For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8
Do you not know that your bodies are temples 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 honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you consider yourself physically healthy?
In the general culture of our day, health is a big deal. But in the culture where I’ve lived for so long, it has been more about survival and eating what I can get.
I have not been a picture of health.
I have been overweight for most, if not all, of my adult life. Living in Uganda for more than a decade has scored me Malaria, Typhoid, Brucellosis, Subcutaneous Leishmaniasis, and Bilharzia (not to mention the other wonderful amoebas and things). If you have no idea what some of these diseases are, count yourself blessed! Suffice it to say, they’re not fun and they’re not easy on one’s system.
I have developed food allergies since being on the field as a result of a very limited diet without access to all of the nutrients my body needed. I had half of my thyroid removed and developed Hashimotos (which is the most common auto-immune disease in the US, and I’m sure many of you are familiar with it).
I haven’t been able to lose weight, even when deathly ill, until the past two months. So I’m not coming at this topic lightly or from the standpoint of someone who is a size 0, lives at the gym, and eats tree bark. (No offense to those I love who may fit into one of those categories! If that’s you, I applaud you!)
But no, that’s not me.
Genetics are against me.
Obesity runs on both sides of my family.
My own palette is against me (naturally, I’m a carb-o-holic).
My thyroid and immune system are against me.
And it seems Uganda and all of the tropical diseases I’ve been able to acquire (some resume’, I know) are against me as well.
The main problem for all of us is, we live in a fallen world full of pollutants, things that are contaminated and chemicals that we were reared on. We have so many bad and cheap options at our fingertips (at least in the US!), which are actually quite costly in the long run.
Something I’m learning that I’ve mentioned in my blogs about taking our thoughts captive (you can check out the beginning of that series HERE)- is that we are not victims. We can make the choice to be as healthy as possible.
We all have choices.
Just because I have a bigger mountain to climb than someone else does not mean I am doomed to be unhealthy. (Maybe you can relate to that as well.)
I honestly thought it did, but I was wrong.
It turns out, God is helping me during this time of healing to even heal physically and get into better shape! I’m so thankful. I love how God is a big picture kinda Guy, how He sees everything and wants us to be whole.
The world is corrupted by sin and is decaying before our eyes. Greed, corruption, ease of access and addiction make it so easyto be unhealthy.
But it’s still no excuse.
So if you feel like you can’t achieve a dream or a goal that God has put on your heart, maybe you should rethink that. God desires for us to have an abundant life. I know that means to bear the fruit of the Spirit, to walk in His fullness and to fulfill His plans for our lives (because that is the only way to have abundant life). Surely, though, we can do that much more easily when we feel better, lose the extra weight, and let go of some of the unnecessary stress. We can’t control every physical ailment in our lives, but we can do our best with what we are given, and honor God even under the most difficult circumstances.
God has blessed me in many ways during this time of trial that I'm going through. I have learned of a company called Plexus that has great supplements and products to help many ailments. God has used these products to help me lose weight, when I haven’t been able to, at one of the most stressful times of my life. Not just that, but I have more energy and feel better than I have since before moving to Uganda. That is His doing!(If you want more information about Plexus, feel free to email me about it at: firstname.lastname@example.org.) The purpose of this blog post is not to promote a product, but rather a lifestyle of health.
I am taking vitamins, eating as much organic and green food as possible, going for walks, and even hula hooping! (Yeah I know, you can laugh.. but that’s the closest I come to being good at a “sport”-type activity.) Most importantly, I am asking God daily to make me healthy in every way and taking steps to let go of the unhealthy habits that I have turned to for too long.
I want to encourage those of you who may feel overwhelmedor hopelessover your own struggles with health, weight, energy, aches and pains or whatever; that there is hope.
I am one of the least likely people to be healthy with all of the diseases I’ve battled and all of the consequences of living where I have, and having thyroid issues on top of that. But God is bigger. And He has opened doors for me which I am so thankful for. I can’t wait to see what else He has in store! For me, it's not about being skinny, which I am not and I never honestly want to be. It's about being healthy, and having the energy that I need to be a Jesus follower, wife, mother, missionary, and all that He has for me. He desires the same for you.
Starting next week, I will be including a weekly health tip in my email newsletter. If you are not subscribed, I would encourage you to subscribe so that as I learn, hopefully we can learn a few things together. You can do that HERE. And please, those of you who know far more than me, do share some tips with us in the comments below!
(Next week, I want us to look at the most important aspect of our health- the spiritual side. Because without that, nothing else matters. And if that is secure, then we have everything for an abundant eternal life!)