Before Anything, You Were Set Apart
I know the second a teenage girl starts talking about her weight or body image everyone cringes. Yeah, I do believe the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I look at girls out with their friends or on Instagram and I can't help but think how easy my life would be if my thighs didn't shake when I ran, or if I filled out a shirt a little less, or that I could still wear last summer's Nike shorts, or even if my feet were a little more fairy-like.
I went to the doctor's by myself yesterday (major adult initiation) and they weighed me and measured me. As a nineteen year old girl who still gets carded for R-rated movies, I know I should have been more concerned that I shrunk to 5"2', but the thing I was really concerned about was my weight.
I realized I don't make it a habit to weigh myself as many others do because I always make excuses: "five pounds off for clothes", "I just ate something", "My hair's still a little damp, water makes it weigh more". But why do I make excuses? I feel so confident with myself and my personality, but as soon I think about the three numbers on a scale, I couldn't be more embarrassed.
My youth group and I just came back from a mission trip where we studied a passage of scripture from Jeremiah:
'The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Jeremiah 1: 4-5
I get that this verse can be super cheesy and overused, but sometimes the overused ones are the best ones to keep in your back pocket. This Bible verse haunted me today as I looked in the mirror and wished I hadn't eaten that popcorn, dinner, and frozen yogurt. People can always say that they're made in God's image ("God created humanity in (His) own image." Genesis 1:27) but the verse in Jeremiah literally says before you were even conceived, God already had set you apart.
I realize that as flawed humans we always want to fight with ourselves and criticize our appearances much more in depth than anyone at the grocery store ever could; but no matter how flawed we are, I don't think we should ever fight with God's direct words. I rest in such peace knowing that God formed me and knew I would feel and look the way I do right now because it's all in his plan.
We can always know that God knows.
Later in the chapter, Jeremiah says he can't do what God wants him to do because he is too young. God responds to Jeremiah's doubts:
"The Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth"
God knew that it was so important for Jeremiah to believe and love himself before he went out into the nations to proclaim His word that God literally shushedJeremiah's mouth.
God didn't create us in his image and know what we would look like everyday for us to then bash our appearance. He made us in his image so that we can feel blessed and chosen everyday as we proclaim his truth. When we doubt His plan, I'm sure he tries to shush us!
Something my church says that has become a mantra for me is "Love God, Love yourself, Love the world." It's so important for us to love ourselves before we can love others because as Christians we are an example of God's love and what a life in His light should look like.
So, yes- I ate too much today. I don't feel great about it and I'm not going to go weigh myself because I'm a nineteen yea old girl and I get self conscious. But I need to work on the thoughts that immediately come into my head when I see that I'm a little bigger than I was when I left my house that morning. I want to live a life that reflects God's love so much, even in my innermost thoughts that God never has to shush me.
So rest in the peace that He did set you apart from everyone else, pant size and all, even before you were born.