(Before I begin this devotional let me be completely real with you. I did not want to publicly share this story, but God laid it on my heart and I have promised Him I will hold nothing back. So, this is an act of obedience. Please be kind to me.)
Years ago, God told me to start running, so I did. I began with an app on my phone called “C25K”. It gently led me into running. I highly recommend it for anyone who has never been a “runner”, but desires to try. As I ran longer distances I noticed some issues with my stomach. Back then, I had a sack of skin leftover from having babies and I didn’t yet realize it, but I also had a hernia. One day after running, I leaned over to catch my breath and when I did I felt like my guts were going to fall out and I had to grab my stomach, near the belly button, and push everything back inside. It made me instantly feel sick to my stomach, and I knew something wasn’t right.
Shortly after, I went to a plastic surgeon to discuss removing the excess skin I carried, and at first glance he exclaimed, “You have quite the hernia!” I remember standing in front of him, fully exposed, and asking with desperation in my voice, “Can you fix me?” His quick reply was, “Yes, of course I can.” He was so kind to me during this invasive and humbling process. I will never forget his gentleness with my emotions. God is in every detail when we include Him.
After surgery and recovery, the Father led me to start running again. So, I’ve run ever since. I run because He meets me there. I enjoy it and I feel so good after I’ve done it, but somewhere along the way, I began to feel a slave to being little. I am not sure when it happened, but I lost so much weight without setting out intentionally to do so, then I began to feel stressed that all of it would return if I wasn’t super careful. I noticed that my body image was distorted. I could look in the mirror and instead of seeing my slim self, I would see myself as larger. It’s unreal to me how skewed our body image can become.
God didn’t call me to run in fear of gaining weight. He called me to run with Him. To meet Him while I run. To focus my spirit as I focus my body. I am constantly renewing my focus now, and returning to the first reason, Him. It’s something intentional that I have to do, and I think honestly, all of us have to do so intentionally.
Why am I sharing these intimate details of my life? Because it’s the intimate details that make us who we are and define our walk with the Father. It’s the intimate conversations and internal dialogue that color the way we see the world and interact with others. I guess my question is, have you considered your inner dialogue? Have you allowed God to have free reign and full access to all of you, all the time? I never thought God would meet me through plastic surgery on my stomach, but He did. He orchestrated every moment of the process. I have never, even for one second, regretted it. It’s actually improved my quality of life, because now I can run and move with ease. What a blessing! But it wouldn’t have been if I had not been open to Him when He first nudged my heart to look into having the surgery. I was so embarrassed and worried about what others would think, but it led me to really lean into what He says and going where He leads, no matter what, because that’s where I find freedom. Have you found that freedom?
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8