Note from Erin: We are so excited to share another post from Melissa Butters. Her description about the battle in her mind over her physical appearance is something I think we can all relate to. Thanks Melissa!
This morning in our worship service there was a special music to the song Who Am I ? by Casting Crowns. Many of you may have heard this song before, as have I, but it struck a new chord in my heart as I heard it this morning.
Still You hear me when I’m calling Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am, I am Yours, I am Yours
These are the words that spoke to my heart as I was listening this morning: I am the Lord’s. You are the Lord’s. For about the past three years I have struggled with feeling confident and content with my physical appearance. The severity of the struggle has come and gone, but I have still struggled. Currently, I am struggling with it again.
Have you ever been in a fight? A physical or verbal fight? I have never been in either, but I have been in a terrible fight in my mind. In my mind I beat myself up as though I were literally in a physical fight. I beat myself up over my appearance. If I don’t stick to my running schedule, or if I can’t complete my long run that day, or if I eat a little too much at lunch, I will spend hours hitting myself with all sorts of terrible thoughts. These thoughts are very similar to what girls with eating disorders deal with. So, if you struggle with an eating disorder, I understand that battle that takes place in your mind. That battle takes place in mine also. Although I have never had an eating disorder, I have obsessed over exercising and eating right. I don’t tell many people this, but the thoughts linger every day as I eat and run, or don’t eat and don’t run.
The thoughts in my head go like this:
“You are such a wimp for not running,” “you are going to get fat if you don’t run,” “your body is still too fat, you need to lose more weight,” “you are not going to be able to fit in your wedding dress if you eat that,” “you are such a pig,” “you are not going to be beautiful to your husband in a few years,” “just wait, you are gonna look like a cow one day,” “well you ate that cupcake, I guess you better run it off.”
Can any of you relate to this?
So today in church, I listened to this song and remembered that I am the LORD’S!! All of me. He loves me so much and I do not have to be bound by those thoughts. When the Lord looks at me He does not see my flaws, but rejoices in the person He has created! Only I see my flaws and allow the battle in my mind, when the Lord has won that battle already. He created me. Period. I am special simply because He created me. I am valued simple because I am His. I am beautiful simply because I am His.
“Your hands have made me and fashioned me.” – Job 10:8; “The Lord your God is in your midst,a mighty one who will save;he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” — Zephaniah 3:17
The God of the universe who created everything thinks about me. He has thoughts about me and still I beat myself up. How crazy is that? I sit around fighting this appearance fight when the Lord sings over me and makes Himself known in my life.
“Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them they are more than can be numbered” – Psalm 40:5
This verse screams “I LOVE YOU” to me directly from the Lord’s mouth.
As I thought about all this, I began to wonder why I struggle with my physical appearance. The enemy and his schemes will do anything to harm us. The enemy took something that I enjoy — running — and turned it into something I use to hurt myself. All those thoughts I listed are lies and twisted thoughts straight from the enemy. The enemy knows that if he can break me down in my mind I will become ineffective in serving others. And even worse, I will begin to have doubts and ill-feelings towards God for creating my life and my circumstances. The enemy knows that physical appearance is a weak spot so he targets it with anything and everything.
We as women of the Lord must fight this with all we have. We must hang on to the truth clearly laid out in God’s Word and never depart from it. So next time I hear those pesky thoughts wiggling their way into my head and hitting me in the face, I will spit back God’s truth and walk away feeling confident. You and I must remember that We are His, as the song says. Even in the hard times, we are His.
Here are some more verses and thoughts that you can lean on in your battles:
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in times of need.” Hebrews 4:16 – Go to the Lord with your struggle, He will give you strength through His Word and from others around you.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7 – Uhhh, do you know how many hairs are on your head? God does. Enough said.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 – The Lord worked to create us. He has plans for us and things for us to do. We have value!
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:10 – We are children of God. And He loves us in that way, as His children.
“I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me when as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:14-16 – He knows us inside and out. He formed us and cares for us. How can we not be special to Him from the moment we were born until now? Read this passage as many times as it takes to believe and know His love for you.