I stared down at the scale. 21 pounds heavier than when I first got married. How was it even possible to gain 21 pounds in that short amount of time? And to make matters worse this weigh-in confirmed it. The numbers on the scale screamed out that my 5’2” body was officially considered “overweight.” My emotions overwhelmed me.
- Guilt for my inconsistent workout routine and continual food indulgence.
- Anger at my self-perpetuated busyness and lack of discipline.
- Shame for how my body now looked and my hidden unhealthiness.
- Sorrow that the problem would only increase as my metabolism continued to slow as I got older.
I had been working out, but clearly, it wasn’t enough. I had cut out soft drinks and sugar, but clearly, it wasn’t enough. And then it finally hit me.
I was not enough.
Have you ever found those words ringing through your mind? “I am not enough.” They seep into your spirit and set the tone for the day. We keep our thoughts to ourselves, afraid that if we admitted them to others, someone would confirm our own thoughts. We hide in our shame, guilt, and insecurities.
While some of us internalize “I am not enough,” Paul had the guts to verbalize his emotional and spiritual shortcomings. In his desperation to rid himself of his shortcomings, he pleaded with God numerous times for change. In the depth of his desperation, Paul encountered a fascinating discovery: God thrives through our insufficiency. When we feel less than enough, it’s so God can reveal He is more than enough.
But the Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
In our shortcomings, we experience God’s grace and His power. We experience His forgiveness when we cannot muster our own. We experience His power to change our path when we are otherwise incapable. And we experience these traits through declaring and sharing our “less thans” with others.
That number challenged me to make substantial changes to my lifestyle. I prayerfully changed jobs to decrease my stress and my time commitments. I daily kept track of calories on my fitness app. But most importantly, I consistently worked out with a few girlfriends.
What started as a weekly routine challenging one another physically became a weekly routine challenging one another spiritually. These workout buddies have now turned into best friends who I can turn to in times of laughter AND times of frustration. What I saw as a roadblock, God saw as a vehicle for change. A change not just for me, but for others as well. So when you find yourself frustrated, trust that the very thing that discourages you and stops you in your tracks is the very thing God uses as a catalyst to move you and others forward.
As women, we can easily find ourselves analyzing and critiquing our bodies, feeling less than desirable. God warned us that our good looks would not be around forever (Proverbs 31:30) yet we try to preserve ourselves as if we will. We forget the purpose of our bodies. Our bodies are meant to be a temple for God, a vessel for Him to inhabit us while we’re on the earth. While it is important for us to live healthy lifestyles so we feel good, it is more important for us to increase our years on earth to share God’s love and wisdom.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. – 1 Timothy 4:8
So when you find yourself frustrated with how clothes fit and how your body doesn’t look quite like it used to, remember that God cares more about the size of your heart than the size of your waist. Let the burden of lost souls outweigh the importance of the number on the scale.