Yesterday, I had an epiphany! I was working on my health challenge and in the notes for the day it said "You do not need to LOVE the weight, just learn to accept it so you can move forward." I will explain why this hit me so hard, however in order for me to do that I need to go to the beginning.
Ever since I was a baby I was always chubby. I have always been overweight, even at my healthiest I was still overweight according to the book the doctor's and school nurses always showed me. It was so engrained in me that every time I looked in the mirror, I only saw the weight, I never saw me. I am a pretty awesome person, my friends would be quick to confirm this, but I only saw the weight. I avoided photos, being on video and as time went by I became more and more comfortable with being behind the scenes to the point where that was the only place I felt safe. (Yes, I am being very open, honest and vulnerable...please be kind in the comments).
This was true until I read those words yesterday. It hit me like a ton of bricks! I did not have to love the weight. I was not my weight. All my life I had been striving to love myself, and in the midst of this I thought I couldn't love myself without loving the weight too. By realizing I no longer had to love the weight I was free! Free to love me! Not my weight, but me! They were no longer the same thing for me. It shattered the lie I believed all my life that I was my weight! I am able to look into the mirror and see me. What an amazing breakthrough for me! I am so thankful that my sister asked me if I would join her in this challenge because it has truly changed me forever!
What do you see when you look in the mirror. Do you see a label or do you see who you really are? The amazing person that God created you to be. If you have held onto a label and made it your identity, it may be time to realize you are not the label, you are you. Do not waste the time and effort loving the label, accept it and move on. Love yourself instead, it will serve you much better in your life. I know this from experience!
I really do not like using social media. TikTok is filled with videos that are hard to get a context for because the videos are short, like I am talking less than a minute long . Have you ever tried to make a one minute video and give it context? This is not an easy task. I just created a TikTok account and it was really hard to find videos I could relate to, one that I could connect with. I finally found the discover page and was able to navigate easier. For the younger generation, I am sure this seems funny because you could probably navigate sites like this with your eyes closed and I admire you for your technical savvy.
For me it was overwhelming with so many voices wanting my attention, wanting my likes, wanting me to follow them. All of this did get me thinking though. What vidoes would Jesus have on his page? How many people would like? How many would follow? When youth these days hear that I am following Jesus is this what they think I mean? Hmm, I know, pretty deep before 10am.
In all honesty, I am really trying to figure out the whole arena of social media because it does help me to connect with others I would not be able to connect with otherwise from all over the world. It also allows me a platform to share about Jesus love with others, by sharing my writing, and my videos. Even though I find it difficult to navigate these sites at first once I get used to them, I actually find them a bit enjoyable. Now I just need to make sure my life is not all about the likes, the follows, the shares, or the subscribers on YouTube. At the end of the day none of these things really matter. All that matters is that people were touched or moved by God in some way, or that I have been able to be there for someone when they needed me.
What am I getting at in my rambled thoughts this morning is this, what is your purpose in using social media? Does it have a positive impact, or a negative one? Not just on those on the receiving end, but you as well. Social media is a great tool, just ensure that it does not consume your life, it is about maintaining a healthy balance.
Betrayal sucks! If you have not been betrayed either you are very blessed or you have not allowed anyone close enough to you to betray you. The rest of us, however, feel its affects: broken trust, feelings of abandonment, cracked relationships, fractured self worth, anger, hatred, and bitterness to name a few. The closer people are to us the deeper the damage goes.
Paul experienced this. He faced a judge to plead his case when he was in prison. Everyone abandoned him, they betrayed him. Can you imagine? You are incarcerated and those who are your witnesses don't show up. How devastating would that would be? You would think he would be livid. You would think he would be telling Timothy to avoid these people and if he came across them deal with them accordingly. Instead, he does something that challenged me. He not only forgave them, he asked Timothy to not hold it against them. 2 Timothy 4:16 The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them.
I have been betrayed before and I can honestly say that I have not been as gracious as Paul is in this instance. He challenges me. He saw the bigger picture, that God used this situation for good. 2 Timothy 4:17
But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death. Paul saw God at work through this circumstance. The next time I am betrayed, I hope I can see the bigger picture and be quick to forgive.
A couple of weeks ago my sister asked me if I was interested in doing a health challenge. I decided that I would join her on it, and I am glad I did. I was expecting there to be some sort of set plan, but instead each day there is a question posed that is to be followed up with action. There have also been a couple of challenges which has been really cool. To be honest I was really nervous before starting and now I find that I am actually looking forward to the challenge question each day.
So far it is going well. I am making changes slowly but consistently, so the changes will be permanent, not just for the 21 days of this challenge. I have a feeling that some days will be harder than others, but this is something I am committed to following through with, so on those mornings that I do not feel like it, two words echo through my mind... NO EXCUSES. This is enough to light a fire under my butt and get me in motion. I am so thankful that I have those two words to hold onto, they help me stay on track with not only this challenge, but also my devotions and even my writing.
Is there something new that you are up to this year? I would love to hear about it. Feel free to post it in the comment section.
I was doing my devotions today and was struck by how much this world is in need of God's love. I was reading 2 Timothy 3 and verses 1 to 5 could be a snapshot of our society as a whole.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
I know this was a message to Timothy from Paul, however, I believe this is in the Bible as a caution to us as well. I believe we are in the end times and this is what our current society in general looks like. What can we do to make an impact? The thing that keeps echoing through my mind and heart is God's love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is a beautiful picture of God's love and it shows that it can break through pride, dismantle selfishness, and restore peace.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
It is also a challenge to us. If we love people the way God does. If we began to love others the way God loves us, we would not only see our homes changed, but also our communities, and ultimately our world.
Join me on my journey through life's joys and difficulties.