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Trials of Many Kinds; A Weight Loss Battle with Lauren Watt

February 2023

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Laura: Hi Lauren, and welcome to unsung stories. Thank you so much for joining us. Oh, it's my

Lauren: pleasure.

Laura: Just so that our listeners can get to know you a little bit more. Could you tell us a bit about you and your family? Just what everyday life looks like for

Lauren: you. My family is my husband, Steve and our two kids.

My son, Johnny is eight and my daughter Beatrix is four and a half. We live in port Macquarie, where Steve, with a little involvement from the rest of the family, ministers to the university students here with the Australian fellowship, evangelical students.

So my week is mom life, teaching scripture to kindy kids, cooking meals for university student meetings, meeting up with a few students and other moms going to Bible study. And I work 10 hours a week from home as a medical researcher for fun. I'm learning to paint and I like grocering blankets while I watch TV.

Laura: That's so great. It sounds like it's really busy. So I loved when we chatted earlier about your thoughts on weight and body image and just how that's part of your life. So I'm wondering if you could fill our listeners in.

what's that looking like in your life? And how is your weight and your body image impacted you as a Christian?

Lauren: Yeah. So God has gifted me with multitasking abilities and a research's brain. So I'm always observing and learning and experimenting with the most efficient way to do things. And I have a heart for encouraging, particularly other women in their walk with Jesus.

So I think from the outside I can look like I'm relatively competent at mom life.

Laura: Yeah. That's great. Not many women actually go. I'm actually pretty competent at it. Someone that's wonderful. Good on you, Lauren.

Lauren: But I think we all, I, this is my big thing. I think we all have something in our life that God is using to shape us and grow us.

And for me it's probably multiple, but for me, that area is my physical weight. I cannot get it under control. So just. People listening can get an idea. I'm about 92 kilos, probably more than that, right at this second, I'm 164 centimeters. So by the BMI index people use I'm 34.2, which just slides me into the obese category.

But I don't know. Maybe you could put a photo on Instagram so people can look and see what I look like, but anyway oh goodness. , I'm not gonna do that. I dunno what people think of when I say I really struggle with my weight. Cause the thing you often get back is, oh, you are not that overweight. But it's something I've always struggled with.

And if it's

Laura: a struggle for you, then we can hear that, that it's a struggle for you. Yeah. Do you know what I do? What I'm pretty convinced of is that people don't look at people and go, oh, she looks like this. I reckon people look at confidence. And so whether you are 92 kilos, or you are 52 kilos, if you are at the beach, confident playing with the kids, whatever, that's what people are gonna be looking at.

And so if you look confident in your photos, that's what people are gonna be looking at. Yeah.

Lauren: Keep telling me that Laura . Yeah. So I've always been physically active. So I've played school, sports, soccer, volleyball. I played a lot of field hockey as a teenager. I have always just been confident and got out there.

I, my husband taught me how to run. And I love body surfing at the beach, but I'm really aware that I've never been on a piece of paper, a healthy weight. And whenever you go to the GP, you can see them write down the numbers and go, oh that's a problem. That, and so that's what I struggle with.

I'm not a massive junk food eater. I still eat cake and things like that. It's not like I'm sitting at home eating perfectly all the time, but I've never eaten a full block of chocolate or a packet of Tim dens or a type of ice cream in one sitting. I think if most people saw my diet, they go, yeah, that's pretty normal.

Yeah. So with the running and the eating. What I think is a normal amount of food, nothing shifts my physical weight. Yeah. I've got prayer journals full of asking God to help me to lose weight. I've wrestled with what's the sin that underlies this weight gain. Am my glutes, how much food is too much?

Is it lack of self control? I did a Bible study looking at all the times the Bible. Self control. There's surprisingly few of them. Am I idolizing my body? But it's just something I've never been comfortable with. Particularly from a medical perspective when you go to have a baby and you're overweight, it's like this.

Glaring thing on your form and you get the little from the, oh,

Laura: I know when, so my first two children, I was fine. The neck actually might have ever been the three, the last one, and she pulls out a pamphlet for overweight people and I'm like I've had that one before.

Lauren: Oh there you go.

I've been getting those pamphlets all my life, so yeah, it's

Laura: so awful. It's just

Lauren: rude. Yeah, so that's what I wrestle with. Oh, I'm so sorry

Laura: for you, Lauren.

Lauren: Yeah, but I think I've learned so much through it and I've been listening to some of your other guests on this podcast and.

