Relief! I grip the thin, flexible plastic of my tape measure and with a bemused glance at the fog covered bathroom mirror, breath a sigh of relief. That narrow band of notches and markings has become an important part of my everyday, and today it tells me that, although I feel pudgy and awkward and stuck, I'm still on track.
Nine months ago I started a get-healthy project; minus 63 pounds later, that tape measure is critical to the success of this venture.
Just below my shrinking surface is an insatiable, storming, cranky, 200 pound woman. She hollers for release and demands to be fed. A lot. Often. She convinces me, almost daily, that I haven't accomplished anything this past year ~~ that my health is unchanged and that my body is still grossly overweight and unsightly.
But the tape measure tells another tale entirely. It shows me, faithfully, that despite what I feel, the numbers have changed, are changing. My physicality is different. I have lost excess weight. I am getting healthier. On days when I feel like a 200 lb slug, the measurements tell me that my hard work is serving me well and that success is within reach.
I can attribute the same merit to God's Word as I do to that plastic strip. On days when I wrestle with purpose, faith, hope, love, I trust the language of God over my own feelings and experiences.
My experience tells me that I will always be overweight (and picked-on for it). I will always be plain and dull and unattractive. The tape measure says that step-by-step I'm changing into someone healthy and strong; someone vibrant.
My feelings and experience may tell me that I'm lost, faithless, hopeless, unsuccessful, but the poetry and written guidance of God tell a different story: I am chosen, full of belief and hope, successful in eternal things.
A strip of plastic to override misguided thinking about my body. A well worn book to overrule misguided thoughts about my soul. And learning to trust them both.