My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.

Redefining True Beauty and Brawn

Leave a comment

Image

There is no doubt in my mind that a good part portion of my life has been strongly following  what our society has focused on, whether it be outward appearances, position, or possessions.  My fragile self worth hinging vicariously on the  approval of others.  Compelling images on screen or print drove me to strive for acceptance as it  encourages the population to worship physical beauty, strength and the dew of youth.  Even  though I know Proverbs 31 tells us, “beauty is vain (because it is not lasting….” still  my past choices gave too much energy and exertion on achieving shiny bouncing hair, pearly white teeth, or  the “perfect pant size”.

Nearly 30 years ago it caused me to fall headlong into crippling eating disorder after my failed first marriage. The grip of anorexia squeezed out any of the vibrant life God had for me. Only being able to overcome its’ strong clutches through the power of my praying mother.  Within a year my eyes were opened to the devastation of what the eating disorder was doing to my body. Sadly, a few years later my poor body image reared its’ ugly head again due to my weight gain shortly after I got remarried. This time narrowly escaping a potential battle with bulimia. My husband somehow opened the bathroom door that I “knew” I had locked, he saw me leaning over the toilet to rid myself of my last meal.  This was a profound wake up call  from a gracious God sparing me from another pit of personal destruction.  After that miraculous encounter I never again struggled with any kind of eating disorder.

For the most part, we can agree there is nothing wrong with admiring external beauty or brawn, enjoying healthy hair, whiter teeth or battling the bugle. Our bodies are the temple of the Lord, and we are encouraged to take care of them.  Still, it  becomes clear that I want to shift my attention to a boarder picture of  true beauty and brawn. That which is not  highlighted in fashion nor physical fitness magazines, becoming more confident that true beauty comes from within and strength is measured beyond bulging muscles and washboard abs.  Longing to view mankind as God does, for His word says, “Man looks to the outward appearances while God looks at the heart”.  Not judging a book by its’ cover as the prophet Samuel did when on a mission to choose the next King of Israel, had it not been for the Spirit of God telling him otherwise, Samuel would have anointed the wrong man.  Almost overlooking  the ruddy David who tended sheep but had a heart for God. Once again God reveals that true “strength” and “beauty” has nothing to do with outward appearances but rather what is in the heart and spirit of a man or woman.

God applauds the stouthearted  spirit of the  elderly, the perseverance of the disabled and all those battling crippling diseases or limitations whether in mind or body. This reevaluation is pounding hard,  hitting home as I  watch a loved one’s heroic stamina tackle life.  Where walking, brushing teeth, or eating  has become laborious. This changes the face of what “powerful” really is, a rugged human spirit determined to live with dignity in spite of adversities. What I once put so much stock in has lost  its’ value challenging and rocking the very core of my flimsy standards. Smashing the idols of self worth and worldly value and realigning my perspective as to what real beauty and strength is.

The reality is we all carry within us weaknesses, scars, and flaws that reside in our heart’s and mind’s…. crippling us from soaring as God intended. A fortified internal city  masking our shortcomings and  inner wounds.  And yet God beckons us to “glory in our weakness and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell upon me”. * His power is shown up in our weaknesses.

Thank you Lord that Your love and approval does not depend on ones physical strength or outward beauty.  In fact, true strength and beauty is determined by what is on the inside of a person.  Not only that, but  your love is absolutely unconditional even in our brokenness. Redefining to a needy culture what true “Beauty and Brawn” is.

Training the body helps a little, but godly living helps in every way. Godly living has the promise of life now and in the world to come.   1  Timothy 4:8

*2 Corinthians 12:9

Author: Lisa Thompson Jennings

Hello my name is Lisa,.it would be so delightful to sit down with you swapping life's stories..Reveling in God's goodness,sharing our battles won and those we still are fighting. Finding sacred ground together in heartbreak, redemption , forgiven and blessed hope that promises not to disappoint us. A little about me ... I love God with all my heart stumbling along the way as I do , I talk a lot but still covet listening, Laughter and being creative are not options for my soul would wither with the lack of them. My husband Kevin and I have been married for 27 years and blessed with two boys Derek 22 and Trent 19. It's been 22 years since I worked outside of the home some of those twenty-one years were spent homeschooling, coupon clipping and keeper of the Jennings household. Counting it pure joy to watch our amazing boys turn into outstanding young men.While this earthen vessel laden with cracks and flaws by God's intentional grace and renewed strength made it through. A touch of God's redemption from past misfortunes that included surviving sexual abuse, a failed first marriage, eating disorder, panic attacks, intense gripping fear and crushing low self esteem. Drawn to a God that can right wrongs, bring beauty where ashes once laid ,all the while lovingly speaking His worth and value into weary, parched souls. So that we can not only survive as victims but thrive as a people walking in glorious victory, blazing a trail of freedom for anyone held in chains of injustices, personal failure or loss. So thankful God is all about new beginnings, fresh starts and slates wiped clean.. our past misfortunes merely spring boards of new found hope and deep abounding joy ... it's a privilege to be a fellow sojourner in this path to greater wholeness and liberation. Charles Dickens writes "Reflect on your present blessings every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some". Celebrating present and future Heavenly blessings with you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s