We are 2 weeks away from getting married as I write this post. I've lost all hope of focusing on anything else during the next 14 days. We are so very excited and cannot wait to be husband and wife.
According to most bridal magazines, women's websites, and social media influencers, I should be hard at work to make sure I'll look my very best on the big day. I should be amping up my workout routine, focusing especially on my arms, shoulders, back, abs, and butt. I should be changing my diet, eating "cleaner" and preventatively dropping the weight that I'll surely put on as a newlywed. By now, I should have already considered fillers for my forehead lines, chemical peels to eradicate any acne, and regular facials to ensure my skin is on-point.
Oh, and one week before my wedding, a popular beauty magazine instructs that I should:
I should feel completely overwhelmed with the number of to-dos I'm supposed to be managing.
Praise God, I don't.
I have adopted a waxing schedule, and I've been getting regular haircuts. Other than that, I haven't done much outside of the ordinary. I definitely felt the pressure when we first got engaged to start working on myself. I'd be lying if I said I don't want to look my best on June 8. I want to look and feel my most beautiful, of course!
Today I feel the most beautiful I've ever felt, and I've done the complete opposite of almost all the "suggested" courses of action. After years of struggling with an at-one-point life-threatening eating disorder, I've experienced healing and restoration in so many ways. The thing that could have derailed my entire life is what God used to set me on the right track. His track.
Since moving to Nashville a year and a half ago, I feel like I've been coming back to life. I never expected to move here, but God plucked me out of NYC, brought me here, and connected me with the most amazing eating disorder dietitian and counselor. He placed me at an incredible church, grew my relationship with Charles, and brought more freedom into my life than I knew was possible.
If you go back to 2015 and read this blog when I first started, I think you can see it. This blog was my diary of sorts. it still is, but today God gives me the words from His word. I was a different person at 25... and certainly at 24, 23, and 22... than I am today at 28. The woman I was then was not in a place to get married. Today I am prepared and beyond excited to make this covenant with Charles. God has grown me in amazing ways.
For this growth to happen, I've had to let go. one of the biggest things I've had to let go of is my weight. Surrender my weight and that number, surrender my jean size, my food choices, my grocery list, my exercise routine, my innate tendency to be go go go. I've had to give up the things I held tightly to for so long and things I let define me in many ways.
I liked when people said, "You're so skinny," and "You could be a model" and "I wish I could look like you. What's your secret?"
My secret was a life-threatening eating disorder called anorexia.
I held those affirmations very closely. That was part of my identity.
But when Jesus enters your life, there's no room for double identities. To know who I am, I have to look to Him. This isn't something that happened overnight. This is years of God knocking on the door of my heart:
"Hey, Mags, I have better for you. This isn't you. I have a whole full life for you. But you've got to give me all of you."
Slowly, I gave Him pieces of my life. Leaving NYC and the active lifestyle that helped keep me at an artificially low weight, as well as an environment that rewarded that, was a huge step. Now, my recovery is the best it has ever been. I know the Lord has been building me up, and the only way I've begun to be the woman He's designed me to be is by gaining weight.
Weight restoration has brought life behind my eyes again. Weight restoration has cleared my brain fog and provided clarity in my thoughts. Weight restoration has given me confidence, self-esteem, and empowerment. Weight restoration has brought joy to my life. It has prepared me to be a wife to Charles—to serve him and serve God, not be mastered by the eating disorder. Weight restoration is setting me up to hopefully have a baby and be a mom one day.
So today I'm not losing weight for my wedding. I'm restoring it. I'm putting on any of the weight I was always designed by God to have. I'm continuing to push forward in my recovery even when the world is telling me to to do the opposite. And it's tough! But I know He didn't create me to be obsessed with my body, my plate, my wardrobe. He created me for far greater things than that. My pride pales in comparison to the beauty God has in store.
I believe I would never have experienced this abundant life without saying to God,
"Okay, Lord. You can have this. Take the weight, take my body, my life. I'm Yours. If an abundant life means 5, 10, 20, or however many more pounds, then, God that's what I want."
When I stand next to Charles and before Christ on our wedding day, I will praise Him for the eternal life we have in Him. We have a great hope and a future that's secure—that has nothing to do with my body size or shape.