Go Back

We seem to be a future-driven society. I’ve talked about this before in past posts. From a young age we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. In jr. high we start taking personality tests that lead to career results. In high school all the focus seems to be on college, degrees and careers. Future, future, future.

Planning for the future isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we lose a lot when we are only focused on the future.

BUT, I’m not writing today to talk about how we need to be focused on the present. I’m writing to take a step back, look on the past and see how far we’ve come.

Think back to this time last year. Think of how much you have grown, learned and changed in just the past year. Pull out an old journal if necessary, and read about what problems surrounded you a year ago. Walk through all of your familiar places, and find the differences in your world today.

Although I think dwelling in the past can sometimes be discouraging, I do think that reflection is valuable.

There is something to be said about progress.

A year ago, I had only been back from my three months in Honduras for a couple weeks and was still in a foggy, reverse-culture-shock state. I’m pretty sure it was around this time that I went to the grocery store to buy orange juice and was completely overwhelmed by the wall of options, as opposed to the big or small sizes available in Honduras, that I left the store without buying anything.

I hadn’t started with youth ministry yet, and now it is the highlight of my week. There is no other form of ministry that I would rather be doing right now.

I’ve learned so much academically and in my spiritual walk that it makes me giddy!

God is so good!

So, take a moment to step back, reflect on the past year and think about how far you have come. Think about all the positive changes that have happened to you or that you have made. Think about your growth in Christ. Think about the sour or unhealthy relationships that you walked through and away from.

It is far too easy to only look back and see all of the trials, and miss all the triumphs. God is more than the valleys, He is the victory on the mountaintops. 

If you look back and you’re disappointed, then this is just as valuable for you. Look back and see the things you missed, the problems you wished were different. And do something about it. Reflection is only valuable when we use it for improvement and growth.

It won’t all be good, because we are broken people living in a broken world, but pray that God would reveal to you the progress you have made!

Look back, reflect and move forward!

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

Your Reflection

Wow, a new post is long overdue! It’s been almost 3 weeks!

Tonight, my mom and I were checking out at Wal-Mart and glancing at the gossip magazines. I was disgusted at all the talk of celebrities gaining weight and that it was even a problem! I am all for eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, but I am also all for being comfortable and happy in your own skin. This issue exists of feeding these lies to young, and older women all the same, that anything above a size 4 isn’t beautiful. I look at magazine covers and model shots and am sickened, because not only are the pictures raunchy, but they’ve been edited to the point that we can’t even guess what the original looked like! How can women be expected to meet those screen-created standards? And why are we even expected to?

Even if women aren’t realizing it, or won’t admit it, those images play a little trick on our minds.

It’s like anything that we’re told, if we hear it enough times, we start to believe it. Same goes for these putrid pictures! You see them enough times and your mind begins to bend the idea of beauty into something unattainable!

If you’re losing weight, or striving to, not because of numbers, but because of how you feel, then good for you! If you’re following fad diets and killing yourself over numbers and images, then I’m sorry, but I cannot support that! You’re weight should be about feeling good, and being content, not about the way you look in a picture!

I think as Christians, we get caught in two different mind-sets. One is that “God created me this way, so I’m not going to change,” which is harmful if weight loss would be a healthy thing. The other idea is this: “My body is a temple, and so I must look good in order to keep it holy,” which is a great lie in itself. I believe there is a middle-ground where we want to be healthy, because our bodies are temples, but it’s not all about numbers and appearance.

When it comes to the moment of your final breath, will you be concerned about the number on the scale, or where your heart is?

I weighed about 30 pounds more in high school than I do now. I lost a bunch of weight after high school, and have kept most of it off. I was never concerned about my weight when I was thirty pounds heavier. Now, I’m in this place where there are times I’m far too concerned about how I look. I pick and prod at my body, and all the “problem areas” that exist. I sometimes lose how God sees me, and even how others see me, and that makes me angry.

You see yourself several times a day in the mirror. You have the opportunity to find all the imperfections and “problems” every single time. Someone else may see you every day and still never see those same things you do. They will see how clear your skin is, how beautiful your body is, how stunning your eyes are. They see things not because they have to ignore everything else, but because they simply aren’t you.

So imagine your best friend, or close female friend of yours. You’ve most likely heard her talk about her imperfections, her blemishes, or her problem areas. When she talked about those things, did you see the same things she was mentioning?

If not, did you tell her that? Did you sincerely stop her negative talk and encourage her?

As females, we so easily get caught up in our looks. I’m guilty of it myself.

For the most part, I’m confident in who I am and what I look like. But I’m positive that even the most confident women in the world have doubted themselves at least once.

It can be so challenging to turn to positive images and thoughts during these times of insecurity.

I have a huge heart for people who let these things define themselves. Your weight, your blemishes, and what you see as imperfections, do not define who you are.

Jesus does.

I can write down all the scriptures, I can name twelve or thirteen verses, but until you believe this in your heart, it’s pointless.

You have to truly know that you are God’s treasure.

What a disappointment it must be to the creator of the Universe, to have one of His own creations think that they are not beautiful, that they are not an incredible masterpiece.

What is it that holds you back from seeing yourself in His eyes? What are the lies that you have believed, and maybe never knew you did? What are the words that were said to you that you still carry around today?

You are beautiful.

You are an incredibly stunning and wonderful creation.

The same God who created the very stars in the sky and the amazing world around you, created you specifically and uniquely.

Be honest with yourself, which is sometimes difficult to do, and figure out what causes your insecurities. Learn what it really is that you see when you look in the mirror. When you only see those imperfections, I can tell you that others will only begin to see those as well. You can be so caught up in how you look that it becomes you, it takes over who you are.

Don’t let your reflection rule over the truth that you were created in God’s image

You are His creation and He sees you as nothing less than perfect.

You can search under every rock and look behind every door to find someone or something that makes you feel good about yourself, but until you go to Him and let Him speak truth into you, you will never be satisfied with what you look like. All of those fake fulfillments will fade, one way or another, and all that will be left is your reflection. You can choose to see yourself as you always have, or you can choose to see yourself in a new, and true light.

I get that some days are better than others. I get that the lies will sometimes haunt you. I get that sometimes it’s easier said than done. But I also get that seeing yourself as God does, changes everything.

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie