I was one of those unique people who experienced salvation immediately. I always knew who Jesus was, but I never allowed Him to be Lord of my life. All it took was the right situation, in a moment of weakness, and I was a puddle of tears begging for Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord of my life. I experienced salvation in a church service (as cliché as that sounds). I remember the pastor preaching on the fear of the Lord; a concept I was totally unfamiliar with, but for a person who lived in fear of being judged, I ate it up.
I realize that salvation doesn’t happen for everyone like this. I realize my story is unique. I always love to share my story of receiving Jesus, because I believe it gives people hope that in an instant God can come into your heart and radically change it.
After I became a Christian, I totally went through that honeymoon stage of salvation that people talk about. I was overwhelmed by God’s mercy and grace, and I lived and breathed these things day-in and day-out. To be honest, I rode that out for as long as possible, living in a state of bliss. I will always remember the sweet moments when I first handed the wheel over to Jesus.
“How gracious did that grace appear, that hour I first believed.” There are no truer words than that.
I was all in. Then reality set in. I was confronted with what being a Christian meant compared to the world's way of doing things. I knew that being saved would change everything for me, but I naively didn’t realize that it would be so hard.
The same thing happened when I came to understand a non-diet paradigm, I was quick to accept it. The concept made perfect sense and lined up with my personal values. But, I didn’t really know what it would mean for me on a daily basis, and how applying it would challenge me.
Our journey with finding peace with food and our bodies is similar to our journey with Christ. You might start out like I did – excited by the freedom that intuitive eating brings you, but challenged by the conflicting beliefs of the world. It will feel like everyone around you is dieting, and you will question and doubt your beliefs, wonder if you have it all wrong. I still think that sometimes - and I write for a blog and counsel people on this system of beliefs!
Anytime we dare to do something countercultural, especially something as radical as loving and accepting your body, we are bound to be challenged by the world. The diet industry doesn’t want us to buy into that belief because they will lose customers and ultimately lose money. With a 70-billion-dollar industry, there’s a lot at stake.
All this fits in perfectly into the enemy’s plans. Accepting our bodies would mean we live in freedom. The enemy hates that.
Jesus chooses to work on our hearts in small selective ways. (I’m so grateful for that!) He chooses to gracefully identify areas where we need to change, and then tenderly and mercifully walks us through that. I am so thankful he didn’t take all the dirty in my heart and reveal it to me all at once, because I would have been crushed down by the guilt and shame of all of that.
Beloved, give yourself grace when it comes to your relationship with food and your body. You can’t expect to wake up one day and never have a negative thought about your body or shaming yourself for what you ate, just like you can’t expect to wake up one day and never sin again. But there is hope! Our God is a redeemer and he wants us to experience that freedom and no longer live in bondage of food. He wants us to be fully alive, fully accepted and fully free!
Body positive blogs are inspiring, but sometimes it might not be enough. We get that! You might want something more. An expert to walk along side you in your journey towards body respect and food peace. We've got you covered. Sign up for a free "pre-consultation" to see if working with one of our registered dietitians doing faith-based nutrition counseling is right for you.
Nicole resides in the East Bay Area where she works as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She and her beloved husband serve as small group leaders in their growing young adult ministry. She completed both her bachelors degree and her dietetic internship at California State University, Chico, where she was also a NCAA cross country and track athlete. Through those experiences, God prompted her to help people of all shapes and sizes discover body peace and acceptance through the unconditional love of Jesus. Nicole most enjoys spending time around a table and cooking for the people she loves.