I've actually come to a point of thankfulness where I say to God, I'm so thankful that this is the thing that you are using to teach me, to trust you, to rely on you and all the things he's been teaching me without having it's still hard, but it's not the massive heartache that some of your other listeners have been so wonderful to share.

Yeah, isn't it great that,

Laura: that God He uses the, both the big thing. I don't wanna say that this is a small thing, but he does use the big things and the small things in life to refine us. But also I guess in saying that the big things and the small things are different for everyone. Yeah.

What one person finds easy, another person doesn't that sort of thing. I just think it's beautiful. How complex and rich and how he's in and works in everyth.

Lauren: Yeah. And I think our journey will be completely different to someone else's, but the Bible tells us that God will be working in us through something.

And so when, I guess when you look at the other mom and you think she seems like she's got it all together, you can know that. God has promised to be disciplining us all and using something in our lives to draw us back to him. Yes. Yeah.

Laura: I love that there is there is purpose in all the trials that we are going through.

Lauren: And I think we've gotta not kid ourselves, that everyone has a trial of some kind. Mm.

Laura: For sure. And as Christians, we should be having something that we. Going through in that God will be working in everyone as we seek to be more like Jesus. Yeah. Yeah, that's great. And I must say you have surprised me a little bit because I've actually always anticipated a conversation or two around body image or weight, or how we St our bodies when doing this podcast.

And so when I started chatting to you about coming on the show, I got excited. Like I'm about to have that conversation, but I am surprised because it's not how I imagined it would go. . And what I love about this conversation is that through something that most women probably would wrestle with at some point in their life, you've just landed at this really beautiful spot in your dependence on God.

And these trials that are leading us to him. So I'm really excited to hear more about what you have to say. I'm wondering could you chat about your experience or your relationship with weight with us? What's the story

Lauren: there? Yeah. So I've tried many things. The world tells us should solve my weight problem.

So like I said, I've always been quite active. I haven't tried any of the really out there ones. I've never. Big binge eater, but I started learning how much energy stored in carbohydrates doing C S I R O diet. So I really reduced the amount of bread and pasta I was eating. I did lose the most weight I ever lost on a calorie restriction diet.

It was the Michelle Bridges, 12 week challenge. But. then I got pregnant again, put it all back on again. And it's horribly hard. I'd get up the courage to ask a GP for help. And one of them would tell me, oh, you've just gotta walk 20 minutes three times a week. And at that point I was running with my husband, at least three kilometers up to five kilometers a few times a week.

So I was just really discouraged by that

Laura: asking for help and got bogged off. That's our,

Lauren: yeah. And I. People just assume that there's an easy fix. So one time I asked a GP again and they said, oh, just look at what's in your shopping trolley. And that was after I'd been tracking everything.

I ate on the, my fitness P app and trying to really restrict my calories. And so I just walked out going, what do you think's in my shopping trolley, like you don't even know what's in my shopping trolley. It's very scary. I've had to go inter minute fasting with my husband. And so we tried to do it together.

After about three months, he'd lost 10 kilos and I'd barely scraped two and a half kilos. And I remember he just looked at me over the kitchen bench one day and he said, you know what? This is really unfair. I can see how hard you're working at this. And it just wasn't coming off. So in the end I tracked all my food and exercise.

For a month, took it to a new GP and said, look, I need help. And this is an emotional issue for me. It was big to keep asking for help. Yeah. That was really hard. Yeah. But he took me seriously talked about medical options and referred me to a dietician. So for about 12 months now, I've been trying to follow a keto diet, which is basically no grains, no carbs, no fruit.

And. That breaks down relatively often, like at birthday parties and Christmas holidays and things like that. And so now I'm trying a diabetes drug treatment to help boost my metabolism under the GP. So I've been trying really sensible things. I've not just been going, but you know what, when you're scrolling Facebook and you see the, try, this one weird old tip to lose weight fast, I just feel the pool of them every time.

And I will actually get to the point now where on my social media feeds, I will. Delete those messages and how some of them have a, why are you deleting this? And I just put a, it's not helpful for me or something like that. Yeah. That's really good because I'm just, I'm always looking for the, maybe this is gonna be the thing that's gonna fix it.

And I feel that pull all the time, but I've really had to learn. God wants me to go through this, cuz he's much more concerned with my heart than my weight. And this is the journey he's put me on to teach me about him to not look for that quick fix, but to look to him.

Laura: Yeah. Yeah. That's really good.

