"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Struggle


I haven't wanted to talk about this... telling you what one of my biggest struggles is.

Every time I try, all I can think is, this is stupid, it's vain, and shallow and in the face of other struggles, it is so insignificant as to be laughable. But in talking to a friend, I realized, I needed to share this because so many women struggle with weight issues, and pretend they don't because they feel like it isn't a valid thing to struggle with.

But the truth is, anything that you are struggling with is something that is keeping you from growing closer to God, as that this is the struggle that he is going to use to show himself to you in a new way. So, I decided to talk about my weight struggles with you.

If you have ever, or if you are are struggling with your weight, you know, you KNOW that it really isn't about your weight at all.

One of the reasons I hate that I struggle with my weight is because it is a very visible sign that I have some issues with being obedient to God. I can't hide it. Every time I look in the mirror I see it. So, for the past year or two, after I dress for the day and look in the mirror to make sure my outfit is OK, I don't look in the mirror again. I make a point not to. I don't want to see myself. I don't want to see that I have something that isn't right with me, and... to be honest, I don't want to see myself looking this way. There are many days where I just wear some yoga pants or sweats and a baggy tee and don't even bother to look in the mirror at all.

Now, let me clarify something. I LOVE Jesus. There are not enough words or ways for me to tell you how much I love him. He picked me up out of the mess I had made of my life seven years ago, and I truly want to live my life for him in every way. That is one of the things that is so painful about this. I trust that God can do amazing things in every area of my life. But this one. For some reason, I just can't get myself to believe the truth that I know.

There are some amazing Scriptures regarding my struggle with weight.

1 Cor 10:23 says: Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.”

1 Cor 6:19 says “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”

Hebrews 4:15-16 says “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

and there are many, many more. when I am really on my game, and trying really hard, and even seeing some progress, these Scriptures encourage me and keep me going.

The thing is, I am not always on my game. In my down times, in the times that I am really struggling they don't just convict me, they make me feel guilty and defeated, and ashamed. (By the way, those are NOT thoughts from God. Only Satan deals in guilt, defeat and shame. But I listen anyway.) My body is supposed to be a temple and look at it...Jesus was tempted in every way and didn't sin, but I can't figure this one thing out.

I have avoided situations and people because of it. I have “fat friend” syndrome. I feel like the fat friend so I therefore think that my friends think that too. I asked one of my friends once if this was the case. She said no, of course not, that I was being ridiculous. But I still feel that way some days. I have to tell myself that that isn't true. That my friends don't think like that. And come on, if they did, what kind of friend would they be, really? My friends are better than that, and my struggle is leading me to do a huge disservice to them.

I truly live in the truth of Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” and also Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

I struggled in a different area four years ago, and these verses were a lifeline to me. There were days where I walked around saying “Whatever is true, whatever is true” over and over. And I won that battle. But I have only recently begun to apply the truths of these Scriptures to this struggle. For some reason that I don't understand, I wasn't applying the truths that I know and believe.... to my eating.

Just like with the way I projected my struggle onto my friends, I need to start projecting Jesus onto my struggle.

I recently read a book that catagorized eating struggles and I really feel like I fit into one of the categorizes.

I am an “unconvicted eater”. I hate the struggle, hate how I feel and look, and hate that I am not being obedient to God, but for some reason, I am unconvicted before I start eating those cookies. Or chips. Or extra helping. Or two.

It is only afterward that the conviction comes. And shame. And the negative things I say to myself.

And it is a bad cycle that continues to spin. I eat when I am bored. When I am depressed and when I am insecure. Food is my security blanket in these areas.

As you can see, I am still struggling. But I have some hope for this situation that I didn't before. I have some idea of what my struggle truly is, and am even trying to apply Scriptural truth to it. One of my biggest needs in this right now is accountability. I don't have it with another sister in Christ right now and that is a huge thing. It is easy to ignore God's nudging of the spirit, it is much harder to ignore someone standing right in front of you holding you accountable. So that is the next step on my journey.

This isn't one of those amazing ending testimonies. I guess I just brought you in on the ground floor of my amazing testimony in the making. But I think more than that, God wanted me to share that if you are struggling with this, then you are not alone. Yes, I am struggling with it too, but more importantly, no matter how many times you fail at a diet or exercise program, see the numbers on the scale stay the same, or even go up, God is right there. He wants us to remember that we can do ALL things through him who gives us strength, and that includes starting over. 

God's plans for us are good, and he does have a plan for me through this. And he has a plan for you, too. And that is a thought that lovely, praiseworthy, and true.