By Olea Gough

olea author pic

Have you ever wondered what it felt like when your spirit first entered your body?

I admit, I have never thought about this until recently. I think I have always taken my body for granted. I’ve been disappointed with it when it hasn’t looked the way I thought it should. I’ve been annoyed with its flaws when comparing it to one that seems more desirable. I’ve been frustrated with it when it slows down, gets tired or doesn’t perform as well or for as long as I think it should. I’ve pushed it to accomplish every demand I have without ever considering how I’ve treated it. Have I been fueling it with the right energy? Have I given it adequate sleep? Have I spent time training it and strengthening it through exercise? Have I slowed down when it was tired and given it time to rest?

No. My body has served as a temple, a dwelling place, for my spirit doing almost everything that’s ever been asked of it for almost 44 years and I’ve never once thought about how demanding I am of it. Nor of how unappreciative I’ve been of all it does for me. I have never loved my body well.

I wish I could recall the time my spirit took possession of my body for the first time so I could remember the awe and excitement that must have accompanied that experience.

Almost 25 years ago I got an engagement ring from my now husband. I remember the wonder I felt each time I saw it glimmering there, like it was the first time. I remember feeling the weight of it, seeing it on my finger as a new part of me. I remember the thrill it brought.  Do you think it felt like that? Like when we get a new dramatic haircut that we love and being excited all over again when we catch our reflection in the mirror?

My body has been the vehicle for all of the amazing things I have experienced in my life…

My body has been the vehicle for all of the amazing things I have experienced in my life… every beautiful object or landscape I’ve looked at, all the various scents I’ve gotten to breathe in, all the magical sounds I’ve heard, all the wonderful things I’ve tasted in so many varieties of food, every texture, impression, and sensation I’ve ever felt. My legs have carried me on so many missions and adventures. My arms have assisted me in so much good I’ve tried to do. My mind sifts, processes, and protects me. My heart beats rhythmically and true. My lungs fill themselves without any effort on my part. My body carried my babies. It helps me show love to my family and my friends. It allows me to feel and express all my emotions. And it heals itself when I am not careful with it.

Really, it is a miraculous machine, this body of mine. The more I have processed this insight, the more I feel incredibly humbled and penitent for how I have behaved in the past.

I want to be more present to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel things as if for the first time, as if my body and spirit were only joined this morning. I want to appreciate all that it does for me. I want to care for it in the way it deserves.

Our God loves us so much that He gave us our bodies to experience life in. I’m sure He has been very sad in the past to see how ungrateful I have been for this marvelous gift that He gave me.  My body is not perfect, but it performs almost perfectly. For the first time in my life, I can honestly and truly say… I love my body!

Song: Wonderfully Made by Ellie Holcomb

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