You said that your desire has been to lose weight for health reasons. I'm curious what your thoughts are. Cause I think most people would say that a huge component of the journey is related to body image. Has that ever been a motivator or what is your relationship with body image?

Lauren: Yeah, I've been battling this since I was a teenager, so I think it's gone up and down and I've gotta really think back to what it's been like. There've definitely been times when I've struggled with body image. I would love to be able to jump into a small summer dress or something like that, or wear a pair of swimmers that aren't plain black.

But. Yeah, I guess I just, it's calm and gone. My relationship with body image and the thing is I've definitely felt guilt and shame, but it's more about my failure to get this weight loss under control than what I actually look like. I am reasonably confident to wobble my way through a gym class.

My weight has not really stopped me doing anything I wanna do. I still cringe at family photos sometimes. And you go, oh gosh, is that what I look like? But I read a great post. A while ago about a mom who was so ashamed of her weight, she never got in the family photos and that her kids just were sad that they didn't have those records of their mom.

And so I've always got in the photo. And that's great, despite what I look like. And so that's an encouragement. that's really good. I think it was harder when I was single. Definitely. Cuz you're like, oh, is anyone ever gonna wanna be with me? If I'm this. Wait. But in God's kindness, he gave me a husband who really says he doesn't care.

Much I weigh. Yeah. That's sometimes I still feel embarrassed for him that I feel like I could look better for him. And yes, he's never been able to literally sweep me off my feet or anything romantic like that. And I do worry that one day my kids will be embarrassed by my weight at the moment they say they like me soft and squishy to lay on, but they're still quite little, so we'll wait and see how they feel about it as.

But I guess I've been working really hard at contentment to see my identity under Christ and finding my work in him that I've been thinking about what are the most important things to God? So when I start feeling down about my weight and that happened at the start of this week, again, I had to say to myself, what is most important?

I am loved by God. And in theory, I could put in heaps of effort. Do I just give up other things I'm doing and put the time and effort into the exercise and the diet again? Or do I wanna keep teaching scripture? Do I wanna keep meeting up with other women? I think that's more important than spending all that time on weight.

Laura: That's great. What about shame? Has that been part of the journey?

Lauren: I think, I feel most ashamed when I just fail to get this under control. But having said that I have no self-control when it comes to truly eating carbs, I love cake. And I've cried and cried out to God when it just seems too hard. Look at what the other people are eating and I can't And then I go through that.

Is this even what God wants me to do? Can God, can you just give me the answer and I'll do it, but I've tried all these different things and nothing seems to work. I feel ashamed now spending family money on a dietician and a physio. I hurt my knee running last year. And keto food is expensive. And so I go through these cycles of trying really hard to lose weight and fasting.

And I put all this pressure on myself that this time will be the time that we get it under control. But then, going back through the years, exam times, pregnancies sickness, birthdays, Christmas, or traveling, or heaven forbid just enjoying myself all the weight that I'd worked for months to lose comes crashing back.

And so I feel really guilty working out. How much time do I spend exercising, cooking, special foods, seeing professionals? Yeah, I just gave up eating well over summer and I just had an ice cream with my kids at the ice cream parlor and they were so excited cuz I never eat ice cream with them and I'm just like, oh, I feel guilty all over again.

Now that. Yeah.

Laura: That's how your kids are thinking. Yeah. Yeah. That's really hard. It sounds like you carry a lot of guilt over your behavior though, but I'm wondering if that translates into your belief as you, as a person. So like thinking of Brene brown and shame and vulnerability stuff, she'll say that we'll have guilt over a behavior, but shame is the trap of thinking that we are broken or bad because of the behavior and therefore unworthy or unlovable. I'm wondering if the, if this is part of your process or if the gospel intervenes in any way here for you.

Lauren: Yeah. That's a really good question. And I think I've probably thought that in the past, like I said, it's been. Oh, nearly 20 years now that I've been struggling with it. And I think that was probably something I struggled with early on, but I think you're right. That I think the gospel changes it, that when you know that complete love of Christ for me, it's about finding the thing that's gonna work rather than feeling.

Broken, but I guess ask me next week. And I might say a different thing. Actually I did jump on the scales earlier this week and I felt all the shame come crashing down again, but it's usually about how can I still not work this out. Other people do it all the time, why can't I do this? Yeah. Yeah, I think it's more the shame around. Feeling you're failing. Yeah. That I'm failing and that if I was stronger, I could do it. If I was just willing to get up at four 30 to do a workout for four, that's what this person did. Why don't I do that?

