The Fat Girl’s Guide to Knowing Jesus
I remember a time, several years ago, I had slept all day… about 19 hours.
We had this mysterious virus at our house. As far as viruses go, it’s a malady of harsh symptoms. Body aches, chills, fever, headache, nausea, and unconsciousness. Yeah, that was the good part, well until my husband got home to monitor, our two and four-year-old sons, the vandals. In my comatose state, I could hear the little boys laughing, and I could smell peanut butter, but I couldn’t do anything about it.
I knew it wasn’t a hallucination because my briefcase still had traces and there is a note on the fridge that says BUY PEANUT BUTTER. I asked my husband about it, and he just held up his hand and said, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
But as I stretched and twisted the kinks out of my overrested body I spied my “new” list for this week. This list was started on Monday. They all start on Monday for me.
- Get up at 4 am and spend quiet time with Jesus.
- Walk 10,000 steps
- Eat clean
- Teach Sam to read
And I made it two days.
- I did talk to Jesus, I asked him to welcome me home. But I don’t know what time it was.
- My step counter shows an image of a tombstone and a daisy. It suspects I died.
- Saltines and Gatorade… not so clean.
- Who is Sam?
I’ll have to make a new list.
I am a failure.
I botched the list. You know where I am coming from, right?
Whatever the list, us good Christian girls have been taught that all things get fixed when we perfect our walk with Jesus.
- Get closer to Jesus.
And I have been a size 6, and I have been a size 16, and I recall a friend said to me, “You really believe that God loves you more or less because of your jeans?”
Yes, that is correct. What don’t you understand about this?
Only my story is fancier than that. Because every diet or exercise regime I have started began with:
- Get up early for quiet time alone with the Lord.
Every time I slept past my alarm, even if I had been up all night with the foster-love, I ate Frosted Flakes and Pop-Tarts for breakfast. I skipped pilates and gave up all hope of bodily perfection, repented (obnoxiously) and munched on Xanax and promised to start over… Monday.
Come Monday everything will be better.
Come Monday, it is all Jesus all the time. I will be the best Jami I can be – next week.
I would use the rest of that redemptive week to get all the crap out of my system, i.e. add crap to my system that my new found relationship I will pursue with Jesus next week, won’t permit.
Next week, me and Jesus will be unstoppable.
This week, I will eat Cheetos and watch re-runs of Friends, during the commercials I will write down my new goals in my brand new “All things work together for good…” journal with a purple pen. Purple for royalty, because I will be a princess, daughter of the King, come Monday.
Last week I got one of those Facebook notices, which should really come with a warning: Five years ago today you looked this hot or five years ago today your out-of-control teen was this cute. Please click now if you are prepared to have your heart squeezed like a lemon.
Mine was a picture of me after my second half marathon. I am just not a tiny person. Nearly five-nine, busty, big hair, big teeth, big feet, they are Nordic features indicative of childrearing and village pillaging. Yet the picture slayed me because I remember that morning very well.
I was utterly disgusted with myself.
I cried all the way to the race to meet my running partner. And, I prayed out loud that come Monday I would be better. Monday I would get up at 4:30, I would only eat raw vegan. I would add back the four spin classes I had neglected this training season. And I would fast on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
A week and a half later I tore my calf muscle and my plantar fasciitis. A year later I was 40 pounds heavier and hobbled. And until 8 months ago I told people, “God was teaching me something.” And I set my alarm for 4 am. I Fail repeatedly and count myself fatter, sadder, and further from God.
If only I were a size six God’s favor would rest upon me. Things would be better for my family. If only I was physically perfect and had my act together, things would flow, and God would be pleased with me.
And the lies of the enemy plague women of every shape, size, height, and weight. In the year plus, I have been blogging the more and more obvious it has become. The resounding gong is women continue to say how hard they are “trying…” and still things aren’t better.
Dear Sister, things are fabulous.
Yes, your marriage, body, kids, household, job or whatever might be in shambles, but there is no better time or pant size than right now to believe in your birthright. Daughter.
Christ died for me while I was still a sinner.
And the blood worked.
He in all His goodness is not more or less pleased with me when I am rocking a foster baby or having a second or uh… third margarita. How good is this God? He knew I couldn’t so He did. And then He invited me to a banquet to indulge in His goodness. No go-betweens, no wise savants. He wants to be with me. Just as I am.
Granted, all things are permissible, but when I am with Him, I fully recognize what isn’t beneficial.
Consider this: is there any other relationship in your life you give up on Wednesdays at noon with the promise to try at that relationship again on Monday? Is there a single person in your life that you would feed garbage to, call names, and abuse in the hopes of treating that person any better next week?
So as I clicked on the link to open my new headshots for my book publisher, I did so with one eye closed, terrified at what I might see. Horrified that God was about to pull the rug out and go “JUST KIDDING YOU’RE TOO FAT TO REPRESENT ME!”
But as the pictures loaded I had a life-altering moment: If Christ dwells in me, how am I able to reasonably distinguish “starting over?”
God chose the perfect lamb. Grace was the consequence. Eternity is the prize. He will move how He moves and save how He saves. We may not understand why He does things, how He makes all things new but this much I know for sure… You don’t have to wait until Monday to ask.
Moment by moment, from one pant size to the next – larger or smaller – the blood worked. The dance is ongoing. He is continually kind and merciful and madly in love… with you.
The essence of Him is enough. Believing Him is outstanding. Only good comes from Him in spite of me.
He never leaves or forsakes me.
And His love never waits until Monday.
May your floors be sticky and your jeans zip up with ease. Love, Jami
Isaiah 57:10 (NASB) “You were tired out by the length of your road, Yet you did not say, It is hopeless. Instead, you found renewed strength, therefore you did not faint.”