I always set up my blogs like that don't I?
I just posted a bunch of pictures my friend Debbie took of me and my kids on facebook. They are absolutely beautiful. She is so talented and I'm thankful for her friendship.
I was just looking through them with happy thoughts, sort of just clicking along, when suddenly I came to the end and wound up at the beginning of my facebook pictures. They were the pictures from when I first started FB like 8 years ago and I didn't have my own camera, so whatever pictures my friends took, those were the ones that were posted.
Let me explain, if this is your first time getting to know me. I was about 50 pounds heavier than I am now. I struggled a LOT with my weight throughout high school and college. You can read about it more in the series The Redemption of My Physical Body if you would like to know my story.
It was kind of like a slap in the face. I'm going along all happy and seeing these lovely pictures and then I see what I used to look like. Lord, help me with this, I don't want to insult Your creation. I also don't want to insult those years when I looked like that. I truly believe they were valuable and meaningful and I'm truly glad I looked like that. It's just a bit of a shock, to see the difference.
I've been thinking about the scripture that says, 'And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will boast all the more in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.' 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 This whole area of food and body image and self-control have been weaknesses in my life. I am so weak in this area, I struggled for years to try to get a handle on it. Always, the harder I tried, the worse things got.
Finally, I came to the end of myself and had to surrender it to God, for good.
Can I just boast in the fact that I am weak in this area? Whenever I try to start taking control of things and manipulating and start concentrating on losing weight and taking my focus off the Lord and putting it on food, everything starts to crumble. I praise God that it doesn't take me long these days to surrender back to Him and put it under His authority again.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to boast in the fact that I did not go from who I was 5+ years ago, to what I look like now. I did NOT do it. It is not because I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and dug in my heels and determinately said, "I will do this!" It's because I gave it to the Lord and surrendered food and my emotions to Him. Day after day after day. I had accountability in that with my husband. So many times Ben has said, "Jody, you are not allowed to diet. You know that won't help you. Only the Lord can help you." in so many words. He's right.
Lord, You have done these things in my heart, in my life and the fruits of it are evident in what You have allowed in my body. Thank You for Your rich blessings. I DO NOT deserve them. I am thankful that You have had mercy on me.
Okay, as much as it's painful for me to see, I'm going to post this, only to say that this is what I used to look like.
And this is what the Lord has done. As I said, this is the fruit of obedience.
And this one, because it's one of my favorites.