And I think I've really come to find contentment in. Doing the things that God wants me to do. So I'm at a point now where I'm like, there is nothing I want to give up in my life to work really hard. Weight loss because it's more important to me to be serving the community and to be serving my family.

I'm still trying to chip away on it, but there are just more important things to do for God than getting my weight under control right now. Cool. And I think I'm blessed because I have been under a GP. I don't have those extra things like cholesterol or type two diabetes. I've had those things tested and, for some people they do have to give things up to lose weight right now because of long term health.

Whereas my doctor, he like looked at me. He was surprised he. Lauren, your blood tests are great. You're actually really healthy apart from that number. And so I go to God and I say, thanks God that you've given me that health,

Laura: which is funny because some people could have a really low weight, but really high cholesterol and they still need to do that

Lauren: work.

Yeah. God's got us all in our own path, doesn't he? Yeah. Yes. But I

Laura: was going back to what you were talking about with, Achieving or feeling like you're failing, cuz you can't do this. I, it sounds like a lot of that thinking overlaps with motherhood, like so much guilt and shame from not achieving or being who we thought we could be or should be.

And so I'm wondering what the result of this thinking has been in this journey for

Lauren: you. It's still very much a work in progress. God is teaching me and disciplining me all the time. I'm a prayer journaler and I go back through some of them and I'm like, oh yeah, God taught me that. I can't believe I've forgot that.

Yeah, that's totally. But one of the things that I've. Kept coming back to years, particularly Hebrews 12 10 to a 12, which says our father's disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good. So we may share in his holiness, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.

Later on. However, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who've been trained by it, therefore strengthen your feeble arms and your weak knee. Which I particularly relate to seeing a physio for my . But so the word I use for this is discipline. I guess it's suffering in trials and there's definitely overlap with that, but this idea of discipline that God is seeking to grow me in righteousness and peace.

And I've had to learn to be at peace with my weight, because that's where God's got me right now. And the growing in righteousness. We talked before about how I do lots of things in my day. I'm teaching scripture and I'm doing paid work and things like that. And whenever I think I'm doing a great job and I'm relying on myself, my weight stacks on, and then it drives me back to God because I end up in tears and praying to him again, saying, God, why can.

This just be easy. And when I'm constantly praying to him for help, with self control to make wise choices, that's when my weight starts coming off again. And that's been a constant cycle that my weight battle drives me back to God. And I even came to realize that if I didn't have this weight battle, how much would I keep relying on myself and stop relying on God?

Laura: Yeah. That's really helpful. I'm wondering, like you say, oh, I am relying on God. How do you rely on God with that struggle? What are you doing to do that? Is there something tangible, like you mentioned your prayer journal or just praying heaps or realigning your thoughts, like what's going on when you say that you're depending on God with your weight.

Lauren: Yeah. For me, it's about making sure I spend that time reading my Bible. It's about praying. I think I can I struggle with prayerlessness that I rely on myself and so I have to go well. When was the last time you really prayed to God to ask for help with this? Or if you'd just been doing what the dietician says or.

That and the thing that I'm working on. So this is very much a work in progress is. Meditating on and remembering God through the whole day. So instead of it just being, I do my quiet time in the morning, I read my Bible, I close my Bible and then I turn to my to-do list and I'm like, washing now, drop off kids.

cook food that, and then I'll fall into bed at night and go, huh? I haven't thought about God since I closed my Bible this morning. And so the thing I'm trying to do is when I eat food to use that time to. Thank you God for this food. And to just meditate on God through the day, if I'm feeling really hungry, going, using, trying to train myself to associate that feeling with, and remember to talk to God about this.

Yeah. That's so that's what I'm working on and I, by no means have that sorted yet. The trust in God, through the whole day is what I'm working on right now. Yeah.

Laura: That's great. So I'm sorry, cuz I interrupted you there. You were talking about where you've landed in your weight journey and your thinking.

Did you have any other thoughts?

Lauren: I guess just I've had to learn that my joy is in Jesus that Even if I was to lose all the weight at a healthy pace, I'm not gonna be my ideal weight tomorrow. I can't just slap a coat of paint on a wall and go, oh, look at what I've achieved. It's always gonna be a long process.

