Yesterday was a big day for me.
I walked 4 miles, biked 2 miles and did water aerobics.
Today, I am taking a day of rest. Wednesdays are my Sundays, and today is My Sabbath.
Because tonight, I am leading worship at my church for the first time in a long while. And I need to be at my physical best to do it well.
Last year, I stopped being in the “limelight” of my church and attended elsewhere for a while. I needed a chance to grow on my own. I was raised in the same church I had been going too. And you all probably know that people who have known you the longest have a hard time letting you grow up.
I had to learn about what I thought was important in my walk with God, the best way to participate in ministry, and had to get a grasp on my body image.
What does body image have to do with anything church related?
A lot. When I used to lead worship, I was very excited about the things God was doing while I was singing with the congregation in front of me from the stage. I watched Him move in powerful ways among the people. And I gave Him thanks for that.
But once I got OFF the stage, I craved the approval of others. I wanted the members to tell me how great I had done, how good it was to see me leading worship. I know it sounds terrible, but it’s the truth.
For a long time in my life, I thought the only real talent I had was singing and leading worship. It was my identity, and everything revolved around that. Especially when I was at my heaviest. I had no personal pride other than my music. I would present power point presentations with special music or songs I had written so people would look at the slides and not think about how fat I was. I never wanted my physical state to alter the message of the music. So I hid as best as I could.
And yet, it became an issue for me, ego wise. Because it was all I felt I had, I craved the attention of others when the music stopped. And it put me in a position where I was being the glory hog instead of giving God the glory.
So, I stopped doing leading worship and took a break. And I worked on getting my outside to a place so I could deal with the inside. And visa-versa. Which doesn’t seem like such a big deal to some people. But for me, it was a very very big deal.
Here’s what I found out on my journey so far.
God created me to be unique. I will never be like anyone else in the world. I have attributes and faults that are all my own. And God’s OK with that. I should be too.
I should remember that no one can do exactly what I do, and the most interesting people I have met were never normal. God’s ok with that, and I should be too.
My body, no matter what I think of it, is a blessing. I’m still breathing, and that makes this a good day. So I should not hide behind plants and power point presentation. God is OK with me, and I should be too.
Self shame, fear and insecurities are nothing more than distractions to take my eyes off God. Nothing my body can do- past, present and possibly skinnyfied future- makes God less important than He is right at this moment. Especially if He is touching the heart of someone sitting in the audience or congregation. It should never be about me. If it is for a brief moment, the underlying message should be about Him. He’s OK with that.
The fact I have come this far along in my journey is testimony. Not self affirmation, not self sacrifice, but the story of how I, by the mere seat of my plus size pants, have fallen into His overwhelming grace. And I am ok with that.
So today is my Sabbath. And tonight I am leading worship. Not karaoke about Jesus, not a choir that is merely singing along to songs we have sung 1000s of times…
But falling into worship of a King who loves unconditionally the way I am presently knit together, stretch marks and all. A God who is willing to go the distance with a girl who still trembles at the grocery store at the cookie and cracker aisle. A God who holds me in His lap and comforts me while I am exhausted from working too hard yesterday and just want to rest. Little distractions may try to come up, but He will not put me down for a second. He will hold me close in His arms and let me rest.
Just like this…
tales of the cupcake part one
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