Well Being

Approaching Self Image As a Christian

As a 7 year old in swim class I noticed that my body was different than the other kids. I thought my legs were huge. I didn’t factor in that the other kids were younger than me (I started swim lessons later than most) or that I was growing faster than even my peers. In college I dealt with bouts of depression and felt crazy half the time. Who would want to hang with me if I wasn’t happy and making jokes all the time? I had issues with both the inside and outside of me. I know the saying that goes “it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” but it still bothered me. I find it hard to believe that when I don’t like how I look on the outside, that everything on the inside is OK.

I tried leaning on the confidence of my intelligence, but it stressed me out when I didn’t know what to do with my life after completing my bachelor’s degree. I thought a tan and a little exercise would fit the bill, but life always caught up with me. I was a vegan for several years, but still wrestled with that depression I dragged from college. I tried just letting my body go and forgetting it even bothered me. I tried getting over my depression and came out happier, but still was stressed out and frustrated with how my body felt and looked. I was so frustrated in fact that one day I realized I only had one solution left.

DSC_1240While getting to know God more, I found that who I was was beginning to change. I had to quit dwelling on my imperfections and ask Him to free me. I had to realize that He formed me and made me for much  more. I had to wrap my mind around the fact that He gave up all Heaven to save me. With the details of His character and purpose stuffed in my head I couldn’t help but want to see my life turn around for Him. I wanted to be able to be the creation He designed me to be. I can’t glorify Him without His help. I have to believe the promises even when I fail, am sick, or just don’t see quick progress.

I started to pray hard for God to rejuvenate my mind, heal my body, and destroy all evil forces that were attacking me with doubt and excuses. It is now a few months later and I am beginning to experience the desire He has given me to want to heal. He doesn’t want me to just live with a gut, foggy brain, and a pouty face.  He wants to make me stronger emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Just by asking Him to give me that desire, I have seen Him turn me around. I am starting to like the body I am in because of what He has motivated me to do. Running gives me endorphines which makes me happier and it also gets rid of cortisol from stressful days. I started liking salads which has helped my digestive system. No more gut! I rely on Bible promises so that I believe the truth and not my own perception, which can fool me about my leg size amongst other things. It isn’t a magic trick that makes me better and it’s no lie that I look better when I treat my body right. God is where my value lies. Not my results. Not my comparisons. Not my progress.

DSC_1256I can go about my life walking straighter, lighter, and full of purpose. Christ is within me, and His image is what I love.

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  • Reply Christine Bruso March 21, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Thank you for sharing your personal struggles with body image, mental stress and digestive issues. You are a courageous young woman! God has great things planned for you….He is doing a good work in you already! I miss you!❤️

    • Reply Krystal Irrgang March 22, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      Miss you too! Wish I could still be in the study group.

  • Reply Korina Moran March 21, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Thank you for being so transparent! That takes COURAGE! It IS hard to like ourselves on the inside when we think we aren’t OK on the outside. Especially women concern themselves with this. ‘Funny…. I was JUST thinking about this when I opened your devotional! ‘Perfect timing! Thanks for the encouragement! XOXO

    • Reply Krystal Irrgang March 22, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      Your welcome Korina! Cool that you were thinking the same thing. 🙂 I have always admired your courage to take on your dreams, too. 🙂

  • Reply Bernadette George March 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    This post is very beautiful Krystal. I appreciate you sharing so much of yourself and because of that I can relate to you so much more (which is crazy cause I feel like we relate on just about everything). What I admire most it how you place God in the center of all of your insecurities. I’ve always seen God to be the reason for ME to get over mine, but now I can see that it’s not about ME figuring out a way to conquer but allow God to conquer in my life by recognize how precious I am to Him. I’m gonna try to approach more things this way 🙂

    • Reply Krystal Irrgang March 22, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      Bernadette I miss you and our talks! I appreciate your words, even if you say aren’t good with them. 🙂

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