A few days before Christmas, I had a miscarriage (yeah sorry, I’m kind of getting right into
it). I was about 10 weeks pregnant, and had been waiting for several years to be
pregnant...so yeah it was pretty devastating. Amazingly, I was able to have some kind of
peace about the whole situation; I presume as a result of the multitudes of prayer that were
being prayed for me by close friends.
This was by no means the first time that my ‘body had let me down’. I mean it was my first
miscarriage. But any person who knows the struggle of body image issues, know that this
theme of your body failing to meet your expectations is fairly constant. Even though I
remain a weight I’d-rather-not-be at 37 years of age, I am mentally a lot healthier when it
comes to my body image.
As a teenager I was relentless in self-punishment.
I would mentally review the day according to my eating habits, whilst lying in bed. If I passed my own test, in which my criterion of healthy habits was nothing less than perfection, I would
allow myself to feel pleased with myself. If I didn’t, the self-loathing would be given the
right to reign. Most nights I dozed off with shame as my companion.
My body had been letting me down all my life. When I was a 6-year-old child, and people
would call me chubby...I diagnosed that as my body letting me down. Because I never
wanted to stand out, whether it was for a good or bad reason. I just wanted to be left alone,
without comment or judgement even at that young age.
When I was a pre-teen, I endured the incessant taunts about my hairy legs (they
weren’t really, it’s just that I had jet black hair). Or when I was a teenager, and everyone
thought it was their job to point out the size of my chest. Nothing ever seemed to
fit me right. The times my body was misused by others...yeah I know it wasn’t my fault. But for some reason I still blamed my body for that! I truly believed that if my body wasn’t so disgusting, maybe nobody would treat it in a disgusting way.
Yes, my body had let me down time and again. It would have been so easy to fall back
into the trap of blaming my body after the miscarriage, but I didn’t. In fact, I did something I
have never done before.
I THANKED my body.
I thanked my body for giving me the ability to walk. I thanked my body for allowing me to
see. I thanked my heart for beating. I thanked my hands for working. I thanked my brain for
thinking. I thanked my body for bringing me my one beautiful daughter into this world, who
is able to walk, able to talk and able to breath. And as I thanked my body, I started to see
things in an increasingly positive light. I thanked God for the complete and whole body He
had given me, that had been resourcing my lifestyle for my entire life without any legitimate resistance! I repented and apologized to God and my body, for having taken it for granted. For cursing my body so many times. For hating it and blaming it.
I made PEACE with my body.
I’m sure some will think it’s strange that I apologized and thanked my body. After all, it's not
a person. But to me it was a necessary step in reconciling the war that had ensued against it
for most of my life. If words do have power, I had used them in the worst possible way
against my body. It was time to turn that around. I may never be thin as I had desired for most of my life. But I can have peace, regardless of what shape my body takes. That’s the promise for all of us believers.
Are you a believer in Jesus Christ? Let us show you God's marvelous plan to restore you to health and peace with God. He is crazy about you and wants you to become apart of God's family.
Share this story with a girlfriend who is dealing with similar challenges.❤
This post is written by Melanie Saward, a published author, and a ministry leader. She is author of the book, 'Ministry Stinks': One Leader's Journey From Despair to Joy. Check out her personal bio here.