Body.

Body.

Good body. Square body. Banana body. Hour-glass body. Bad body. Thick body, big body, able-body, bikini-body. Dad bod, body positivity.  Cool body, muscle body, plastic body.

Body body body body. Can you go a day on social media without seeing that word? Bet you can’t.

I have to admit, the human body is pretty amazing. We replace all of our brain cells every few months, skin is about the same. We can train to be stronger, but can also live a decent life with little training at all. We can also let ourselves go to unbelievable weights and come back to normality from such adversity.

It’s what we see in the mirror, in pictures. We look at our images and reflections and say “Hey, that’s me!”

So many things focus on and cater to the body in this culture. Everything is about your looks, your shape, your size and how well you fit into some preconceived ideology that is unnatural at worst and unattainable at best.

The other day I was reading a book in which a character constantly referred to his body, his flesh, as a costume. As a separate entity from the spiritual self.

I thought: “That’s different.”
It got me thinking: Is this body actually me?  This 5’7” frame covered in curly hair and rampant with food allergies, this bag of bones…is that me? Does my identity lie solely in this mass of carbon that’s covered in stretch marks and moles?

Of course not!

There is so much focus placed on the body these days that the value of the soul is often ignored. Body and soul, while sharing a connection, are separate. The body needs food and sleep, the soul needs a laugh and favorite tunes, which can then relax the body.  The body wants a break, but the spirit wants to keep going. The body dies…
The rest continues on forever.
The body dies and your soul and spirit, the parts of you that aren’t carbon, either go to be with the Lord, or they go hang out in anguish for all of time.
ALL. OF. TIME.

This thing we’re trying so hard to love, to fit into molds, to have the right one of doesn’t last. Does. Not. Last. It is not eternal. It dies.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Sam. 16:7

In light of that, I’m starting to think “So… what’s the point?”  Why am I freaking out over my pants size when the state of my heart is far more important? Why do I count calories instead of blessings?

I think we place too much value on our bodies.  They’re valuable, and they definitely enable us to do what we need to, but the culture is so obsessed with self-love and looks that they are missing something very important. (This impacts believers too!)  You can make an idol out of yourself if you put the care and keeping of you at the center of your life and worm Jesus out of the way.

Please note that I’m not saying look in the mirror and say “Ew.” or degrade yourself. I’m not saying don’t exercise and never eat kale (though kale is kinda gross, so I’ll be okay with you not eating it. I won’t eat it.) I’m not going to tell you veganism is bad or berate the bopo movement or anything. I also won’t tell you to start exercising like a mad person because body obsession can go either way.  I just feel as though some priorities are misplaced in our society. It’s high time to start putting certain things back where they belong.

Body positivity and self-love have their place, and that’s below the care of real you. The inner you.

Don’t let the love of the body take priority over the care of the soul. God gave you this body, not for you to obsess over, but for you to do His will with. He loves you so much that his son died for you. You owe it to him and to yourself to take care of your soul first, and tend to the body later.

Something I’ve come to learn is that when my spirit is fed and “it is well with my soul” everything in me clicks. My stress drops, I bloat less, I smile more. I feel more at peace with the “costume” I wear.

I try to place less emphasis on what my skin and bones are telling me and tune into my spiritual radio and gauge my needs. Do I need a taco or do I need a walk/talk time with the Lord? Am I bloated because of that pretzel or is that pesky addiction rearing its head in my life after I thought I beat it?  Am I stressed because of that double espresso or because I need a break through? Am I feeling depressed, when was the last time I rocked out to uplifting music? When was the last time I dropped to my knees and prayed?

You are more than your body. Your entire person, body, mind, soul, spirit, is valuable and requires balanced care. Don’t let the part people see overrule the care and keeping of the unseen.   If you practice self-care, be sure to include things that develop you as a person, that grow you spiritually not just the things that soothe the body or merely lift confidence in your appearance.  Read books, pray, study some stuff, learn a new skill or language, take up a new hobby. Work on you, the part of you that’s going to last forever.

When you tend to the mind and soul, everything else falls into place.

-Becky

(Re-Post, slight edits!) There’s hope!

So, there was this girl. She had a Christian mom and a Dad who…merely donated some genetic material and caused a lot of unneeded fear. Her life was a cacophony of misadventures, spankings and shame, bumps and bruises. There was yelling, lots of yelling. If she cried, she’d get spanked. Her childhood was a tangled up mess of hurt feelings, insecurities and dream worlds in which she’d hide.

There were monsters under her bed that no one helped her scare off. Nightmares that should couldn’t crawl into her parents bed to hide from. She was scared of the dark, of loud noises, of her cats dying, of monsters she could feel looming just below the bed post.

