The Truth? He Cares for the Inside and Out

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I remember when I first noticed them. I had just enjoyed a tasty dinner in the dining hall consisting of a loaded baked potato, juicy rib eye steak, fried shrimp, salad loaded with blue cheese dressing and several glasses of my favorite soda. I knew I had eaten too much because my stomach felt bloated. I went back to my dorm room to lie down to take a nap. As I sat on the edge of my bed struggling to untie my sneakers, I noticed my favorite jeans were digging into my stomach. It was uncomfortable sitting down in those jeans, so I unbuttoned them. I still felt bloated. I started rubbing my stomach hoping it would make it feel better. Then I felt a strange sensation on the lower part of my belly. I looked down and was shocked. There were strange looking marks on my stomach. They were making their way up to my belly button. I remember seeing them on my Mom when she was pregnant with my sister, but never on someone my age. I started crying. What had happened to me?

I knew I had gained a little weight since I had been at boarding school, but I never thought it had come to this. I wish I could say that I saw the light and decided to eat better, but the opposite happened. I ate more and gained more weight. For months, I wore clothes I could no longer fit in. I tried to wear big sweatshirts over my jeans to hide the fact that I could only zip them halfway. I was too embarrassed to tell my parents that I needed new clothes because I would have to admit that something was wrong with me. But I finally had to ask my parents to buy me sweatpants and T-shirts.

By the time I had finished the school year, those stretch marks had traveled all the way up past my belly button and headed for my bust line.  During that entire time, I never asked God for help with my weight because I didn’t think that He cared. I thought he only cared about what was on the inside.

But after reading 3 John 1:2, I slowly began to realize that God does care and is concerned about my body. He wants me to prosper in everything and to be in good health, just like my soul is. So, I decided to repent of overeating and to pray for wisdom on how to change. Then I went to see my doctor to understand how much damage I had done to my body. Fortunately, the internal damage was minimal and reversible with diet and exercise. Unfortunately, stretch marks are irreversible. They can be minimized but will never completely disappear. I decided to do what I could to minimize the appearance of my stretch marks while accepting that they were a part of me now.

Strange as it may sound, I think the stretch marks brought me closer to God. Through this experience, I learned that God cares about the little things in my life. And my stretch marks will be a constant reminder of that and of His love for me.

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