“I’ve got much to thank You for, You opened up the door, turned my sorrow to joy! In this world that I am in, Your wonders never end, You define hope!” – Thank You by Rebecca St. James feat TobyMac (written by Rebecca St. James, Tedd Tjornhom, and Toby McKeehan, 2005)
It is no secret that I have started getting serious about going to the gym and taking care of my physical self. With this habit has come a thought that has resurfaced a lot the past few months, “remember the last time you decided to get drastic about weight loss”. This week I found a picture of me from a matter of months before that decision.
I was eleven-years-old and had heard a few comments from family about my weight, these comments cut deep and caused lots of silent tears. I tried my best to brush then off and move on, but I was a junior high girl, there was only so much I could do. Then it happened, I started hearing my peers talk about themselves negatively, pointing out their flaws. I was suddenly all to aware of my own. In my eyes my size was the most glaring flaw I had, how could anyone else possibly ever see anything other than the eleven-year-old, over weight, awkward homeschooler?
I was so young when I decided I needed to take charge and change, when I decided that not eating was the most sensible thing to do to achieve the desired results. Oh how I praise The Lord that this toxic and deadly way of thinking did not last past a two week “fasting” stage. However, I have never been the same.
Comments about over weight people still cut to my heart deeper than you can know. Comments directed to me directly instantly send me into a refusal to eat mode which I work hard to counteract and end up bingeing instead. Every time I am sick the thought of, “Maybe I’ll lose weight since I cannot eat. Maybe I want to be sick for a week”, crosses my mind at least once. It has been fifteen years since I tried to starve myself, but I am far from over that way of thinking. It is a daily battle. Up until a couple months ago I was afraid to fast because I was terrified that is all it would take to send me right back. Sometimes that thought still crosses my mind and I spend part of the time praying I will be strong enough to eat again when it is over. Some days are dark. However most days I am great, and I do not think about it. Most days my God-confidence (my confidence in my God and who He says I am) is high and there are no problems.
This week I found a picture of that eleven-year-old girl and you know what I saw? A beautiful hurting child who had no idea of her value. I struggle with my weight (why else would I be typing all of this from a treadmill?) to this date, but I have learned something these past fifteen years, I am valued by the creator of the universe. I am valued beyond measure. I am valued just the way I am. Sure I have a few extra pounds, but as I have been quoted as saying many times to my friend, I am freaking cute! In all seriousness, it took me years to get to where I am now with my appearance. It took me a long time to realize my worth. I was in my late junior high and early high school years when it clicked, but it still took me time after that to live it out.
Today as I drove to the gym Father was bringing these things back to mind, all I could do was praise Him for what He saved me from and where He has brought me. I cannot thank Him enough for protecting me from myself. I cannot thank Him enough for creating my value (apart from Him I am nothing) and teaching me to recognize it and appreciate it for myself. To anyone out there who is struggling as I was, I get that battle so well! Hang in there, keep fighting, keep seeking Truth! You are so much more than you think, you are so much more than you imagine!
Oh Father, thank You! More than I can say, thank You!
(Photo Credit to Tiffany Rodabaugh Photography )