Remember the letter from Paul to the Corinthians where he discusses his “thorn in the flesh”? No one quite knows what this thorn was, but it was clearly something that prevented Paul from being boastful and feel powerful in his ministry. Paul, this guy who was to be the first real leader of the Jesus Outreach across the world. Perhaps it was a physical handicap. Maybe it was mental. Maybe it was a literal demon in his ear. All I know is Paul prayed to God that he remove this thorn in his flesh not once but thrice. Paul pleaded with God to remove this hindrance.

God didn’t do it.

What did Paul do? He writes that he is content with weaknesses because in his weakness he can proclaim God’s strength. I am not Paul by any means. But this story sticks with me these days. See, I’ve prayed that God walk me through the challenges of trying to get my body to a healthier place. That it return to a more socially-accepted size and that I somehow come out on the other side as a more faithful and commendable person.

So what happens when God says no? How do I even know this is a situation where He’s telling me no?

So what happens when God says no? How do I even know this is a situation where He’s telling me no?

I don’t.

But I have realized in this that a lot of my issues with PCOS and my weight and all the other things that come along with it are symptoms of a larger issue. 

I know I’m smart. I’ve been frustrated with how it feels like my talents are being squandered by my current life situation (it is hard when you’re still paying for that master’s degree and all you’ve accomplished in the day is picking up dishes for the fifth time). Perhaps the worst of my inner conversations has been centered around this idea that folks will hold me in higher esteem and regard if I lost weight. That somehow by being larger I am considered less than

This is where the silence comes in.

I realized how the toxicity in my life is coming from myself. It isn’t coming from my friends or my family. I don’t have an identifiable antagonist other than myself. I needed to address that before I ever attempted to improve any area of my life.

I’ve spent the past month recalibrating my inner dialog. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get down to my goal weight, but I can make healthy food and activity choices. I do know that I need to not only be OK with my current size, I need to see the value of it. The chonk that hangs below my waistline is a direct result of carrying my two beautiful, intelligent children in my body. And if I continue to make good food and activity choices, and when I turn 40 I’m still the exact same size as I am right now, I’m still going to wear that bikini to the beach.

And if I never get any semblance of a career back and spend the next 15 years being the most supportive mother and wife I can be, I’m going to pour myself into it. And if I never see an annual salary above $20,000, I’m going to praise God for meeting my needs regardless.

See a lot of my anxiety, I’ve realized, is stemming from this idea that I’m somehow not meeting my potential. That I’m wasting away as life passes me by. It is a dilemma I think a lot of women who stay home to raise their kids feel. Domestic work isn’t valued by our society and a stay-at-home-mom seems antiquated.

I see that my life isn’t passing me by. I’m an active participant in a beautiful and blessed life. It took me a month of introspection, but here I am.