You know that game we play when we’re kids, where we ask each other if you could change one thing about yourself, what it would be? The world has, in fact, taught many of us to want to be skinnier, prettier, have larger breasts or smaller noses. But I just want, desperately, to have a healthy, well-functioning body.
At 13, I was diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions that impact the thyroid. So much of my hatred for my body is tied up in shame. Shame for not being as tiny as my mom or my sister. Shame for not always being able to find clothes that fit. Shame for having a chronic illness.
At the end of the day, I can’t change the body I have. But hatred isn’t the only emotion I have toward this body God gave me. It’s God’s creation, and God called all creation good. Because of my autoimmune condition, I get to share my faith with people online who are unlikely to be a part of a church or faith community. This is the deepest joy of my life. It’s a reminder that I carry within me a wonderful capacity to bear witness to God and God’s love for creation.
This message is an excerpt from “How do I love my body” by Jenna Pulkowski in the June 2019 issue of Café.
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