Thursday, October 31, 2013

The One I'm finally writing

But by the grace of God, I am what I am.  1 Corinthians 5:10

This blog was never meant to look as if I have it all together.  Because I don't.  I hope to make that clear.  I also hope to make it clear that at every step of the way in my life, it is God working on my behalf.  Sometimes I willingly submit to that.  Other times I don't. .. and it takes a little while.  But in these moments, I learn more and more about his love and compassion and grace and most importantly, His forgiveness.

I have thought about writing about this for a while but never knew the words.  I still don't know the words.

I can remember being in college and sitting on the porch writing a letter to myself at a BCM retreat.  The letter contained many statements centered around the fact that I should believe in myself.. have confidence.. that I'm beautiful etc.  I have come across that letter several times since then and will just cry. This isn't unusual for me to cry.  But the reason I cry is because of the fact that those thoughts continued to plague me 7 or 8 years down the road.  You see, us girls.. well, we want to look the best.  We see the pictures of the models and the actresses who just had a baby, and we want the zero body fat.  We want the muscular legs.  We want the ripped stomach.  That's what I wanted.

To help with that want, I would weigh myself once if not twice a day.  I would look at my stomach 3, 4, 10 times a day to just look in disgust at changes that weren't happening.  I would run just to burn a certain amount of calories that I had eaten that day.  I would cut out my soft drinks and desserts.  I would regret just about everything I put in my mouth.  I would limit my meals out with friends just so that I could be in control of what I was eating.  Understand this: This was not an every day occurrence on the eating side.  The days would come and go.  But the general pattern was regret.

I remember last September deciding to go for a run on a Sunday after church.  I had not eaten lunch and had eaten a doughnut for breakfast. NOOOO! So for a run, I went.  I called my mama briefly to let her know what I was doing.  I'm a multitasker like that.  Running.. umm Jogging and talking on the phone all at the same time.  I remember her asking me if I had eaten lunch.  I said, "No, that I wanted to run first."  All I remember her saying was "Erin. Go home. You don't need to run today."  I didn't go at first, but I took about another tenth of a mile and turned around.  I made it to the couch and cried for nearly a solid hour.  What had become of me?  What was I saying about my identity in Christ, if I was so obsessed with my size? What was I saying about my priorities?  How could I reject God's unconditional love more me and exchange it for the standards of the world?

That was beginning of a long year ahead.  It hasn't been easy.  I'd like to tell you that it was grand and that I stopped weighing myself.  I'd like to tell you that I don't still drink half of my Cokes and throw them away. But sometimes I do.  I'd like to tell you that I don't eat a dessert and regret it sometimes.  But it happens.  I'd like to tell you that there was this crazy Saul/Paul experience where I realized my sin and completely turned from it. There hasn't been that either. It's weird. I wish I could pinpoint a time, but I can't.

I will say this.  God has been faithful to the prayers of those around me.  He has been faithful to my own prayers.  When you cry out to God in such a desperate way, he listens.  He has surrounded me with a community that has asked the tough questions.  Point blank: When was the last time you weighed yourself?
He has been faithful to show me the distortion that has existed in my mind for years.  Probably the greatest thing was understanding and realizing the tactics of the enemy... the hours (adding up to many weeks I'm sure) wasted on thinking about the food I ate and regreting it.. the hours spent obsessing about my size and areas that needed to be toned.. the hours spent planning other activities with friends so I didn't have to eat out.. -- All of those hours have been wasted, and that is just what the enemy has wanted.  Though ultimately my sins have been forgiven because I believe in the work and finality of Christ on the cross (though that's hard to accept sometimes), the enemy was distracting me and doing a pretty darn good job at it.  He was gaining a small victory all of those hours wasted because my mind was on exactly what he wanted rather than on the purposes of God.  Rather than thinking about food/regret/comparison/size etc... I could have been thinking about the lost person next me, praying for greater needs, serving others, encouraging others.. But by God's grace and strength, hours will no longer be wasted.

I am writing this to let you know it's real.  This battle is real.  Even in the midst of my battle, and I'm certain it's not completely over, I would hear girls put themselves down and wanted to just scream at them.  But would turn right around and say the same thing about myself.  Those thoughts are the thoughts that deny God's creation.  They deny His perfect plan.  They deny that He is the Creator.  They deny what He deems beautiful.

I am grateful for God's working in my life.. little step by little step.  Even writing this, I am amazed at how willingly I acted against the Lord and where I allowed my thoughts to go.  I am grateful for my small group and coming alongside of me in this.  I am proud to say that I have only weighed myself 3 times in the past 3 months. And I'm drinking Coke and eating some desserts and enjoying them, as they were intended.

I will sing the Lord's praise, for he has been good to me.  Psalm 13:6

If this is you, I'd like to be praying for you.  Email me at

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