Whenever I start to think about the Me I am and the Me I want to be, this picture rises front and center in my head. I have such a love/hate relationship with the image it represents. Now, I am the Me on the outside. But I fully expect that new Me to be revealed one day as I keep chiseling away the outer unwanted Me. Physically speaking.
But the picture also has so many non-physical suggestions as well. Even while the outer Me is less than ideal…or maybe the correct term would be MORE…there is still that inner me, that God is fully aware of, that He is working to reveal. Spiritually speaking.
I have such a tendency to ignore this inner spiritual person, calling her insignificant in comparison to the visible Me. I am sure that God is not in the habit of doing that. Sometimes I wonder if He even “sees” that outer me.
But I know He does, in the realm of self-care of His temple. He gifted me with this body, which I am not caring for so well. And while I am struggling beyond words with changing old habits and placing a greater value on what is outside, I have to be more concerned with what’s inside. Just as God is.
There is a way to bring the outer and the inner into correlation, however. The outer has to remain fine-tuned enough for the inner to do the work God calls it to do. If God were to call me to a foreign mission field where my physical body would be required to be fit and trim and able to “do,” I would never be able to answer this call. And I know it is sort of a silly argument, because God equips those He calls, and He would not call you to something you couldn’t do, but the point is: believers need to have a certain mindset that leads toward health of body and soul, because ALL believers are called to share Jesus with the lost and make much of Him.
Because of a disregard for my physical self, I have put Me into a place of inability. I cannot run and play with my grandson; I cannot climb the stairs to visit a friend who lives on the third floor of a building without an elevator; I cannot sing in the choir at church because I am not willing to be in front of the church.
But now, I have a desire to change, and that desire is bigger than my desire to be obscure and hidden. Obscure and hidden used to be comfortable. Not so much anymore. Being out and about can be painful though. People can be unkind and kids say things that cut like a knife without intending to.
Now, I know that a lot of what I have going on is related to Lyme’s disease, but I also know that those issues are made worse by excess weight. I know that a raw food diet is healing and conducive to weight loss…or rather, finding your ideal weight. And while I am SURE that I am supposed to be following this lifestyle, I can change my mind 50 times in any given day. Pretty much when cravings overwhelm me and I cave in to feeding them instead of my relationship with God.
As I define the Me I want To Be, one of the biggest things I know I want to see happen is Tiny House Living. And I have said this before, and I chant it to myself everyday: Fat people do not live in tiny houses. People who cannot get around well in a small area do not live in tiny houses. So while Satan keeps saying things like, “What are you thinking,” I know that God is cheering me on!
One day when I really needed God to affirm some choices I was holding on to, I went to dinner with a friend and received this slip of paper in my fortune cookie. And while it hit me as so funny, I later knew that most likely it was God affirming the Tiny House ideas that I tend to disregard. God is so good, all the time.
When He gives me truths and I follow them as He intends, I know I please Him. And then I am full of joy. But most days, I see myself as such a failure, as eating overwhelms me. But I also feel like I am wading into a mind renewal project. I am about to work my way through a book called The Renewing of the Mind Project by Barb Raveling. On the surface it looamazing and a read
that will hit where I need it to hit.
I realized not too long ago that my favorite part of blog exploring is the posts where the writers reveal themselves in a way that allows connection. And since I have never done that, I decided to start now in revealing the Me that I am. On the surface, I have half of my current weight to lose before I will be able to say the project is over. That is 150 pounds. When I first decided that accountability would be a good thing for me, I started reading a lot of blogs and one big lack I saw was an older population of writers. Maybe I am just not finding them, but the overwhelming number of writers seem to be young moms. And while I am grateful for them and the influence that have, it is not who I am.
Yes, I am a mom. But an old mom whose days of raising kids has passed. Four kids, all grown. The youngest, Little Lovely, lives at home while attending college. The older three are living life large in three different areas. I am divorced, an event that I accepted at the time but wish wasn’t in my story. It drove me deep into Christ’s heart and for that, I am very grateful. So my sphere of influence won’t be young moms raising and feeding families. It will be gathering a community of older, single women who find themselves NOT where they ever thought they would be. And not necessarily in a state of sadness there, but feeling a determination to change. A determination to seek out what God is calling them to in this later season of life.
My heart believes, through Scripture, that God requires me to remain single now. And sometimes that feels hard; and sometimes I wonder if my struggles with weight aren’t unknowingly and unwillingly connected to the idea of being “unlovable.” Because it keeps my heart from going after wrong things. In my case, that would be a new spouse. That sounds so odd even as I get it typed out on my screen, but my heart knows it makes perfect sense for me.
I have, however, recently allowed my mind to think a step further; and I came to the realization that this concept of self-disapproval/lack of self-discipline has taken on idol proportions. I pay homage to the idol of “reverse-pride”, or so I like to call it. But it isn’t really reverse-pride; it is simply pride. Thinking too much about self, even if the thinking is all negative. Reverse-pride often has a level of self-pity involved, and I have somehow managed to avoid that side. I do not pity myself ever. I get MAD at myself, instead.
There is no one to blame but myself for the way things are. And while finding fault doesn’t solve the issue nor give me the ability to overcome and persevere, maybe it has been the factor that has prevented a spirit of self -pity from taking root.
And I am sure that at just the exact right time, God is going to work this whole life out for His glory. Sometimes I wish I could see that in fore-sight, see how it will materialize, and when. But I have to agree with God that it is better to be surprised. And my work, so to speak, as I wait, is a stalwart perseverance that waits without being stagnant. That listens well to hear the directions God might be giving. That determines to obey without being asked twice…this is where my shortcoming lies, for sure.
The Reclaim the Temple Project is definitely a project in obedience as much as in weight loss. My mind wants the weight loss most; my heart, the obedience. One must drive the other.