Today is my wedding anniversary. Exactly 12 years ago my husband and I stood before our family, friends and God to make a commitment to each other and to promise God that we would do everything we could to stay together and live for Him. I am very glad to say that we have made it for 12 years so far... and I am looking forward to the next 12!
Thats not to say that it has always been easy or that we haven't had our own troubles along the way. We have and at some times it's been harder than at others, but we made that commitment, and since we both love each other more than ever, I think that we're doing ok!! The one big thing that we have is God at the centre of our marriage and house. And that makes the world of difference.
As I sat earlier and looked at all the old photos and laughed at how young we look, it got me thinking about how much we have changed. Obviously we aren't the same people who stood in the Baptist Church in Bangor, but my mind has been thinking more about our physical bodies so I wanted to address that.
My body has changed drastically since that day 12 years ago... and although I would love to blame it on 12 years and 4 children all born by C-section - I know taht I can't. I just haven't looked after my body at all and I am ashamed to say taht I have not got to the stage where I have to do something about it or face being ill. My breathing has already been a lot more laboured due to allergies and the doctor did mention that if I was carrying a little less weight it would be easier on my lungs. Not easy to hear, but definitely necessary.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says this:
'Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own; you were bought at a price.
Therefore honour God with your body.'
These verses have an extra special meaning to me while I travelled through the daze that is post-natal depression, but I'll leave those stories for another time! I think that so often we let our bodies go and don't look after ourselves as life presses in on us or gets too busy for us to handle. Motherhood, busy businesses, church activities and life in general can take its toll on us and our bodies. Yet we have the Holy Spirit - one part of the Trinity - living in us - and we need to start to really think about what that means.
I know all the verses that talk about the Holy Spirit - telling us all the things He is and all the things He does - but it has never hit me until now that this is God living in me. I know - sometimes I amaze myself with the silly questions I have!! What does this mean for me? What can I do to make it better? What do I do now?
I have eaten myself into a position where I am 6 stone (80 pounds) overweight, and I am so ashamed of that. I look at myself in the mirror and I could cry. But I don't - mostly I look at myself, tell myself that I'm stupid and ugly and then go eat another biscuit (or ten) to make me feel better. But thats a cycle that I have to break if i am ever going to be able to glorify and honour God with my body.
God wants me to be the best I can be - because thats when I can actually do things for Him and bring Him all the honour. I know that God bring strength to my weakness, but I need to get up and take responsibility for my body before He can fill in the missing pieces. I want my body to truly be a temple. I want it to be somewhere that the Holy Spirit can breathe and work without being sufficated by fat, excess pounds and an unhealthy lifestyle. And I have come to realise that only God is going to be able to help me do something about it.
It is my prayer that I will truly surrender this to God and that I will make my temple a fitting place for Him to reside. As I start this journey I hope you will join me and know that even if it takes a year or two, it will be worth it in the end when we can give Him the glory.
A wee song to inspire you along the way!! A wonderful singer sang this at our Focus Fest weekend, but I could only find this version on You Tube - so I hope you enjoy it. The words are amazing :)
And no matter what you're doing... remember to