And so I'm not gonna wait for joy to be when I'm my ideal weight, I'm gonna have joy in Jesus right now to be at peace with where I am right now. I guess I realized I was also idolizing the weight loss. and yeah, I had to just learn to come to Jesus, lay that burden down at his feet and say, I will trust in you.

Laura: Yeah. Yeah. That's really great.

Lauren: So my other favorite passage is two Corinthians 12 with a much quoted verse in the middle of it, but I find the context just so relevant. It says, therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me three times.

I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me, but he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in wheat. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly in my weakness so that Christ's power may rest on. That is why for Christ's sake. I delight in weaknesses in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties for when I am weak, then I am strong.

So I've started calling my weight, battle my thorn in the flesh, cuz I think otherwise I would get quite conceed. It was something that I. Asking God to take away, but I realized he wasn't that he was teaching me through it that he's blessed me with not having the other health problems, but he's teaching me his grace is sufficient.

I can only see his power at work if. I acknowledge I can't do this myself. So I started boasting of my weakness to other people. I told my Bible study about my struggle. I asked them to pray for it. But as I started doing that, something interesting happened. I realized we are all really tempted to minimize when God is disciplining us.

So I would ask for prayer. Lots of people to rely on God, rather than my own strength. And I get responses like, oh, weight Watchers really work for me. Have you tried that? What about gonna park run? That's a really good way to keep running every week. Like the doctors you get the you've just gotta walk for 20 minutes a day or look at what's in your shopping trolley.

Just make time for you. And then I. Those four little words. You've just got to became this. I just knew something was discouraging was coming after that. What people meant as an encouragement and to help takes us further from the goal of trusting God in our weakness of looking to his grace. And so I realized when I was doing that to other people, so I've got lots of uni students in my life and sitting down to study has never been difficult for me.

I love studying, but I'd hear myself saying to the students, you've just gotta sit down and do your assignment. And I'd hear those words. You've just got to come out of my mouth. And because I'd been hearing them from other people about my weight battle, I stopped and thought about it and I went, hang on.

Maybe God is disciplining them with this. And I've just undermined them in the way that other people were undermining what God was teaching me through my weight. How

Laura: much do we do that though? Oh, you've just gotta find the perfect formula or the routine to get out the door, or you've just gotta read this book or follow this person on Instagram or you've just gotta get up.

Oh, you've just gotta get up half an hour before the kids. And do your Bible time then? No, I'm not getting up four 30 in the morning.

Lauren: they? Oh, I've had all of them. You've just gotta get them on. Schedule, give them an extra bottle of formula before bed. Yes. Or pack the lunch boxes the night before, yeah.

Laura: You do have to do that one. That one is really helpful.

Lauren: I pack my lunch boxes in the morning. Oh,

Laura: stop it with the night before. You've just

Lauren: gotta I only have two to packs and maybe that's easier. Yeah. Maybe, but yeah. I guess the thing I really learned from. Is yeah, that you've just gotta, should be bands from all conversations.


Laura: And when people are sharing their trials with us, how quick are we to tell them what to do, to suggest that's something new to try or to give them the answer or the formula for success. But I what should we do instead? And so I'm thinking as you're talking, like maybe we just need to ask more questions to get curious.

What's going on, what's going on in your heart. And as you said recognizing that this is their trial, so how can we support them in that? But more importantly, like how can we point them to Jesus or to what God might be doing in their hearts through all of this?

Lauren: Yeah. And I think this is a, yeah, asking the hard question using the language of, is this an area that God might be disciplining you? Is this something that, is there something he wants to teach you through this? And that could bring you to that really great place that he's refining your heart through this? It's kinda, yeah I think we should talk about that more.

yeah, it's

Laura: Like peeling back the layers though, right? We could say, oh yeah, you just need to give them another bottle for bed, whatever. But more importantly, like what is going on in your heart? Because there's something behind this. So helping them dig through a little bit, rather than just be quick to slap on a bandaid.

Lauren: And often, I guess it's through the holy spirit, that's helping people do that. Self-reflection that. Potentially can't do from the outside. we don't know what other people are struggling with and asking those open ended questions. Like, how does that make you feel? Or what are the consequences of that?

What, yeah. What

Laura: are you struggling with because of this? Yeah.

Lauren: Or it, yeah. Is this bringing up to good? Yeah. Yes. Yeah. Can you trust God in this, in a way that you haven't been able to trust God before? Yeah. Where are

Laura: you relying on yourself and your own strength rather than on God?

Lauren: And I think also encouraging people to ask.

