Strength and Dignity

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future (Proverbs 31:25). That is the scripture God gave me for this blog, and it seemed fitting for the journey He had me on at the time. I have been through some very emotional and spiritual trials the last few years that have really stretched my faith, so the idea to base my blog on a scripture that speaks of strength and laughing without fear was perfect. I have privately stood spiritually on this scripture through many battles as I tried to be the wife and mother I needed to be during those hardships. I viewed this scripture to mean strength of character, emotions and principles…dignity meaning to hold it together and “be there” for others…and of course overcoming fear (which was a big one considering the trials we were and are still facing). This scripture applies to all of those things, and I believe God has used His Word to impart those versions of strength, dignity and freedom from fear, but lately He has shown me another application; to press further into following all that He has for me, and I believe when God speaks it isn’t just meant for one person. I believe we are meant to share the truths and encouragement given to us, to further encourage and inspire others that may be on similar journeys. So for me, sharing a new journey I am starting is not a way to say “look at me and what I’m doing”, but rather a way to encourage and speak to anyone that feels they are alone and needs someone to come alongside them. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

God has given me a second focus for the words strength, dignity and overcoming fear in Proverbs 31:25. He has told me to focus on being strong physically in my body and my health. I’m going to be vulnerable and just tell you that this new journey, this “new revelation” of this scripture is not something that is easy for me at ALL. I mean yes, everyone knows we need to be healthy and we need to exercise, but if you are anything like me, that does not come naturally or enjoyably. Anyone that knows me could tell you how I drink coke (like only coke, and a lot of coke…well occasionally sweet tea, but mostly coke) and eat candy, sweets, pasta and Mexican food (well not as much now that we are in California instead of Texas). I have never had to worry about gaining weight, which most of my life I’ve had to listen to “oh that must be nice,” but no one ever stops to realize how I have struggled to gain weight at times or been called anorexic. Or if they are concerned with how skinny I am they comment on how I don’t eat much and something must be “wrong.” I’ve had my physicals and testing done and I just have a fast metabolism, I am not “sick.” My point is,  I think we can all agree that the number on the scale is not the only criteria for being healthy or unhealthy. It is not the only way to measure the strength and vitality with which you live life, and while I have been small my whole life, that does not mean that I am necessarily “in shape.”

If I am to carry myself with dignity, then I must have enough self-respect for my body to take care of it the way God intended.

God revealed that being clothed with strength and dignity means not only am I strong spiritually and emotionally, but that my body is strong and able to carry out all of the roles He has called me to fulfill. Dignity means, “bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect.” If I am to carry myself with dignity, then I must have enough self-respect for my body to take care of it the way God intended. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Laughing without fear of the future, when applied to taking care of my body physically, is most exemplified when I lay down my insecurities and expectations. Pushing aside the physical insecurities and flaws and not allowing whatever size, shape or fitness level I am at to keep me from stepping out of my comfort zone and believing who God says I am. Giving every expectation of my physical outcome to God and releasing Him to work in my spirit, soul and body. Not allowing the fear of failing (again) to hold me back or allow myself to not even try.  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

It is God’s power and strength working in us that will enable us to be disciplined in our physical bodies. We have to give God our bodies, worship Him through our workouts and right eating and die to self if we want to ever see a breakthrough in our health.

So what does being healthy and strong physically look like for me? Well, it does not look like going to extremes and changing everything at once. It means educating myself on the biblical principles behind eating organic. It means taking baby steps to slowly trade out one or two things every month for a healthier alternative. It means drinking more water (and less coke… which I have already changed since moving back to California). And it means sticking with an exercise program of stretching with light free weights every day and running/training for a 5K 3 days a week. I have already been stretching with weights for a few months now, but this week is the start of running. I have NEVER been a runner! I get out of breath just walking. So this is a HUGE 0E5C29C2-5CDA-42F9-AD56-B16D2AD88262challenge for me. But… I am a runner now!

When God asked me to share my journey, I was fearful of being so open and vulnerable. Fearful of the level of accountability sharing this publicly would provide, however God reminded me that He has called me to be vulnerable. He has called me to share my stories and struggles with others so that they might receive comfort and encouragement. So I want to ask you. How are you honoring God with your body? Are you clothing yourself with strength and dignity? What are some small changes physically you can make today that would further your purpose and calling? Join me in this new adventure as I put my running shoes on and share my journey to getting spiritually, emotionally and physically fit!

“Rise up, take courage, and do it!” (Ezra 10:4)

I am Brave

I am Strong

I have Courage

I Do NOT Fear

I Can Do the Hard Things

I Can Do ALL Things through Christ who gives me Strength

I am the Head and Not the Tail

I am Blessed Coming In and Blessed Going Out

Everything I set my Hands to Will Prosper

 

*Follow my running/fitness updates, struggles and achievements on my She Is Instagram and FB Page

 

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