I recently posted on Facebook that I would not clutter my friends’ newsfeeds with photos of my weight loss journey–at least not until I hit my goal weight. 😊 I got quite a few responses telling me they enjoyed seeing my before and after photos. A lot of people even said they wanted me to keep posting the pictures.
But I can’t!
Not until I get grounded in Who I am in Christ again and not until His Truth affects change in my heart! I desperately need to learn balance in taking care of and enjoying this body He’s given me while still taking care of the most important part of who I am — my spirit. I don’t think I’m alone in this! I have a tendency to be an “all-or-nothing” kind of girl! I know God is pleased with this journey I’m on, but I have somehow crossed a line of being too preoccupied with it. (That in and of itself is quite humbling — humiliating — to type!)
Yes, God is doing not only a work on the outside, but He’s doing a work on the inside, too. It feels AWESOME to be losing weight and getting healthier. And I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel good for people to notice and make comments on how good I looked. (Just being honest! Who wouldn’t like it?) People at the YMCA made comments about how different I looked from my ID a year or so ago. People (friends and acquaintances) commented on Facebook how beautiful I was. Family told me how proud of me they were. And I soaked it up!
But this body of mine is just a SHELL of who I really am!
Inside I’m still the same girl who loves God, loves her husband and loves her 4 boys! I love family! I love to learn. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to laugh!!! (Laughing’s my favorite! 😂) There’s so much more to the REAL Julie than the scale, the clothes I wear or the amount of “likes” my Facebook post garners. Sadly, those temporary trinket tokens were becoming all too important to me!
Over the last few weeks I started to notice myself becoming too preoccupied with my body at the expense of my spirit. To the point that I felt like a poser, a phony!
Last night I came home from the gym, and Giff had the younger two boys relaxing with him before bedtime. I snuggled in close to Logan and smelled his hair. Oh my gosh! It had been FOREVER since I smelled my kids! I know that sounds weird, but hopefully, if you are a parent, you know what I mean! I feel like I’ve been preoccupied–not fully present and accounted for in my family’s lives. I didn’t want Logan to go to bed because I wanted to sit there and just be close to him and smell him. That’s huge! Y’all know from my many posts how I love bedtime!
Most importantly, I have neglected to spend time with the Lord — MY Lord — for quite awhile.
And any time I don’t spend in the mirror of His Word (James 1:23-25), I start spending more and more time looking at the mirror that the world offers.
I started listening to the lies being whispered to my heart. I started listening to things that I hadn’t heard in a very long time. Things like:
“To be beautiful, you have to look like XYZ!”
“To be beautiful, you must have these measurements!”
“To be beautiful, the scale must say this!”
My unguarded spirit started to accept those lies! It was subtle! Believe me!
But here’s the thing, see these flowers?! They are pictures of wildflowers I took some of our many hikes in the mountains. They are beautiful! And they exist for HIS pleasure! Occasionally, a hiker will wander by and enjoy their beauty. But the rest of the time, they simply exist for Him!
Likewise, I simply exist for Him–the Lover of my soul! What I do, I will do for His glory! He is a jealous God, and He does not want to share me with the world. My love, adoration, and worship all belong to Him. He is my groom and I am His bride! He is pursuing me! The Creator of the universe wants a relationship with me.
What I do, I want to do for His pleasure alone!
He is El Roi: the God Who sees me! (Genesis 16)
So when no one else sees me, He does! When no one else notices, He does! When no one else pays attention to the changes I’ve made, He does! When no one “likes” my Facebook posts with the before and after photos, He likes them. His approving glance is the only one that matters!
And when the whole world notices, it doesn’t matter! It only matters that He does! When the whole world pays attention to the changes I’ve made, it doesn’t matter because He pays attention! I am always on His mind. When all my “friends” on Facebook “like” all my before and after photos, it won’t have as much of an impact on me because the only thing that is of any consequence or lasting value is His pleasure at watching me succeed at something!
I LIVE FOR AN AUDIENCE OF ONE!
So I will keep on making good choices with what I eat (Trim Healthy Mama approved), making the decision to workout at the gym and to keep encouraging people to do the same.
But…I will not be posting so many pictures of myself along the way! A few years back someone who ironically had a Facebook page, stated that Facebook steals your soul. I laughed it off, but that statement has never left me. It does have that tendency if we are aren’t careful! God wants ALL of me: my body, my soul and my spirit!
Next time you see some beautiful flowers, remember this blog post! Remember that you are created for Him–the Lover of your soul! You were created for His pleasure! He takes great delight in you even when you think no one else does!