For help as well. So help of our Christian communities but also for professional help as well. Cuz that was a big one for me. I just went, how hard can it be to lose weight, eat less exercise more. But I realized, I was telling some of the students who were having some real mental health troubles, you've gotta go see a professional about this.

And I just felt the hypocrisy in my heart. I'm like if I'm telling them to go, I've gotta go. Yeah. That's.

Laura: I'm wondering how you would encourage the woman listening. What would you want everyone to remember as they consider their trials? And so whether that is related to weight loss or just the trials of many kinds.

Lauren: Yeah. I think my encouragement would be to look for areas that God might be disciplining us in our own lives.

So instead of coming up with excuses for things or looking for the quick fix or feeling the intense guilt and shame. Seeing if God is actually doing something amazing in our hearts, if we will give him the chance, if we can hand it over to God and say, I'm just struggling with this, God, please, can you help me?

And for me, that's been coming to a place of peace and contentment and continually realizing God's using it to turn me back to him, to become more prayerful, to learn how to meditate through my day, rather than just ticking off my to-do list. And I think releasing that guilt and shame because that verse.

Hebrews that said, God will discipline us. When I read that verse, it reminds me. It's not just me, that if I trust in God, he will be disciplining me. And I look forward to the great things he can do in my heart through. And so not to just be bogged down by the guilt and the shame, but to say, God, please use this to grow me in righteousness and trust.

Yeah, that's really beautiful. And if it is an area of sin, To receive forgiveness freely. I guess we haven't really talked about that, but I think in a lot of our struggles, there is sin that underlies it for me, it is selfishness and gluttony, but to know that I am forgiven of that. And when I do on my birthday eat way more birthday cake than I needed to, I can come to him and go, yeah, that was a really unwise choice, God, but I know I'm forgiven and.

Laura: That's really beautiful. Is there anything that you would wanna wrap it up with?

Lauren: I guess the only thing that I'd have to say is when a Christian sister or a friend comes to you and says, I'm really struggling with this, try to catch the, you've just got to statements before they roll off your tongue. Or even if you've said it and you see the full smile or the embarrassed look in their eyes, say.

Hey, I'm sorry, maybe that wasn't helpful. Tell me more about, you're struggling with that curiosity that you mentioned. I like that you came out with that word curiosity with our Christian sisters, what could God be doing in your life through this? How can we pray through this? How can I encourage you?

So I encourage my Bible study to ask me about my weight loss. How is it going? Is there something you do need to ask God to forgive, to relieve that burden of guilt and shame and know that you are forgiven? I guess that's what I'd encourage.

Laura: Yeah, that's beautiful. That's great. That's really great.

Thanks Lauren. I found that really helpful thank you, so much for coming on and sharing. I've been really encouraged by that. It's not the thing that you're struggling with, but the heart behind it that you're concerned about and where you're putting your or investing your energy into And I've really appreciated the encouragement to be curious with people to, I think just it's challenged me like, oh, how often do I slap a bandaid on people's problems rather than try and hear their struggles and their heart behind it.

I'm wondering if you would mind. Wrapping up today's show by praying for the women listening. And just, yeah, really that they'll feel the reminder that their their value isn't in what they look like or what they achieve, but their value is in who God says they are in Jesus.

Lauren: I would love to do that. Heavenly father, thank you for our bodies whatever shape they are and whatever size and whatever they look like right now. I just pray for all of us that we would be encouraged.

By the discipline that you put us through, that we look forward to the transformation that you can do in our hearts through discipline. I thank you that I've learned to come to a place of peace and I can see the work you've been doing in my life. And I just pray for everyone listening that. They would search their hearts for, oh, I think I'm gonna need to start again cuz I didn't script this.

I'm gonna start again. Heavenly father. Thank you so much for our bodies. Whatever shape and size they are. Thank you that you love us. No matter what we look at, like on the outside and that you look on the heart. I pray that we would be released from the guilt and the shame that comes with the ways we fail to achieve things in this life and that we can instead turn our minds to seeking your good for us in discipline, that we would look forward to the transformation that you.

Bring in our hearts, even if the transformation doesn't come in our bodies or whatever else it is that we are struggling with, I pray that you will be working in all of our hearts to trust you more, to feel our identity in Jesus, our forgiveness of all sins, and that we can rejoice. In that our discipline here will actually be quite short compared to the time that we will spend rejoicing with you perfectly forever in Jesus name.

Ah, amen.

Laura: Oh, amen.

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