In the professional world, the “two week notice” is given as a courtesy by employees who are leaving a job in order to establish a plan of action to maintain the flow of business until the vacant position can be filled.
This year coming to a close and there are some things that I’m issuing a two week notice to and leave behind. These are things that I have allowed to set up shop in my mind, body, and emotions to wreck and ruin my thought-life, my health and wellness, and most importantly my witness for Christ.
There are several particular areas that I feel the Lord has led me to focus on with this particular post as I approach the final weeks of 2015. Below are a few areas I’ve chosen to settle within myself:
- Beauty is not dictated by your size, your shape, opinions of others, or any other tangible characteristic.
I’m about to lay in to this one…I’m a registered dietitian, so I should be thin, know everything about health, grow my own fruits and vegetables, and never eat pizza, burgers, or ice cream right? Wrong-ola! Are all bankers debt-free? Are all doctors in perfect health? Are all dentists cavity free?
But for some reason, society in general has an expectation of RDs and nutritionists to fit the mold of being thin and “perfect” (whatever perfect is). Trust me, I’ve had my share of struggles with my weight and even when I have lost a lot of weight, I still just didn’t feel right or good enough about myself. I’ve even had a guy tell me that I didn’t fit his ideal of beauty because of my height.
The problem is not on the scale or the stadiometer (that’s my $0.75 word of the day lol) but it’s in the thought process that says that my worth is somehow tied to my physical appearance. When I see that statement in black and white, I know it is a foolish notion to assume that I’m only as good as my reflection, but by not shutting down the initial thought when it first showed up, I chose to believe this stupid lie.
On the bright side, I praise God for growth, because in the past when I would encounter these thoughts, I would internalize and mull over them and in turn pick myself apart humming and hawing with things like:
“why am I not pretty enough?”
“what’s wrong with me? why doesn’t this guy like me?”
“my body is shaped wrong because these pants fit my thighs perfectly but are too loose at the waist”
That was then; the “now” is when these thoughts or words are spoken to me, I hold them up to the litmus test of the Word of God. You see, the Lord reinforces the fact that I am physically designed and fashioned for a purpose (Gen. 2:22 AMP); not by accident.
My height, my figure, everything about me is made for my God-given purpose. So why hate on it? The Lord is not careless with His creation. Everything has a purpose for why it is made the way it’s made. He chooses us carefully for our assignment; He’s not like a kid absent-mindedly rifling around in a bag of M&Ms and hoping for the best.
I’m chosen for something great; so are you! It’s my responsibility to take care of my body with proper eating and physical activity habits not with the goal to be “skinny” or make others approve or accept me, but to glorify God and ensure that my health does not become a hindrance to my ability to do the work He’s called me to do.
2. God wastes nothing. He uses the good, bad, and ugly to paint your life’s portrait.
I’ve seen the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” several times. I know the plot, some of the lines by heart, and what happens at the end. Still, regardless of how many times I have seen it, the scene where Will Smith’s character spends the night in the train station always gets to me. I know what’s going to happen but I still can’t avoid that sinking “oh, I hate this part” feeling when his character is really struggling.
Some days I look at my life like a movie or a book. The Bible says:
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Ps. 139:16, NLT)
The Lord has seen every day of my life. He is all knowing and not constrained by the limits of chronological time; He is eternal. He knows when my rough days are scheduled before they happen. He knows when the good will make me smile and when the bad can break my heart and I believe that He weaves all of it together for my good.
The upside of going through hurt and disappointment is that it spurs me to get closer to Him for comfort and to grow in wisdom. He gives me grace to lean on Him and cry my tears, but He helps me to not stay in a place of sadness and discontentment when life gets real. In essence, I have learned to not hit pause when I encounter my “train station” moments, in the end, all will be okay.
3. Welcome change—it is vital to your growth. Mental preparation can help you to avoid extremes and illustrate the importance of gradual, consistent steps.
I don’t want to be one of those folks signing up for Gold’s Gym, Google searching the latest weight loss fad, and ordering new workout clothes on January 1. For me, a drastic behavioral change carried out in my own strength usually runs out of gas in three or four months. This season of being uncomfortable is not a bad thing; it’s forcing me to grow. The series of events that lead me to this point did not happen overnight. So I release myself from having to change them all by tomorrow morning.
In counseling sessions with my patients, we talk a lot about readiness to change. I believe outward change starts in the mind. If I take time to:
1) acquaint myself with the thought of meeting a goal
2) allow the Lord to reprogram my thoughts with the Word of God to successfully meet that goal
I will go a lot further in the process to see a sustainable change. I want to see the fruit! And it takes time!
I’m not saying these things to sound “super-spiritual” but I’ve come to a place in my relationship with the Lord that my response to Him is different. Granted, I’ve got a lot of room to grow, but my first response is to recognize Him as God when I have to make decisions (Prov. 3:5-6). It starts with prayers that sound like: “Lord, I need your help with , will you help me to understand what the Bible says about  so that I can do things right?” Very simple, but He honors simple requests for wisdom expressed from an obedient, humble heart.
So, with that being said, I encourage you to take a look at your life right now. Ask the Lord if there are any areas in your life that you need to cut, quit, drop, or just fire. He will give you wisdom and discernment concerning every area of your life. Always remember, He has your back and is on your side. He has your best interest at heart.