When she grew older, those fears, that pain, that insecurity hurt her. She made an escape from reality, a retreat into her own little world. A world where toys were kind and friendly, and her only real connection to the outside world. They acted as in-betweens from the tangible reality and the intangible safe haven.

Time passed. The mean father walked out of the house one day. He asked her to help him pack. The little girl was confused, and didn’t help him pack at all. Her mother later told her to stay strong. The happy place was revamped to include characters instead of toys, and it became safer. She took naps, trying to sleep the grief away. When she was awake, she took to food for comfort. There was none to be found anywhere, but she kept searching, while her little broken heart healed in a crooked fashion. Her father waltzed in and out of her life like a revolving door, he cared, then he didn’t. She was the apple of his eye, then she was trash. Someone to be respected then something to take to the dump.

At 16, overweight, unhappy and hurting, the young lady stood on her porch, looking down at the ground three floors below.
‘Maybe if I jump off, I can break my leg and my heart won’t hurt anymore. Maybe if I hurt myself, he’ll feel guilty for what he did.’
‘Maybe, if I jump off, I’ll just die and I won’t have to hurt anymore. Get so sad and so guilty because I’m dead that he’ll die too.’ She stood there, one leg on the rail of the balcony. She looked down, heard her mom approach the apartment door and she scampered away from the balcony.
Someone talked her out of it—jumping would only break a leg or paralyze her. She dropped the notion.

She’d stare at pill bottles, pain killer, wondering if she took enough of those, would the pain in her soul cease? She was sick of hurting. The fear of throwing up stopped her.

Age 18 she was still in pain from the father who’s emotional abuse had scarred her, but who’s hands she longed to cling to, who’s lap she desperately wanted to be in, she wasn’t sure what to do. The pain was becoming a hollow numbness inside of her that consumed her. She couldn’t feel happiness, joy, release.
Everything stayed locked up inside of her. She was staying strong, like Mommy had wanted. Daddy said tears were weakness, just another sign that she was a “whiny ass” as he so called her.

One afternoon, something told her to do it. ‘Yes, grab that knife, it said. See your wrist? You’ll feel the most there.’
But, blood. She girl fondled the pocket knife she’d bought at work. Then she glanced at her short, ragged fingernails that she picked constantly. Yes. Those would do.
With one quick motion they raked across her pale skin. The claw marks were painful, yet satisfying. A release. She could feel again. She tugged the sleeve of her shirt down so no one could see, she wore bracelets to hide it.
‘Look what you did, you failure. You’ve become one of those losers who self-harms. You’re pathetic. ‘ That same voice chuckled. It was done. It became a habit. The girl was trapped.

Then she got some help.

That girl’s name is Becky. She’s now 25 years old and 5 years clean without a relapse. Yep, me.

I know you’re out there, you with the knife, the gun, the pills, your nails. You hate yourself, the world, your parents, classmates, bullies. You want revenge, you want to feel, you need to punish yourself for your shortcomings. Maybe you cry a lot and people tease you for it. Maybe you talk differently or look funny or don’t think as fast as others. Maybe your daddy abused you. Maybe your mom is a druggie. Maybe you’re “fat”, “ugly”, “stupid”, “no-good”, ”failure”.

I don’t know your circumstances, but I know how it feels to see a beast in the mirror. To wake up alive and curse the fact your lungs are working.

The old phrase ‘It’s darkest before the dawn’ is true. Unfortunately, many young people don’t survive the darkest hours, they take life into their own hands.
If you’re a Christian and you feel this way, realize this feeling isn’t from God. He says some cool stuff about you.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;”
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
These things you feel, this release you crave can only be found in Jesus. In him there is release from guilt and there is healing.

As for punishment, Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sin. You don’t NEED to punish yourself. He did it FOR you because he adores you more than anything in creation. You. Yes. You. Your sin, guilt, shame all on that cross about 2000 years ago. It’s over, done.

If you’re not a believer, I encourage you to get in touch with some or some loved ones and friends. There is HOPE.  IT GETS BETTER! Life IS worth living, and we as humans weren’t designed to handle tough scenarios by ourselves. Confide in someone who you trust. Go be with friends, do what you love.

Get help for your problems. There is no shame, I repeat NONE in getting help through therapy, your doctor or counseling. If you wish to remain anonymous, there are hotlines all over the globe you can call and get the help and support you need.
Here’s a few, and I wish I’d heard of them at the time.

 

Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433

Self Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255

Whoever and wherever you are, I’m praying for you.

-Becky

WE’VE MOVED!

Or should I say, I’ve moved. It’s moved.

My old email got hacked and Microsoft locked me out  (commence Becky shaking her fist in disdain at hackers and technology), so, my new blog is here.

A continuation of https://sonworshipper74.wordpress.com.

Username/website is ” Why are all the good urls taken”, because they are and I’m trying really hard to be clever, can’t you tell?

New posts with some depth coming soon!