I looked at her toned arms, long legs, flat stomach, and flawless skin on the cover of Women’s Health Magazine, and without even thinking about it started shaming my own body. Self-consciously I thought to myself, “If this is how Women’s Health Magazine defines ‘healthy,’ then I must be far from it.”
A rush of humiliation washed over me and in that moment I felt unqualified.
In a culture that praises a woman’s body, that promises a new diet each month, and that glorifies perfected selfies and edited images, it can be easy to believe the lie that healthy means we have to be a size two, with a six-pack, and long, toned legs. I just couldn’t buy it.
So for the past five years, I have been on a journey of discovery. I set out to gain insight into what healthy truly means and how I could create a lifestyle that I loved, felt confident in, and could live unashamedly.
Where I started
If I really claimed the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, and the lamp that guides my thoughts, actions and beliefs, then I knew I had to redefine what “healthy” meant according to the Word, not the world.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say we have to have a small waist and over 100K likes on a Facebook selfie to be qualified for what He has planned for us.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say we need toned shoulders and over one million followers on Instagram to be blessed by Him.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say we need over three hundred comments praising us on a bathing suit image to be loved by Him.
Instead, the Bible said:
1) You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.” Psalm 139
2) You are not a mistake.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plan to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
3) You are qualified because of your heart, not outward appearance.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
4) You have been given FREEDOM from comparison in Christ Jesus.
“Now, the Lord I am referring to is the Holy Spirit, and wherever He is Lord, there is FREEDOM.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
5) You have a greater destiny already arranged by God.
“We have become his poetry, a re-create people that will fulfill the destiny He has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, The Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it.” Ephesians 2:10
Our culture twists the truth making it difficult to see the true reflection of our real selves. The Kingdom of God takes the world’s definitions, stomps on them, turns them upside down, and redefines them one by one.
As Daughters of the King, let’s redefine “healthy,” according to the Word... and a little Jessie :)
HEALTHY: “Being physically, emotionally, and spiritually prepared, to advance and fulfill our destiny, given by God, which He has already arranged in advance for us.” (Ephesians 2:10)
After five years of research and self discovery, I know that I am qualified, not because of what I look like on the outside (1 Sam. 6:17), but by what the Word of God says about who I am.
If I am healthy with God first, then all else will follow.
With the help of the Holy Spirit that lives within me (1 John 4:13), I strive less to look like the world’s standard, and more of the Word’s standard. This is true beauty.
I now choose to create healthy habits, plan my meals, and set fitness goals around what works best for my body, my mind, and my heart, because I want to be fully prepared to advance and fulfill the destiny He has already arranged for me. This is real freedom.
My sweet friend, are you struggling to find your confidence, to find your significance, to find your value? Are you struggling with comparison and declaring war on your mirror?
I see you. I hear you. I feel you. Because I have been you. There is a solution, a better way. As a daughter of the King you are designed to walk in FREEDOM.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
You can live in complete freedom when you truly believe that only Jesus can determine your worth and qualification to pursue our God-given passion and purpose.
You can live with confidence that you are destined for impact and influence, not because you have toned legs, but because you are a child of God.
You can live with greater purpose each day, not because you have a six-pack, but because you are a child of God.
You can be free of comparison with help from the Holy Spirit, not because of your bikini pictures, but because you are a child of God.
You can look at a Women’s Health Magazine and not feel shame, not because you have a model body, but because you are a child of God.
“You are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Jesus Christ.” Galatians 3:26