Nor is it entirely mental, emotional, or spiritual. There is an element of each.
We may own this, our body, yet we are only tenants.
This body, our body, is a gift.
it is our obligation to look after it.
My Body Journey
If you have read my 'journey' page, you will be up to date with the story of my recent struggles with faith, God, and life itself. If you haven't, I suggest you do that before reading this.
Do you ever feel, sometimes, as though you cannot share about something until you have gained full insight and understanding to it? Until you have conquered a problem? As silly as it seems, I think so many of us hide in that - either thinking what we have to say is not good enough because we still battle with our problems, or that other people somehow miraculously have got it all together, conquered all their battles and are now experts in those matters. Thing is, while ever we are here, on this earth, there are always more struggles to face. By the grace of God and by His mighty Hand we are indeed saved, yet life remains a constant warring between the powers of light and darkness. As they will, while ever we remain on this earth. But do not lose heart! Rather, be encouraged that, regardless of our circumstances, regardless of the stages of our battles, regardless of our past - there is One who is greater than it all - and only by His great love are we saved and set free. Free to struggle, perhaps. But free nonetheless.
In the same way, I sometime feel that way about sharing my experiences. I get terribly inspired and excited with the thought of helping people overcome the same things God has helped me overcome, until something or other means I have to deal with one more thing that I didn't last time. Perhaps it is society's views on quick-fix answers. Perhaps it is my own. I am learning there is no such thing.
I am also learning that while God does give instant healing on some things, there is also always a part to play - a part we must be part of. A choice, a choosing, a repetitive decision made day after day to alter the otherwise sinful course of things. I think it is this need for constantly choosing, for fighting the good fight, for dealing with stuff more than once that makes me feel as though I have nothing to offer because I am still struggling with it. Yet God brings healing quicker to those who heal. Perhaps if I share my struggles and experiences, I don't need to be what this world calls an expert to be heard. I don't need a million degrees or letters before my name to be understood. I just need to be real - to let people see who I really am - and to be able to let people in. Perhaps then my story will tell itself - one day at a time. Perhaps I will not be remembering my journey but rather living it as I share it with people. Perhaps that is the beauty of it. Not one is perfect, no, not one.
And so, here, on my blog, I want to share with you my story. The story of my life, my journey, my scars, my battles, the hope of my God. My Body journey, as I call it, is only part of that.
I have spent my life lost in a world of confusion, anger, self-hate, shame, fear, and many other such bondages - things that have held me back, kept me afraid and locked away - even from myself. It was only when I became deathly ill that these things - these hidden, dark and terrifying things - began to surface in a way I could no longer control. I knew they were there but have never come to the full realisation of them - nor did I know what to do with them when I did. The thought of it terrified me - these things terrified me - as I swam through the tides of depression, lonliness and haunting truths, God slowly unravelled and unwound all the deep, dark, and knarled roots twisting their way into my heart. While it may sound extreme or perhaps over-imaginative, this is exactly what happens when we are being eaten away on the inside - by ourselves - or rather our disregard for selves. Not necesarilly hate - in my case it was - but simply not to love. To not love yourself is a crime greater than not loving others for it is our love of self that enable us to love any other thing. We cannot truly love if we do not first love ourselves. I have struggled with this, I have fought. I am still fighting. It has taken me till now to become aware of my own thoughts and opinions of myself - or rather lack of them. I thought once I was aware of these that I could decide, suddenly, and woomp - all gone. How wrong I was. Even now, every day, I am awakened with the reality of what will happen if we do not choose love - choose to love ourselves.
I am learning. I am struggling. But God is by my side. He loves me. He is the author of love. He is love. I cannot fail with Him by my side, even if I momentarily falter. Can we really go through life having made all our decisions and being perfect - all in one day? No. Rather, it is life itself that takes us on the journey of finding ourselves. I only have one thing to say about that. Let yourself be found. It wants to be found. And it wants to be loved.
My Body, God's Temple
During my period of recovery I have re-learnt the majority of what I knew (or thought I knew) about all sorts of things, and very importantly, my physical body. It was so necessary to my healing that I listen and fully rely on God for every change, every motion, every thing I did. If I did not, a simple mistake would cause the cycle to begin itself again and my body would end up in agony, wrecked and exhausted.
You see, it was really a matter of life or death that I listen to God - and get to the point where I trusted Him completely with my body and my healing. After all, He did make me. Believe it or not, that is actually a really hard place to get to.
You see, while we do not, technically own our body, it can be very hard to relinquish that hold we think we have over ourselves - i.e. control.
This, for me, was one of the hardest challenges. I have struggled with my body image for as long as I could remember and tried so hard to make things right. Yet for me, trusting God with what I could not trust to myself was a very challenging struggle.
As humans we forget that our bodies, they are not ours to keep. We do not take them to eternity with us; they serve us while we remain on this earth.
The Body in Health
So much of my life has changed.
More than my health returning, I have learnt how to eat properly.
I am learning that nutrition in God's eyes is very different to the world's views.
I am learning what it means to listen to my body, to understand what my body needs, not what other people are telling me I need. That's a very hard place to get to, as it requires a great deal of time - and getting to know yourself.
I have overcome fears that have plagued me my whole life, fears of being unable to look after my body, especially in areas of nutrition, weight management, and fitness.
I am learning what it means to be a child of God.
That God accepts us as we are but doesn't want us to stay that way.
That we have to do to get.
That's part of the body in health. I am learning all these things, direct from God.
It is my desire to share my revelations through this blog, to help others in similar areas.
As I explained on my journey page, I suffer from a mysterious autoimmune-caused allergy. Not so mysterious to me, as I believe my body attacking itself was only a result of what was going on inside.
My condition, in medical terms, is very similar to hayfever.
I like to explain to people that like when they have hayfever, pollens irritate their noses and cause them to sneeze, so does my stomach lining when certain (most) foods come into contact with it.
And, like hayfever, it is my hope that my sensitivity begins to settle down and I can re-introduce certain foods (while probably staying off others for good).
Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis is quite rare, and very rarely affects people to the extent that mine does. In my case, I am actually allergic to foods and while I may not have an anaphalactic reaction, my reaction sets off a body response that quickly becomes life-threatening - severe and unending vomiting, which in turn leads to severe body damage.
Living with Allergies
Because of my condition, I am forced to become creative in the ways that I eat. God has been with me every step of the way and I am not done yet.
Because of my allergies, I am very aware of other people's food problems.
I am very aware that I cannot buy food at a supermarket and eat it straight away.
I am aware that even preservatives cause my body serious problems.
It has taken me a great deal of time, and listening closely to God - in a way that has been a matter of life or death - but I am getting better. It is normal for me now, what I eat, cooking, and doing what I do.
It has become a way of life - and I am thankful to be alive.