Is Loving My Body a Spiritual Issue?

{Guest Post Kati Rae}

“Love given is courage gained.”

I have recently discovered insecurities I thought I ‘dealt with’ a long time ago are still influencing my actions. It turns out, I’m just as insecure as I was ten months ago, it just looks differently today. No longer eroding my physical appearance taking the form of an eating disorder, my insecurities have chosen to burrow themselves into the deepest parts of my being and make their way known from the inside out.

My lack of love for myself is based on my lack of being ‘perfect.’ Somewhere in the past twenty-one years (age six sounds about right) I let man define a state of being only God can define- the definition of it being immeasurable as He is- and only the Trinity can possess. Basically put: I didn’t love myself, so I became whomever it was I believed people would love. A complete give and take, this lifestyle became an addiction: I was an addict shamelessly selling everything I had to get a hit of ‘glory.’

My spirit was decaying.

I read somewhere that learning to accept yourself takes an abundance of “self-love” and “self-care.” Like “standing-bare-naked-in-front-of-a-mirror-and-complimenting-yourself” kind of self-love. The kind of stuff that bully victims in Lifetime movies do. The radical stuff.

In the past fifteen years, I have tried everything but the radical stuff, and although it sounded like a preteen’s manifesto, I was desperate. At twenty-one years old, I’ve tasted and seen glimpses of a life that I dream of enjoying every single day- not just on days that I’m feeling thin or desirable or perfect. What did I have to lose?

So I found myself in front of a mirror: pale, raw, and real.

Typically at a time like this, I diverted my eyes from my reflection. Ironically enough, I praise God’s creative hands for carefully carved canyons, and the delicate tenderness felt in flower petals, the mysteries hidden in the night sky, and the infinite watercolors of sunrises and sunsets.

Yet with the same breath, I curse His creativity when I’m not a copy of a copy of a copy of every airbrushed girl I see a photo of.

God, I need(ed) courage to love myself the way You love me. I need(ed) courage to walk forward in Gethsemane and up the hill of Calvary. I need(ed) courage to die to myself the same way that You died for me.

Inhale; exhale. I prayed through waiting. Eyes closed, I put away the claws and asked for gentle, strong hands; scarred hands courageous enough to love through pain; and skilled in creating and restoring. Hands that could help me build a body I could love: The Carpenter’s hands.

They came slowly but faithfully. He helped me build strong arms to embrace and serve my neighbors. He crafted a rib cage wide enough to protect a pair of lungs to sing and breathe in emerald Oregon pines. He tenderly built a soft tummy able to produce deep belly laughs and hold ice cream, something that was made to confidently wear scars telling a remarkable story of redemption.

I am not naive; I know it will take time. I know there will be days I forget, but that’s all it will be – a day.

Psalm 139 says I have been “knit” together. Much more than simply being spoken into existence like the rest of creation, The Lord, in His dangerous untamed glory, “knit” me together. With His breath, He shared His wild holy magnificence with me, and I want to set fire to those wild holy fibers and let them consume me and illuminate the world around me.

“Love given is courage gained.” The courage to be myself: His poiema.

 

 

katie rae insecurity body image Christian perspective

 

Kati Rae is an avid reader, poetry writer, breakfast enthusiast, and explorer of the world. She designs floral arrangements and is envious of astronauts. You can check out her blog here.

 

Comments

  1. this is beautiful. so carefully crafted. and speaks straight to my heart. thanks for sharing. :)

  2. This is absolutely beautiful.

    I’ve been in a lot of English courses and due to the nature of the literature they’ve had me read, I read “carefully carved canyons, and the delicate tenderness felt in flower petals, the mysteries hidden in the night sky, and the infinite watercolors of sunrises and sunsets” as a description of your body.

    Sounds a bit Song of Solomon but I kind of love it– if only we could always see that wonder in ourselves!

  3. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder, body hatred, and all that goes along with that for years and years. I began my breakthrough in college, about 15 years ago, and I can say that while it’s still a challenge for me to not believe the lies, it gets easier year by year to believe that I am truly beautiful and that I can have complete victory over this struggle. Keep pushing through.

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