So I’m 46 today.
Honestly, 46 isn’t a special birthday – I’m not 40 (been there done that) and I’m not 50 (dear Lord that’s so close I can’t even think about it right now). I’m just 46.
But this past year, especially since January, has been a very special year for me.
In January I heard God say this would be a year of reaping for me. He wanted me to focus on that word – REAPING – for the entire year. I thought it was strange, but I posted about it anyway. I just went back and looked at that post and here’s a portion of what I wrote.
As I was thinking about this word – reaping – I had this sense that God really wanted me to reap some things in my life this year. Things that I have been either stuck in or waiting to see a resolution on. Or maybe reaping things that have been sown in years past but haven’t come to fruition yet. I felt that He was going to show up in my life and in our family in ways that we have only dreamed of and heard of in prophetic words given to us over the course of our lives. I felt that it would be a year of gaining victory (reaping) in areas I’ve been asking Papa to help me grow in.
I don’t know. Just a sense. A tugging in my heart that this year was pivotal in some way for me personally and for us as a family.
Indeed, this has been a pivotal year for me personally – specifically these last 3 months.
Most of you know from the Facebook Live post I shared (you should go watch it!) a few weeks back that I’ve been struggling with self-image for the last 20 odd years of my life. I’ve been asking God to fill me up with His love – to weed out all of the yuck in my life – but it never occurred to me that this was an area I needed to deal with.
It was just fact. I didn’t like my body – it’s shape, the lack of muscle tone, the extra weight, etc. It was the body I was stuck with and well, I didn’t have to like it, now did I?
Last year on my 45th birthday I set a goal to lose 15 pounds, tone my body up (lose inches and flab), and to eat healthier. As I’ve aged (translation: as each decade has approached) my metabolism has slowed down and well, it’s harder to get back to where you were or needed to be. But after joining a gym and halfway attending – and halfway watching what I ate – nothing had changed.
And I honestly hated myself. I didn’t have the motivation to change me. I didn’t believe any compliments that came my way and I thought for sure that people were just saying things to be nice instead of the truth. And I fully believed my body was just out to get me.
Yeah. Horrible. I know.
Back in May, I listened to this sermon by Abi Stumvoll and was really impacted by it. I took time to ask my body to forgive me for being so negative toward it and about it. I repented to every part of my body, externally and internally, that I felt I had been so negative towards. And over the next few weeks, I started practicing being postive and accepting compliments. Soon I could tell a difference and others could too.
My body and I like each other.
Now exercise and eating healthy aren’t have-tos but want-tos. I want to do those things, within reason, because my body deserves to be taken care of. It’s the only body I’ll ever have, right?
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to listen to another sermon by a very dear friend of mine, Sarah Gerber, and once again, God just said, “See Mary. It’s not just you. This is an epidemic that needs a cure.”
And so the best birthday present I could give myself has already happened.
I. Like. Me.
That feels so good to type out, y’all.
- No more negative self-talk.
- No more deflecting compliments.
- No more loathing the one body I’ve been given.
Today I’m going to celebrate me. I’m going to celebrate that I’m just a couple of pounds shy of my goal weight and I’ve lost a total of 15″ – all since May. I’m going to celebrate that I look great in dresses, that I have amazing legs and that my hair looks fabulous in this “in between short and long” stage. I’m going to celebrate that I am fully loved and accepted by my Papa and that it’s okay, really okay, to love myself.
And my goal this next year?
To get this message out to as many people as I can. Because it’s life-changing. Because we can’t be as effective for the Kingdom if we at war with ourselves. Because this change is too good to keep to myself.
Happy birthday Me!!!!
Now excuse me while I go eat some Tostitos with a hint of Lime.