This astounding body that God made has grown from a nine-pound newborn to an adult woman, wife, and mother.
This growing body that God blessed me with has played in treehouses, scrambled up rocky, limb-bound mountain paths, and climbed on to a strong horse’s back. It has sat in solid, uncomfortable school desks for days, years, aching for the chance to run outside and then returned to those desks as a teacher and perpetual student.
This persevering body that God presented me with has endured taunts and criticisms from my own mouth as I struggled through middle school and high school, unsure, insecure, and under comparison.
This strong body that God entrusted to me has learned to run miles at time (and enjoy it!), swim in the calm, chlorinated water of a pool or the rough, wild waves of an ocean, and bike down many roads and bumpy paths.
This unbelievable body that God graced me with bore my beautiful child through nine months of rapid growth, then birthed him naturally, enduring three hours of pushing, straining, and exertion. And yet it still returned to (mostly) normal function within a matter of days.
This purposeful body God granted me can carry a baby on its hip and balance a cumbersome load of laundry while hiking up a flight of stairs. Through God’s provision, it can still muster enough strength and energy to rock a weary child back to sleep in the middle of the night.
This enduring body God assigned to me continues to work, to play, and to thrive…
And the craziest part about this body? God made this body just as it is and specifically for me. For me to use. To bless others with. To take care of.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
To praise and honor God with.
By Caroline Flory, Under God’s Mighty HandLeave a Comment
Kandice Penny says
THANK YOU! As a woman and mom with a disability (who is amazingly thankful for what I have been blessed with) I am so GLAD to hear someone be thankful for the gift of a strong healthy body! God does an amazing work in each of us physically. It certainly deserves to be appreciated! For me, both what I can do and what I can’t have blessed me beyond measure! God has provided for me uniquely and perfectly to bless my family!! 😀
I love that you said “both what I can do and what I can’t have blessed me beyond measure,” Kandice. That is so fantastic. You are so right about God’s provision; He knows what He is doing giving us what we have. Just like He chooses us to specifically be the mothers of our own children (or wives of our husbands… or daughters … etc.), He chooses us to take care of and work in these bodies!
Thank you for taking the time to comment!
Beth Werner Lee says
Oh Thank you! Too guilty of taunts and criticisms from my own mouth…it didn’t end in High School, but living as a minority among mostly petite people! But to thank the creator, to praise him, that is the way of release. I was 204 lb when I delivered my baby and for the week after delivering her too! It was a 3 day labor with lots of drip so I guess that’s why an 8lb baby came out without changing my weight at all! However, when I finally lost 40lb, when she was 4, it was due to acknowledging that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and thanking my creator for the body I was so discouraged about. I stumbled upon a book called Thin Within; a Grace based approach to lasting weight loss. It was a spiritual journey and the weight melted off. Now somehow I see my heart connection to how well I am treating my body. I needed the sweet reminder you posted today. God bless you!
Beth, what a beautiful story of triumph and reliance that you’ve shared! What you said is beautiful and so important: “…it was due to acknowledging that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and thanking my creator for the body I was so discouraged about.” You are such an encouragement!
I haven’t read that book yet; I’ll have to check it out.
You’ve blessed me by sharing your story. Thank you for reading and commenting!
Mel's Goin Goin Gone says
Thank you for your sweet reminders! We should treat our bodies as the gift God gave them to us as. Great time of year for this reminder.
Mel, you are right. It’s amazing how that perspective of a gift can change how we treat ourselves, isn’t it?
Thank you for your kind words!
shelly @ Life on the Wild Side says
O.K., first of all that photo is AMAZING. It’s hard to look away.
Second of all, I really needed to read this today. My body is aging just a bit and menopause is kicking me to the corner like I never thought it would. I’ve gained a little weight and I hate it so much. Every day I try to come to peace with my body, but it’s hard right now. Thank you for reminding me that I’m so much more than how I appear.
Thank you for the compliment on the photo, Shelly! I’ll pass that along to the photographer. (That was actually my big ‘ole pregnant belly there, too!)
I love you pointed out that even our physical self is so much more than it appears. It’s so important, valuable, and a gift!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts today!
Thank you for sharing this! Such a valuable perspective. I am a mother of two. I’ve been on quite a journey to have these girls, one of surgeries and loss, and this year I was diagnosed with a chronic disease that attacks my joints. Today I am on the couch, and I want to echo the previous commenter who says, as a woman who is a mom and has a disability, thank you for being aware of the gift that your able body is, no matter how stretched or lumpy it may be, no matter if you’re at your ideal weight or not.
Jennifer, I know that this may not mean as much coming from me, but your physical self (and all that it has been through) holds such value and worth, too. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your story. It means so much to me for you to do so, and it increases the gratitude we all can have for every bit (good or not so good) that we experience because of the love and care God has for us and the strength He provides.
Holley Gerth says
Yes! Such a good perspective, Caroline. I’m reading Annie Down’s new book, From Head to Foot, and your post reminded me of what she shares too. I think you’d really like it!
Holley, thank you so much for hosting my words here on (in)courage today! You (and your lovely, powerful words) and all of (in)courage are such a daily blessing to me.
I actually thought the same thing when I read about Annie Down’s book last week! The book sounds fantastic, and I do hope I get to read it soon.
Danielle M says
I so needed this. Thank you!!!
Danielle, thank you for your comment! It’s an answer to my prayers when these words encourage someone else. I pray that you’ll continue to be encourage and blessed by all the words on this wonderful site!
How beautiful to see your heart for God and all He has done for you throughout your life, even when you didn’t know He was working there behind the scenes. Continue to love and serve Him and thank Him for that wonderful body he has given you to glorify Him.
Thank you for the words to remind us all of our purpose, no matter how old, how many children we may have had, or if we have never had any, we are made to love, serve, honor and glorify Him. Bless you as you continue to grow in His grace and wisdom, and thank you for the words of encouragement to all of us.
Oh, Mammy. I actually started crying when I read your comment. You are so sweet and such a godly example to me. Love you.