea.
So when that feeling of fat comes on me…when my flesh wants to drag me down … I tell it where to go. Literally.
I combat lies with truth.
And the lies fail every time. My flesh dies every time. It’s quite fascinating, really.
This is faith. Believing in what I don’t see…even if it is in the mirror.
Believing His Word, even if I don’t feel it.
The assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
No matter what I feel, I choose victory. I choose faith. I choose beauty.
Have a wonderful day… beautiful friend.