I picked up one of my oldie but goodie favorites today.
It is one of those books that you read a couple times then keep it around to grab when you need encouragement.
I needed it this morning.
For a long time I have struggled with body image. Some days are better than others and the last several months have been such freedom! God has given me the grace to trust in Him. To trust that if I eat that cake He will give me the strength to handle the consequences....
But lately I realized that I have started to slide down that old slope again. I rejoice because I have noticed it sooner than other sliding seasons but still I have been sliding.
I realize when I am putting myself down.....allowing lies to creep into my mind.
"you are fat"..."those thighs are huge! They should be smaller with all the running that you do....maybe you should take up weight training again".
"Should you really be eating those chips? Do you really need those calories?"
"I wish my belly was just a little bit smaller".
I have realized that these thoughts are coming into my head...I realized that I probably was dwelling on them to much. I prayed that God would release me from them. I know what can happen if I let these thoughts slide. They lead down a miserable slope. A horrible insecure slope that is very painful. But sometimes praying is not enough in a spiritual battle. Prayer is wonderful but sometimes I find that I need a little ammo to shoot down those thoughts...
So I picked up this book.
Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves
By Erin Davis
I only read one chapter but truths that I could use to fight lies were suddenly bursting off the page.
The first chapter is rather like an introduction. Davis admits that she would rather not tell about her struggle with body image. She writes, "It would be easier not to admit these weaknesses to you. I would prefer for you to think that I have it all together. But I feel compelled to give you a glimpse into the heart of my struggle. Why? Because I know you struggle too."
I read this and I was reminded that its ok that I don't have a perfect body. As I read I felt Jesus whispering into my heart. "You are flawed but I love you. I accept you with your flaws."
I felt loved by Jesus. He accepts my flaws. He makes me beautiful inspite of my flaws.
Here are some other places that I highlighted with my handy dandy pink highlighter.
"God's word is rich with words of affirmation of our beauty and our worth.."
"If you have ever doubted your beauty and worth, you have heard a lie. Freedom from the lie ----for you and me---is important, and yes you can find it!
We fight side by side with a slippery snake. I know from experience that this is a battle not easily won. But I also know that victory comes when you turn your eyes upon Jesus."
"I want you to know that there is a mirror that does not mock. There is a place where we can look and be told that we are beautiful, lovely treasured. That mirror is Christ, and believe it or not, He has dedicated much of His word to exploring your beauty and affirming your worth."
"...your beauty is God-given and that you truly are His masterpiece."
These passages spoke to my heart. I probably will walk away from this blog post and struggle with body image in less than a minute..but now I have ammo.
I can think "I am flawed..but Christ has accepted those flaws..He loved me enough to dirty himself with my sins, my imperfections and because of him I am beautiful."
And may the Lord grant victory in my battles against this struggle to feel beautiful and I pray that you will find the same victory in your battles. If you struggle with an eating disorder or just find it a struggle to accept that you are truly beautiful pick up Graffiti...or better yet dig into God's word. God has planted many wonderful truths about how He loves you in there. We just have to crack open our Bibles to find them.