Written by Marsha Apsley

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”  Proverbs 23:7

There are so many concepts before and after this verse in chapter 23, and it all seems to sum up my life’s story.  

There is caution against gluttony and this concept of an unhealthy focus on food.  And then there is a call out to parents to instruct and to children to listen to their parents.  My testimony starts as a Jesus-loving young girl consumed with how she looked.  I watched my mom struggle with her weight, and she desperately did not want me to deal with the same issues.  Unfortunately that made me (and her) hyper-focused on it, and I began to believe I was fat, ugly, not good enough, and would never find anyone to love me.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

I struggled with what the doctors would call a “nervous stomach”.  I was just painfully shy and introverted and worried about everything. I worried about what people thought of me, of how I looked to others, if anyone would ever love me enough to marry me.  

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

By the time I was in 6th grade, I was following Weight Watchers and eating pretzels and drinking milk for my lunch.  All because I thought I was fat and would never catch the eye of someone who would want to love me.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

Fast-forward to college, more feelings of not good enough, not thin enough, not fit enough.  (Yes, the focus was solely on my looks!)  I dabbled with forms of purging (laxatives and over-exercising) to try to lose weight.  

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

Finally found a man to show some interest, and I married him.  For nearly 5 years we struggled to make it work, but I still had all the baggage of my worth and my own identity.  We weren’t able to make the marriage last.  

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

As stated in the beginning, I’ve followed Jesus from my early years.  I cried and struggled through all of this.  I laid it at His feet and picked it back up more times than I can count. I prayed and prayed that He’d make me beautiful and that I’d see that reflection in the mirror, but I just would never let His message of true love penetrate my heart.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

As my adult life went on, I managed the insecurities, sure I’d cry over numbers on the scales and the reflection in the mirror, but I got better at living with it.  I sorta resigned myself to the fact that this would be my life….unrest, unsettled, dissatisfied with my physical body.  

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

But then I hit a fork in the road just as I was about to turn 40.  I read the book “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst.  In one section she quoted a verse when God told Moses “You have circled this mountain long enough”.  Hmmm…..40 years in the desert.  I was about to turn 40.   God was telling me it was TIME.  Let’s turn north.  

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

Oh, it wasn’t like flipping a switch and now I knew and believed everything written in His word about how I’m “fearfully and wonderfully made” and “loved with an everlasting love”.  But it was the catalyst.  Slowly, I began to let go of my insecurities.  Slowly I began to take the chance at believing that maybe I was okay.  Slowly the thoughts in my heart began to change.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

What’s in your heart?  Are you believing God?  Are you taking Him at His word?  

From a young age, I knew I was a child of God.  I knew it in my head, but it took me many years to get it in my heart and to know that I was perfect just the way I was.  

Let His word penetrate your heart today.  Take Him at His word.  

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

I am a fearfully and wonderfully created daughter of the King.