You know those Bible verses that you’re pretty sure weren’t there the last time you read a passage? Those verses that seem like God must have put them in there just for you? Those verses that make you wonder if the author had been given a preview of your life and knew just what you needed to hear?
I know several verses like that. In fact, when I read Ps. 139, I sometimes wonder if David had heard of eating disorders. Why else would he remind me so specifically, through prayer, that God intimately and intricately created my body? Why else would he take the time to write out the affirmation that God knew every anxious thought I’ll ever have, how long I will live and exactly what I look like for all of them?
I’ve grown a lot in the past three years, both spiritually and yes, physically.
For one thing, my obsession with exercise has lessened. I’ve quit running much at all; I sit a lot and write. These days, I can flop flat on the floor in the sunshine, grab a scrunchy pillow and rest right in the middle of the day. I can lay there without wondering how much my stomach is protruding or if my thighs are splayed fat on the floor.
Recently, I flew home to help my family celebrate the anticipated birth of my youngest sister’s first baby. I was given the task of making oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies. I’ve grown a lot in the last few years, I ate a few!
One of the most delightful discoveries I’ve made is that in the treatment center, they were telling me the truth. As I’ve relaxed my militant standards for my body, begun to treat it gently, feed it what it wants and not speak critically of it, my body has found its own limits, its own comfortable weight, its own favorite foods and hobbies.
I am praising the Lord that He has always known the boundaries for my body. He has determined my portions. The body I have inherited is delightful. I listen to my heart, and it instructs me even about how to care for my body, His temple. Because He loves me, even my physical body can rest secure in His care.
“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,”. Ps. 16:5-7, 9-11
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Why Women Find it Hard to Love Themselves, Emily Wierenga
More Than a Number, video