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Fearfully, Wonderfully Made | Psalm 139

While my thoughts are lament-y, David’s are a praise.
Fearfully wonderfully made - Psalm 139

This is a vulnerable one.  I was going to do it next month with the upcoming Let’s Talk episodes about Body Positivity and the conversation with Morgan Cheek of Winmo Fitness, but I felt like Holy Spirit nudged and said this is the time to do it.    

Listen along to the episode here or on your favorite podcast app

That unexpected turn last week in Created With Purpose on Psalm 19 and 29 really made the connection too good to ignore.  So, this is a little different.  I wrote about two and a half pages about Psalm 139:14 and I am going to share it with you.

[3:19] My mother has been repeating Psalm 139:14 to me as long as I have, or as soon as I started to voice my insecurities.  It’s only in the last few years with some counseling that I have found the root of some of those things.  If you didn’t know, the man that I call Daddy is not who I get the other half of my DNA from.  I look like him enough that if you don’t know us you would think we are biologically related.  I’ve heard so many times that I “look so much like your dad”.  I favor Mama.  I have Hess eyes, Mama’s nose, a pink undertone to my skin like my Uncle Chris and cousin, and of course the curly hair.  From the neck down, however, I am the other people.  Much to my displeasure.  See, I’m not fond of them.  We were never close.  

Becky Buck and Joyce Hess, the two people I spent 100% of my time with until the age of 15, were beauty queens.  Literally.  Both second runner up, I believe, in the Miss Belmont and Miss Gadsden pageants, respectively.  They are and were much more petite than I am.  I have heard I am fearfully and wonderfully made a lot.  Shoot, I have told myself this a lot.  I even repeat it to my boys.  All of them for various reasons.  From brain tumor to when I am going to grow to weight to speed.  I know this verse and I believe it to be true.  I know that I was made this way.  I know God has a plan and that I am not privy to what it is.  But let’s face it, I want to be skinny.  I have always wanted this.  The last 9 years have been especially tough.  I’m going to blame it on hormones and four babies in 9 years.  I appreciate all this body has done.  It is miraculous.  I just wish it was smaller.  

It feels like we aren’t allowed to say fat anymore. Not wanting to be fat can’t even be the reason for wanting to lose weight. I have to lie and say that I want to be healthier, to live longer for my children and grandchildren. Otherwise, it’s fat shaming or fat phobic.  I could probably get cancelled for even saying any of this.  

Look, I have prayed about this so much.  I have begged God to help me, to take away the fat.  He just won’t. I have tried everything.  I have done all the diets.  Worked out 7 days a week (for the past 3 weeks I have been doing 5 days a week).  I am coordinated and can move well and have played all the sports and even danced.  But I’m not necessarily athletic.  All this exercise hurts a bit these days and I push on through.  For a person with diabetes on both sides, heart disease, and strokes in her family tree I am remarkably healthy with good bloodwork, go figure.  I’ve had all the tests run.  I’m just fat.

I know the Lord takes great pride in me.  I know he doesn’t see me as fat.  There is a reason I cannot make myself throw up (oh how I have tried).  The Lord knew I would abuse that trait and that is not the story he wanted me to tell.  For whatever reason, Jim doesn’t mind either.  I am grateful for both.  

Phew. That was hard.  Glad I didn’t have to do that with you all looking at me.  

[11:36] While my thoughts are lament-y, David’s are a praise.  He starts by saying Lord you know everything about me.  You know where I am going and where I have been.  You know my thoughts and what I am going to say before I do.  

[21:00] The next phrase is my favorite, “you hem me in-behind and before” (verse 5).  This reminds me of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and crossing the Red Sea.  The Lord was leading them out, yet he was also guarding from behind.  (Exodus 14:19-25) I love this picture. The Lord had created a safe passage for them.  He not only was before and behind, but the walls of the sea prevented anything from coming from the sides.  I can’t wait to see the slide show of that in Heaven.  

Verse 5 also says that “you have laid your hand upon me” and the Passion Translation says, “with your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me”.  Just the fact that the hand is there is the blessing.  It doesn’t mean that you will have it easy.  I mean, the Israelites may have had a miraculous passage, but they still had to walk through it with an Egyptian army coming after them.  

[23:23] We can’t get away from the Lord.  He goes where we go.  He sees all the time, all the things.  “Even the darkness will not be dark to you” (verse 12). There is no darkness in the Lord, he is in fact light.  

Here is Mama’s refrain to all my insecurities, verses 13-16.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful.
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
When I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body. (This is another name of God, El Roi, the God who sees.)
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (NIV)

It’s good. Right? If it’s true for David, it’s true for me and you.  How can I doubt my life, my appearance?  God did it.  

[27:00] If you aren’t convicted yet, just wait. The last little bit is where I really start to feel bad about the negative thoughts I have about my body.  

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (verses 23-24 NIV, emphasis mine)

What are my anxious thoughts about?  What am I worrying about that I shouldn’t be? (Ummm, it’s being fat for me.)  Then David says to lead me back to you.  If I am off track lead me back to you.  

The Lord cares that I am insecure and upset about my weight.  He does not dismiss that as thoughts I shouldn’t have.  He sees my hurt.  After all he knit me together, he knows the number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:26-30). He knows my thoughts and sees my heart.  I am praying for the ability to see myself the way God sees me.  

But I still wish I was skinny.

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