"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." A.W. Tozer
I used to believe that God was was waiting on me to get my stuff together. That he would really love me and accept me if I could just do everything the way I was supposed to. That was my spiritual belief, deep down. Even if I said stuff like God has forgiven me, God loves me, etc...I didn't truly believe it deep deep down. Spiritually I was striving to attain favor with God.
Mentally, I thought constantly about how often I fell short. I thought that I was not doing something that I was supposed to be because I could never stick to anything. I thought that just like many people treated me differently because of being overweight, that God must also see me as an outcast and someone not worthy of Him. I thought that I was not adding up to the expectations God had for me.
Emotionally, I was miserable. I felt sad and like a failure every time I fell in my attempts to get healthy. I was failing to make myself "acceptable." I was emotionally ashamed, bitter, and hopeless.
Physically, this all led to doing nothing. Since I felt hopeless, I just didn't want to try. Since I had tried so many times to get it right and hadn't, what was the point of doing anything like trying to eat right. Trying to move more.
This paints a pretty decent picture of how our spiritual beliefs inform our thought life, which directs our emotions which determine our actions.
But when my idea of God changed, so did everything else about me.
When I began to understand and truly believe in the GOSPEL message that God loves me as a failure. In fact that he never expected anything other than a failure from me apart from Him, well...that changed things.
When I let that truth that it wasn't up to me to get it right to be accepted by God, it was like a healing balm to my mind. The thoughts of falling short were paired with the knowledge that Jesus covers that shortcoming with his blood shed on the cross. The thought of an angry God tapping his foot waiting on me to improve was replaced with the thought of a God running toward me in my sin ready to clean up the mess. The thought of a God who died for sinners, outcasts, obese people who are lost and trapped...that thought changed me.
Those thoughts come into my heart like a rushing river that washes away the emotions of bitterness, shame and hopelessness and replaces them with gratitude, confidence and hope. Why would he save me to leave me in the filth? Why would He die for me and then turn his back on me? He doesn't. And so it slowly became okay to get up again. Day after day is a "do-over" and I am okay with that. I feel safe to be honest with others about the darkest parts of who I am because God knows all of that and he has accepted me.
It's not that I now have it all together physically but I do have hope. And without hope it's pretty hard to even get out of bed in the morning.
The Bible says the TRUTH will set you free. It also says that Jesus is the TRUTH. So let the TRUTH invade your soul and see what happens to your mind, heart and body.
"We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope." Tim Keller