Ahh . . . Springtime. The budding flowers. Baby birds. Warm weather that brings us outdoors. If I had to pick a favorite season, it would wholeheartedly, without a doubt, NOT be Spring.
Sure, the flowers. Yes, the babies. Yada, Yada, weather. But, Spring is a sneaky guy. Coming up on us in the midst of our winter clothes and hide-all-cardigans. Insisting that we bare all as we lug our shorts and tees from the back of the closet and show the world how another year has brought us “this-much-closer” to almost losing those extra pounds. To me, it’s another announcement that after months of struggling to lose a few pounds, I somehow didn’t measure up—again.
Last spring, as I prepped to attend a conference, I tuned into a prerecorded phone conversation in which one of the leaders was encouraging new attendees. I was really nervous about this conference. I mean, I had to stand up in front of others and—gasp!—speak on a topic I’d written about. And while many of my writer friends were more than willing to sprint to the speaking podium, I personally preferred to hide behind my oh-so-cleverly-placed-at-eye-level computer.
You see, it’s not the speaking I minded, as much as the everyone looking at me part.
In her encouraging words, the conference leader went on to say that the least of our worries should be how we looked. That God had a plan for someone with exactly the background I had, with the exact type of pain I’d suffered, with the stage fright I’d likely have, and the nausea I might feel. That He had a solid purpose for a girl with my hair color, someone with the exact clothes in my closet, someone driving the same beat up car I hauled around town, and someone just about my size.
That’s right, sister! Someone my size.
To some of you, that might not mean much. In fact, to some of you, you might look at my size and think it’s not so bad. But, for those who have struggled with shedding a pound, or feeling good in your expanding skin—you hear me, right?
Because for women, more than what we say, or what we do; more than what we have to offer, or what we may bring to the table; more than, well, anything—we worry that all they will see is our size.
Whether that is a size 2 who used to be a 0, or a size 14 who used to be an 8—it’s a struggle that deeply matters to us. And, honestly, I don’t believe it’s about vanity, sisters.
It’s about wanting to be the best we can be, and yet somehow feeling that we are falling short.
And as I worried about this, I became aware of other “misses” in my life. I realized:
- I won’t be posing for any sports ads anytime soon. If I can name the ball of the sport I’m watching, it’s all good.
- I won’t be trying out for “The Voice”. Though I want you to know that I’ve already prayed that one through and am certain I will have a rockin’ voice in heaven, girls.
- I won’t be vying for position on “The Next Food Network Star.” And yet, my family still continues to be nourished somehow. It’s a total mystery.
The point is that there are any number of things about us that we can mentally allow to hold us back based on what our expectations are in that area. I literally have NO expectation on the whole singing fantasy, so my lack thereof is of no consequence. I don’t stop myself from singing at church. And it doesn’t hold me back in any way.
But, with weight, it’s different isn’t it? Often we do find ourselves avoiding things because of it. Feeling bad that we can’t just lose those “X” pounds. Wondering who keeps messing with our scale.
But, praise God that He does not care what your number on the scale is. He is concerned with who we are on the inside, rather than the outside. And while we should do what we can to take care of ourselves in order to best serve Him, focusing on our weight can sometimes hold us back from the very work that He intends for us to accomplish.
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
The truth is that any thoughts or behaviors that hinder our efforts to serve, concern Him. So as we go into this glorious Spring—yes, I’m claiming it!—let us do so by mentally shedding the pounds of inadequacy that we think are holding us back. Let’s push those thoughts to the side, be more accepting of who we are in the moment, so that we can focus on serving Him fully.