“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 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.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NIV
Journal Entry – 2005
SSHH. Don’t tell. You see, I’m a spiritual leader! I’m a camp counselor, a bible study teacher, a Christian example, a champion for the cross. I’m the strong older sister, the voice of reason, and the rule follower. But I’m a prideful, arrogant, hypocritical mess; and that’s being generous. I am a fake. I was a fake. I was a fraud. I am slowly and surely becoming a truther. That’s not really a word. Spell check has placed an angry red squiggly below it. I’m your average, run of the mill, suburban-yuppie. I drink skinny sugar free vanilla lattes at Starbucks as I ponder my life in my leather-bound journal. Life is just easy enough to where I feel guilty saying anything’s hard; and yet, life’s hard enough that nothing seems easy to me. By looking at me you would probably concede that I am self-confident and that I don’t really have low self-esteem… but somehow I can’t seem to like myself very much. Maybe if someone in the male species gave me a 2nd glance it might be different, but they don’t… so it’s not. Don’t think I’m sad; sometimes it’s fine…most of the time it’s not. So one day, a long time ago I got it into my head that my lack of male companionship must derive from the 3 numbers on my scale. Whoa. 1 hundred and…see…I can’t even tell you. I knew something had to change.
You see, I love food, and more than just, “YAY, Sonic.” I love going out to eat. It’s like a mini vacation for me. The day I got my driver’s license I stopped at What-a-burger on the way home to get a large onion rings and a coke, just because I could. Just like I would eat a whole bag of Doritos and not give it a second thought. Not that big of a deal right? We all “eat too much.” Mine went beyond that. I’ve learned that if we have it in my house, I will eat it. So this proceeded into college. Me eating, and feeling worse and worse about how I looked, and more eating, and no dates, and my clothes not fitting, and more eating. So throw in some guilt running and some pledges to ward off pasta and bread forever more. You see, I am a one woman team bent on destruction. Yet I am smart, intelligent, and independent. But I am also my own self-destructor and my own worst enemy. My weapons are not of the ordinary, but as I explained, cans of Pringles and all you can eat buffets.
So – my junior year of college comes and I am sick and tired of it. Sick and tired of watching the scale get higher, and my clothes get tighter. I was eating too much, so I started making myself throw up. I don’t think it was the controlling initially, it was really that I had eaten so much that I made myself feel sick – like WAY over eating. And once I spent 10 minutes in the bathroom I felt better. At first it was occasional, and over the next year I became a pro. I could do it anywhere and at anytime and nobody suspected. And no – I didn’t like it, but soon I started seeing other results. The thin me got a lot more compliments like, “You look great, like you are really taking care of yourself!” HAH. What a joke. What a lie. What a trap!! But I’m not going to tell anyone, because I am a strong Christian woman. Help me God.
Since this time the Lord has taught me a lot about his power in my weaknesses. The journey toward healing began when realized that my “issue” was bigger than the strength that I posessed. I purchased “Praying God’s Word” by Beth Moore and read the definition of a stronghold that we discussed yesterday.
“A stronghold is anything that exalts istelf in our minds, “pretending” to be bigger or more powerful than our God. It steals much of our focus and causes us to feel overpowered. Controlled. Mastered. Whether the stronghold is an addiction, unforgiveness toward a person who has hurt us, or despair over a loss, it is something that consumes so much of our emotional and mental energy that abundant life is strangled- our callings remain largely unfulfilled and our believing lives are virtually ineffective.”
I was deeply challenged by that definition. I came to the conclusion that a stronghold was holding me captive. The lie of sin had become my idol and my captor, and I was a willing prisoner. In the midst of my battle with an eating disorder I was chewing on some pretty big lies and keeping myself from experiencing the abundant life. I convinced myself that I would feel sick if I didn’t empty the contents of my stomach. I believed my friends, family, and co-workers would approve of me more if I lost the weight. I maintained the fear that no one really wanted to see the real me. I kept the excuses coming.
We can be really good at coming up with excuses for not surrendering our thoughts to God. Satan can give rationalizations for ANYTHING. Just like I can keep hitting the snooze button in the morning and convince myself that I don’t need a shower… or breakfast… or time in the Word… he can do the same with those sins we are hiding. Cutting, alcohol and drug addiction, sex, eating disorders, depression, self-loathing, lying, cheating… he has a never-ending arsenal.
“Nothing that sin is giving or offering us is worth what sin is taking from us.” Beth Moore, Breaking Free
Amen. I know from personal experience. I bought into lies. I believed that my identity comes from others. What I really wanted was to feel loved, accepted, and desired by a guy. What I forgot in the process is that I am completely loved, accepted, and desired by my Heavenly Father.
I began praying that God would help me change… not just for the moment, but for always. It’s a daily decision to make good choices about food and exercise. I have to remain in God’s Word, memorize verses, and stay accountable to other women. But God is helping me through every step of the journey.
Are you letting lies steal the life God has for you? I believe that the first step of the healing process is admittance. Tell someone. Turn to the One who made you and let Him remind you how much He loves you.
Praying we might stand and fight together. More on this tomorrow…