Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
By Megan Byers
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Glorify God in our person.
These words shaped the past year of my life. I lived in the North Georgia Mountains as a missionary and followed a rule of life. Every day during morning prayer, we read aloud a different section of our Rule of Life; each one began with the words “glorify God.” Glorify God in Our Person was one of the more challenging ones for me. Whenever we read that section I got stuck on the question St. Paul asks “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?” I can remember the morning one small, powerful word echoed in my head, “no.”
Prior to my mission year, if you had asked me that question to my face I probably would have answered affirmatively, too blind to see how my choices were contradicting my beliefs. Somewhere along the way, I started believing a lie. The lie that my body is not good. Because of this lie, I believed I could do whatever I wanted to and with my body. I became lazy. I didn’t eat well. I picked up weird sleeping habits. I spent more time sitting down than being active. I chose fast food over cooking healthy meals for myself. Needless to say, I did not glorify God in my body.
The rule of life required us to exercise, rest well, eat well, limit our alcohol consumption, and embrace a healthy sense of leisure. It required discipline; a virtue I did not practice in college. With the Rule of Life and 6 courageous women, the Holy Spirit set to work. My life was radically transformed. I developed a new love for basketball and being outside. I ate less fast food; it helped that the nearest Chick-fil-A was 30 minutes away. I read more books and limited my screen time. I became disciplined.
Then the mission year ended and I went home. I slowly began shedding the way of life I lived during my mission year and fell right back into old habits. It wasn’t until I went to a bachelorette party, of all things, that I began desiring a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Let me paint a picture for you. This wasn’t a cinematic “last night of freedom” bachelorette party, it was a joyous reunion of friends, disciples, and sisters, that can only be described as intimate. It felt more like a retreat than a girls trip. Don’t get me wrong, we drank wine and ate chocolate and giggled and screamed like little girls, but this weekend was sanctifying.
I have never known a group of women that loves each other so purely. The conversations went deep; they talked about their prayer, the ways The Holy Spirit was moving in their lives, and how Jesus called them into deeper intimacy every day. One conversation, in particular, shed light on an old lie that had crept back into my life. The bride herself was excitedly talking about giving herself completely to her beloved. Her body would become the ultimate gift to her husband.
A familiar voice from within whispered, “how can I give my body as a gift to someone if I don’t see or treat it as a gift myself?” I left the weekend feeling defeated, embarrassed, angry. I had started to believe the lie that my body isn’t good. It hadn’t become my mantra. I didn’t wake up each morning, look in the mirror, and say “your body isn’t good.” I let my guard down. I stopped praying daily. I left an environment and community that screamed goodness, beauty, and truth. The devil took advantage of these weaknesses and started feeding me the lie that I am not good and as a result, I completely abandoned the disciplined lifestyle I built during the mission year.
This lie is buried deep within me. Every day I make a choice to see my body as a gift, to believe that my body is good. Each time I choose to believe the words the Holy Spirit gave to St. Paul, the words of the enemy lose power over me. Practicing discipline and glorifying God in my body is hard work, but Jesus never promised that a life with Him would be easy. Your body is good. Let me say this again. Your body is good! Our bodies are gifts from God, they deserve to be treated with respect. Hopefully, you know this to be true. If, however, you find yourself believing the same lies about your body that held me captive; your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, your body is a gift, and you are called to glorify God in your body.