By Annmarie Miles
(From the April - June 2017 issue of VOX.)
If you know the Feint Saint, you will know that food, weight and exercise (or lack thereof) has long been an issue for me. Something happened about a year ago that has changed me, in every way, and I would love to share it with you.
I have been reading a particular American health and well-being blogger for more than two years. Every time I read the posts, it felt like she was talking about a country that I’ve never been to and don’t know how to get to. She had her mindset changed by God. This lady had lost 18 stone and had kept it off. And the only regime she was on was listening to God.
I would read her posts and think... “How super duper spiritual is she?! If I was a better Christian, maybe I would be a skinnier Christian.”
I’m not sure how best to describe it, but one day, while reading her blog about a year ago, I just... woke up.
I read this: You can’t keep doing this to yourself. You are going to have to turn around and start to undo the damage you’ve done. And the longer you leave it, the harder it will be. Don’t wait another moment. Turn around right now, and start moving in the other direction.
And just like that, I was awake.
This was the answer to a deep prayer that has been said so many times, it’s part of me. But as is often the case, the answer came in an unexpected way. Almost immediately, I started to look at myself differently. I’d hated myself for so long. I knew that, in itself, was wrong. So I gave myself permission to stop resenting the very sight of me. I decided I could, and so I would, change. With God’s help, I no longer allowed the words, “I can’t do this” to be part of my vocabulary.
I CHOSE to believe in myself and DECIDED to change.
I won’t mention the D word as I am not on a… D. I made lots of small changes, which have resulted in some big changes. Sitting down had become what I did. It was what I tried to do more than anything else. What ever the task, I always wondered was there a way I could do it sitting down. But we were not designed to sit; muscle and bone want to move.
Now I know, there is ‘no zealot like a convert,’ and nothing more annoying than somebody who thinks they have conquered the universe. I just hope you lovely readers know me long enough to know that that’s not my style.
But I have learned something…
I do have the power to change because of Jesus. I have the ability to alter how I see myself, when I agree to see myself as He does. I can choose to do so. I do not have to live a life of despair over my weaknesses. I can admit them and work on them.
Yes, I have lost plenty of weight, more than 4 1/2 stone. And I love to walk and even run, when I used to love to sit. But this is about so much more than my physical health. This is about me treating my body like the temple the Bible tells me it is. This is about me realising that God loves me and wants so much more for me than I could ever want for myself.
So rather than making you sigh and throw your eyes to heaven, I hope I have encouraged you to think about that part of your life that you just can’t deal with, or you don’t want to face; given you a reminder that our struggles really are in God’s hands, and if we just listen to Him and let Him do that work in us that He wants to do, then we really can do all things through Him.
Hey, where have I read that before?
Annmarie Miles is originally from Tallaght, now living in her husband Richard’s homeland, Wales. If you’d like to read more between VOX Magazines, her blog is called Just Another Christian Woman Talking Through Her Hat. The Long & the Short of it, her first collection of short stories, can be found at www.annmariemiles.com/books, or you can pick it up in Footprints bookshops in Dublin.