I recently picked up a book titled “Love Idol-Letting go of your need for approval and seeing yourself through God’s eyes” by Jennifer Dukes Lee. As I was reading the book, I didn’t realize I was building my own “love idol”, or at the very least bemoaning something I had lost.
You see, for many years I was a runner. I was a runner with a runner’s physical body that comes from dedication, consistency and endurance. I loved to run. I loved my runner’s body (that should have set off an alarm or two) and how I could push my body. I loved the camaraderie of running with my friends, long runs, the early morning alarm, and all of the challenges that came with it.
And then the morning came on January 19, 2013 when I literally fell on my face at mile 2 in a half-marathon. Life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt and hasn’t been the same since.
After months of tests, symptoms upon symptoms and finally near incapacitation, I was diagnosed with P.O.T.S. or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Long story short, my brain does not communicate with my heart and your body does not retain salt, which stabilizes your blood pressure. P.O.T.S. is a debilitating disease without a cure. It requires salt tablets, beta-blockers, blood pressure medication and drinking lots of Gatorade.
Now, back to Idols and Weeds. By now you may have an idea where I am headed with this.
It has been eighteen months since I last ran or exercised at all. Today I am blessed to bathe and dress myself, and a 10-12 minute walk is now my personal marathon. Needless to say by now my runners physique has long since disappeared, hence the “bemoaning”. Meanwhile I am reading a book titled “Love Idols”…hmmm.
Here is where this story gets good! I sat down this morning with my Bible, Jesus Calling devotional (which I’ve been using 4+years), notebook and coffee. The first scripture I read is Psalms 115:4-8. My study Bible sums it up like this “Whatever glory and power the false gods are thought to have, they are figments of human imagination and utterly worthless.” I glance to my right and see my “Love Idol” book and began to write in my notebook confessing to God I realize I have built an idol, not of what I have but of what I don’t have, that body. I want to share with you what I wrote:
Lord, help me to give up this “love idol”, my body, my weight, the changes in how my clothes fit, how it looks today verses a year and a half ago. Help me Father to embrace my body as it is today. Don’t let these thoughts consume me and when they come, turn my mind and heart back to You. Together, Lord we can tear down this idol!
I open up my Jesus Calling devotional and began to read where God plants His Peace in the garden of our hearts and yet we allow the “weeds” of pride, worry, selfishness, and unbelief grow as well and I realize I need to do a little weeding, ok a lot of weeding, myself in the garden of my heart.
Tammy L. Mashburn