**Rambling post** I am far more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. But, just as families have been gracious in allowing me to share in their stories, it’s important I share some of my own. My mom has been spring-cleaning, sending me keepsakes. Old photos can be a mixed blessing for many of us. It’s this strange mix of emotions & nostalgia intertwined w/ the clarity of hindsight. I don’t look much like the 12 yo girl in this pic. I am 25 yrs older, wear contacts, have less acne, color my hair & am a good 160 lbs lighter. Yet, one essential #truth remains constant between then & now – God ADORED ME just as much in any “before” photo as he does now. I fully embrace the lonely, awkward, funny, beautiful girl I was b/c God shaped her into the woman I am today.
It’s the #weightlosstransformation we celebrate & read online. What gets overlooked is the critical need for a transformation of the heart & mind (it can’t be sold as a pill or surgery or eating plan or exercise routine). Totally NOT hating on the great eating plans & workouts out there. The truth is there can be no long-term transformation of the body w/o changing how you relate to yourself, to your relationships & to the feelings you have about food….at least that’s what this #tortoise (like Tortoise & the Hare) has seen in her many yrs of slowly chipping away at being healthier, but still sweating & showing up to the race each day. 25 yrs later, I am thinner now & stronger w/ plenty of low back pain, bad knees, worse vision & I still loathe running. But, I continue to enjoy trying new things, challenging my body & mind. And in reality, there are no “after” photos. We are each on a journey; there is joy in savoring that journey. Joy is found not just in our triumphs or #goals being met, but ALSO in our #failures & setbacks — in the freedom of giving & receiving grace. And to my fellow Tortoises trekking forward, feeling inadequate in a world that teaches us we can only be victorious if we are born #Hares -- I salute you. We are treasures. Most of us are tortoises in one area of life or another. There is beauty in empowering each other to share in our struggles, defeats & triumphs together. 💞