Exodus 19:5b “You will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine.”
Do you see yourself as a treasure? Someone who is valuable and precious? If no, why is that?
It wasn’t until this year I could finally start to see me as Jesus sees me – a priceless treasure worth pursuing. Before I was sure Jesus could only see my flaws, my wrong choices, and my brokenness because that’s what I saw. I struggled to see the good. The truth Jesus had to lovingly show me was that yes indeed He saw and knew all that; but under all that mess He could see the potential of someone He loved… ME.
Jesus hates my sin but loves me and knows that if I allow Him to transform me more each day He knows I can become the person He knows I can be. To clean and refine, to reveal the sparkle He always knows is there. To reveal the sparkle in you too. The path to change and to all we are meant to become is hard we may shed tears, get frustrated and stumble, falling on our face – I have done all three many times. Jesus is there in the change: holding us as we let the tears flow, hearing our many frustrations with compassion and picking us up when we fall. Keep trying and never give up.
Over the last few years I have been going through a season of change. I first changed outwardly and then also inwardly. When I started High School my weight increased, I was stressed out from being bullied and the many changes that were associated with starting High School; like going from a tiny Primary School where you knew everyone to a High School where I barely knew anyone. Not to mention the physical changes my body was going through at that time as well (hello puberty). I was not a cool teenager by any stretch of the imagination (think overweight, acne and a serious confidence issue). Throughout my teen years I wanted to be invisible and I essentially achieved that – I tried out for nothing, no plays, no cross country even though I had in Primary School. I live with regrets of missed opportunities and experiences. I did compete one year in the debating team; my motivation? I was bored with my life. By the time I was in year 12 I was a size 14 and felt miserable in the way I looked. I wanted to change. So for the following year (I completed year 12 over 2 years) I ate multi – grain crackers for lunch with nothing on them (I didn’t want the extra calories) they were dry and bland – I wouldn’t recommend it! During that year I was diagnosed with glucose intolerance and went to a dietician which helped. With diet changes and more so portion sizes, I am still not great at this there are times when my eyes are definitely bigger than my stomach (the leaning tower of pasta) the journey to change began. When I went to university I wanted to be smaller so I decided to leave all the treats at home (chocolate, cake, ice cream, etc.) deciding only to have them on the weekend when I went home (I did indulge in Cold Rock once in a while and had a cold milo every day). Water became my favourite beverage. I also portion controlled my meals and slowly but surely the weight came off without exercise. By the end of the year I was a size 8 in most clothing. Although even after I finished university (three years) I still struggled to love my body. I have lost more weight since university through incorporating even more healthy diet tips with working out in a variety of different ways, but when I looked in the mirror I saw someone who was 700 kg heavier than I actually was in reality. I didn’t see myself as Jesus sees me – beautiful.
Song of Songs 1:15a “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh how beautiful!”
It took the internal work of finding out Jesus truly loves me, the flawed, broken, sinful and constantly failing me and fighting back and letting go and being set free to start feeling comfortable in who I am and learning to love my body. I have asked Jesus to help me see myself as He sees me and to see my body in reality not through a distorted viewpoint and it works, that doesn’t mean I love everything about my body but I am learning to be kinder to myself.
Glance over your shoulder and see how far you have come, for me, I have gone from a suicidal, emotional wreck – perfectionist who didn’t feel loved by anyone including Jesus to someone who knows in her heart that Jesus loves her (flaws and all) and the outflowing of this life changing realisation is more energy, more joy and less stress.
Don’t get me wrong I do have bad days when I am exhausted, stressed out, unhappy, frustrated and teary. Each change is still a struggle but with all change it is about progress not perfection. We all have an Achilles heel in life but it is making the choice not to let it beat us, to never give up and to believe in the sunny days even if the skies of life are dark, gloomy and stormy at the moment to continue towards becoming all we are uniquely meant to be.