Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

IMG_8829.JPG

I wasn’t planning on writing this post so soon, but this topic has weighed so heavily on my heart that I just couldn’t put it off any longer. I’m sure that many of us can relate, as this is something that so many of us women struggle with, but never feeling fully open to talking about.

It wasn’t until last night that I decide to go to the gym to walk on the treadmill. I have been sick for the past few days, and literally could not breathe out of my nose. For some reason, my mind was set on this false statement that if I miss two workouts this week, I would be a failure. I decide to brave walking on the treadmill, since it would be too hard to breathe doing anything else. It wasn’t until the end of my workout that a woman about my age (tall, pretty, thin) hopped on the treadmill next to me and started her run at full speed. This may not seem like a huge deal to some, but this has been something that has been on my heart for quite some time, and something in me broke.

That’s when it set in.

The feeling of insecurity. The lies that told me I would be good enough only if I lost more weight, and worked out more often. The lie that I was weak for walking, and needed to continue my fitness journey at full speed, whether I’m sick or not.

As soon as those thoughts entered my mind, a small, still voice told me

you are fearfully and wonderfully made”

How many times do we judge others because we have convinced ourselves that they have something that we don’t? If we honestly believed the biblical truth that we are made in God’s image, would we treat our bodies the way we do? Would we be constantly pushing ourselves to do more, and eat less despite the fact that our souls are running on empty?

I once heard that comparison is the thief of joy, and honestly I couldn’t agree more. If we took all the energy that we put into comparing ourselves to others around us, and used to to be healthy (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually) the way God intends, imagine the wonderful quality of life we would be living.

If we took our jealousy, and turned it into acceptance of others, imagine how uplifted all of us women would feel on a regular basis.

Do you want to do this challenge with me? Spend one week focusing on what you like about yourself. This may seem strange, but spend time thanking God for what he has blessed you with. We are all made unique in His image, and we are all so deeply loved by Him. Β This week, spend time working towards living a healthy lifestyle that is honoring to God and full of compassion, not chained by restrictions and fear of “failure”. Let’s show love and compassion to ourselves, and our sisters in Christ instead of judgement.

You are so loved!

Ashley J.

 


21 Responses to Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

  1. stephieestie says:

    So true! I’ve struggled with insecurity the majority of my life and you’re right, comparison is the thief of joy. I will give this a try. Every time a negative thought pops in my head, I’ll replace it with a positive one. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. πŸ™‚

  2. YES!!!….” you are fearfully and wonderfully made”

    wow…I have never heard this… comparison is the thief of joy…this is soooo true!!!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this…spend time working towards living a healthy lifestyle that is honoring to God and full of compassion

    GREAT post!!!

    Blessings!

    • I’m so happy that you love it!! I couldn’t agree more with striving to life a healthy lifestyle to honor God! There is so much freedom found in that πŸ™‚ Thank you for the feedback, friend!

  3. Thank you for this post, I really needed it right now. Love that Bible journaling entry as well!

    Kayla
    http://inthepursuitofpreppiness.wordpress.com

    • You’re welcome, Kayla! I’m so happy that this helped you! My prayer was that by me being open and honest about my struggles, that I would have the opportunity to help others πŸ™‚ Thank you so much! I love bible journaling- it’s become one of my favorite hobbies πŸ™‚

  4. McKenzMorgan says:

    I absolutley adored this post. You are so spot on with everything that you said in this post, thank you for this. I needed it today.

  5. hhardydawson says:

    I love this! We all need to be reminded of this and for me, I constantly need it. Comparison really is the thief of joy and I try not to let those thoughts enter my mind as much as they used to. I have so much to be thankful for and have much more than I deserve. At the end of the day, I have a Savior who loves me so much, He died to know me. What more does one need?!

    • Spot on, girl!! It’s definitely easy to forget how blessed we are! I’m so happy for you that you’ve been able to focus on the good & not let negative thoughts take over πŸ™‚ I couldn’t agree more with the fact that if we have Jesus, we don’t need anything else!

  6. Such a wonderful post <3 Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ashley. You are SO beautiful!! In my own life, I wasted so many years crying in dressing rooms, fretting about what I ate, untagging Facebook photos because I thought I looked "fat", looking in the mirror more than I looked into my own heart, and worrying about what others thought of me…and not just my body, my complexion, my nose, everything. When I realized I was the only one judging myself that harshly. The joy I felt in life when I finally accepted myself wholeheartedly as I was made to be is incomparable. I wish that joyful feeling for everyone, and also share in the prayer that God helps all of us ladies love ourselves as much as he does! It took me 10 years (or more) to feel happy with myself and I still have to remind myself of this sometimes, but I've gotten there!

    • Thank you so much Lindsey! πŸ™‚

    • I accidentally only read the first part of your reply so I wanted to add to my comment back πŸ™‚

      I can definitely relate to the years of feeling not good enough. Growing up I hated dressing rooms and always wanted to look like someone else. I would be consumed by others opinions and always gave more credit to what others thought of me instead of what God thought of me. It’s amazing that you have been able to overcome these struggles, and love yourself for YOU! You are such a beautiful person, unique and wonderfully made by a God who adores you! I’m so happy for your victories and thank you for sharing your story with me! It has helped and inspired me more than you know!

  7. Kasey Taube says:

    What an incredible post.

    I actually wrote about comparison being the theif of joy as well on my post http://kasestyles.com/22-things-i-wish-i-knew-at-22/. (It’s way at the bottom). As I grow older it has gotten easier for me to not envy others as much. I think we can turn “Envy” into “Empowerment” (A blog post on that coming soon πŸ˜‰ When you see someone that has something that gives that pang of “why don’t I have that?” “Why aren’t I like that?”

    First and foremost I think it’s important to know that every individual is unique and beautiful the way they are, but I also think it’s beneficial to think, “Why does that make me envious? What is it that person has that I want? What can I do to achieve that?” That’s why I started a blog! Let’s turn that envy into empowerment and use it to benefit ourselves instead of making us feel resentful. (Being resentful doesn’t help anyone!)

    Great work!

    xx Kasey

    kasestyles.com

    • Thank you so much! I couldn’t agree more that being resentful doesn’t get you anywhere. It’s so amazing what happens when you let go of those negative feelings and turn them into something good. I can’t wait to read your post & thank you so much for your thoughts and feedback!

  8. shayfabs says:

    What a beautiful post! I’m sure everyone reading this could relate so thank you for such positive, encouraging, amazing words ❀️

  9. Beautifully, well written post- I’m so happy I found your blog and read this encouraging piece πŸ™‚

  10. Faith says:

    Amazing post Ashley! Love this. ❀️ Can’t get enough of your blog today! I’m trying to launch my own and you are inspiring me so much.

    Blessings,

    Faith

    • lovealwaysashleyj says:

      Faith,

      I’m so sorry that I’m just now getting to reply! A bunch of comments somehow ended up in my spam folder & I just found it now! I’m so happy that I was able to provide encouragement & inspiration for you! Your support of my blog means the world to me! I am loving following along with your blogging journey!

      xo-Ashley

Leave a Reply