I stepped on the scale and closed my eyes. “Please move,” I demanded. “DOWN. Move down.”
The dreadful torture machine blinked once, twice… and thus the hopes of a week of salad and protein eating went down the drain.
Let me tell you right now – of all the curses humanity inherited from Adam and Eve’s fall, hormones must be the most annoying one.
If you are a woman, they torment you from puberty to – uh, say, 60 years old. That’s almost half a century of ups and downs of emotions, energy, and, to many of us, weight fluctuations.
It just ain’t funny. Not.at.all.
I stepped down from the scale, determined to stay the course of my journey. I put on sneakers and workout clothes and stepped outside for my morning walk. [Did I tell you I was angry?]
While climbing the first steep hill right off my driveway, an inventory of the previous week ran through my mind: I stuck to my eating program and exercised three times that week. I drank plenty of water and slept well. And yet, my metabolism seems to have parked.
“Hormones,” I thought. “I hate hormones.” Frustration built up as my legs marched toward the top of the hill.
That’s when that Still Small Voice interrupted my tirade:
“Give Thanks… And open your eyes to see what I see.”
As the uphill journey became increasingly harder with each step, God shifted my thoughts from the pettiness of my personal struggles to the mountains I climbed by faith… and the valleys some of my friends are crossing today.
I remembered my neighbor who currently struggles with terminal cancer, and how I know he wishes he could climb our neighborhood’s hills and run around the lake.
I remembered how, not long ago, my legs would not have had the strength to stand, much less run, as several health problems made it impossible to move at a fast pace… for a long, long time.
I remembered how hormones made it possible for me to conceive my precious daughters, while so many women struggle with infertility every day.
And finally, I remembered those beautiful words written by David on Psalm 139 – a wonderful invitation to shift our perspective from what we see in the mirror to what God sees when He looks at us:
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! (verses 13-14 – The Message – emphasis mine.)
As I repented from my shallow point of view, God filled my heart with thanksgiving and praise.
And so I thanked Him for legs that may not be as muscular as they once were, but are healthy and strong enough to carry me throughout my days…
And because, regardless of how much I weigh or how many new wrinkles show up on my face as the years go by, He sees me one way and one way only: beautifully, skillfully, and wonderfully made.
We are beautiful, not because the world says so…
Nor because the scale confirms…
Or because our hearts agree.
We are beautiful because we are made in His image, redeemed for righteousness… and sealed by His blood.