I wrote this poem after one day putting on a new dress and critiquing my arms; I felt the Holy Spirit reminding me of my worth in Him, and all that my body is capable of because of Him. It is an eternal struggle with women: finding our worth not in our looks, our capabilities, our accomplishments, our body, but in Christ Jesus. The fact that we are His chosen daughters should be our most important identity and thought about ourselves, yet, so often, we fall into the trap of obsessing over our careers, our appearance, and even service to our families. A book that helped me realize my worth in Him when I was younger, and a book that I shared with a special group of middle school girls many years ago, was His Princess Bride: Love Letters from Your Prince. The more mature version is His Princess: Love Letters from Your King; both are simple and sweet, filled with scripture and words to remind you Whose you are! If you are feeling down about your appearances or body type, I pray this poem can remind you of how amazing you are because of God’s grace. Use your amazingness (don’t worry, it’s a word) for Him, and never forget Whose you are!
I put on a pretty new dress, and immediately thought, “I hate my arms.”
The Holy Spirit whispered to my heart, “Beloved, speak words of gentleness and not harm.
You are made in the image of Me – just like all my daughters and sons.
Remember all the great things those arms have done.”
His words were like balm to my self-conscious spirit,
and I thought of all I’ve accomplished using this body He’s given.
These arms have cradled my nursing baby, comforting her all through the night,
now they catch her when she falls, and make everything alright.
These arms have embraced my husband time and again,
and held him tight when I welcomed him home safe from deployment.
These arms are attached to the hands that have taught students to sing and play piano.
These arms have accomplished amazing things, but it is by His grace alone, that much I know.
I also loathe my stomach… I hate the flab, hate the way it sags.
But the Spirit reminded me once again,
This body, including my stomach, glorifies Him, not man.
This stomach has stretched until the muscles nearly ripped,
which is proven by the ample stretch marks on my hips.
I’ve carried life inside my womb,
My sweet daughter, being knit together, grew
safe and warm inside this stomach.
This stomach also houses my lungs, which allow me to breathe
and allow me to sing.
I’ve sung many arias, art songs, and countless choral pieces,
now, I hum lullabies to my little girl,
which is simply the sweetest.
Yes, this stomach, too, has accomplished many great things.
Thanks only to my Creator and King.
Oh, but these legs…
They’re short and fat.
How could I possibly not hate that?
God speaks to my heart and reminds me that’s not true.
These legs, though short, have accomplished amazing things, too.
A hurtful person once told me that I could never run a mile, I shouldn’t even try.
These legs proved him wrong as they ran across the half marathon finish line.
These legs held me up as I was birthing my baby girl;
I squatted down to bring her into the world.
Even after twenty five hours of long, hard laboring,
these legs supported me, never wavering.
These legs are full of power and strength,
but only because of Jesus Christ and His amazing grace.
I look in the mirror and constantly critique,
always looking for the next wrong thing,
and the next thing to fix.
What I don’t think often think about is this:
I am made in His image, I carry His presence with me
Which means this body is so much more than any eye can see.
My body is a temple, a holy dwelling that deserves respect and care.
I would never degrade God’s temple; I wouldn’t dare.
And yet, I do it every day…
with every thought and every negative word I say
about this body, His temple, His precious work of art.
I know that must break God’s fathering heart.
So I will remember from this moment on,
every time the devil sings his age old song,
to remind myself that I am a unique masterpiece.
I’m unique like my hair texture, body type, and fingerprint
there is no one else like me.
I will take care of myself, enjoy healthy foods and exercise,
and, most importantly, I won’t listen to Satan’s lies.
I am Christ’s temple, so I will glorify Him,
and I won’t ever say I’m sorry
for loving and taking care of myself, His work, this body.
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