I have typed and deleted, typed and deleted and struggle with just how to get these thoughts on paper. How to put into words this part of my second journey? Most importantly though, how to speak to the heart of those who have struggled with the same “body image and performance based” issues that I have.
I have long believed that God reveals things in His own time and for His own reason. Yet, I have wondered the last year why the realizations I am working through didn’t come to surface when my folks were both still alive. Perhaps they could have answered some of my nagging questions. Or put to rest those thoughts I have which are based off of fear and not truth. Or is it all in God’s plan? My Abba Father has been the one I run to when truth has been revealed! No one else brings to my life, His peace, truth and love. I am still asking questions and in His perfect timing, He will answer. Not always the answer I want, yet the one I need to hear in order tear down the strongholds and denial in my life. Tearing them down so I can more clearly see I am who I am. I am loved and I am Free!
In the fall of 2006, as the plane touched down and we walked our daughter through the airport terminal at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the tears began to freely flow. My mind raced with conflicting thoughts. “You are over reacting!…Are we doing the right thing?… I have been a terrible Mom”….then to “Why didn’t I catch the signs earlier? Why didn’t my daughter grasp a hold of counseling and just eat? How can I leave her with strangers? ”
The reality of the situation tittered between denial and realization in my mind. This tug of war started long before the plane touched the ground. At that point though, the realization was we leaving our daughter 1050 miles from home with strangers. Leaving her at Remuda Ranch, the best Christian based Eating Disorder Center in the Nation. The denial swept in and out like the evening tide. I wanted to live in that state and believe that our daughter was not sick and certainly not at a point where the illness was life threatening.
As I type the above words to the paper, I am stopping at this point in our daughter’s story. I wanted to give you that bit of background for the rest of my own personal story. The rest of our daughter’s story will come at a point when I have talked it over with her, worked out what she wants to share and what I am willing to write. For now, the rest of my story.
It has been rather alarming to me, that not until the last five months have I realized much of my life has been determined by my own body issues and performance based decisions. Even through the counseling and experience with my daughter, it didn’t dawn on me that I had my own body and performance based issues. The roller coaster between denial and realization not only happened at the Phoenix airport, but now in my own life as well.
I have know for years that I spent to much time saying and doing what I thought would make others happy. However, the contradiction in my own life did not allow me to see what root caused me to be a people-pleaser.
Some of you may wonder how this is even possible when I have been a Christian for as long as I have. It goes back to what I wrote a few months ago, I didn’t realize God could possibly love me for just being “little old” me. I thought God’s love was based on what I did or didn’t do. (This of course falls under law instead of God’s Grace!) Within the last 18 months, God has clearly revealed to me, that He wants me to just BE…not do! Be who He is calling me to be! Not doing anything to make Him love me. Just be me! Guess this realization had to come first before I could step out of denial and into the truth of my own body issues.
God with His healing touch, broke through my denial within the last five months by using the following situations.
- A visit with a friend of my mother’s who had not seen me since my high school years
- On old photo which showed how thin I was and the vacant look in my eyes
- Middle-age and the change of life weight gain
- Realization as I read a book about self talk
- Music which God has used to speak healing and life into my soul
JJ Heller has become a favorite artist of mine. The following song, True Things so fits where I am now right now!! (Thank you JJ!)
I continue to pray and actively seek God’s truth on my own personal body and performance based issues. In doing so, He is faithful in revealing more of His plan for my own personal life. Two weeks ago, I ran across some statistics which were not surprising to me at all. These statistics come from the Sex and Skinny website.
If you had to narrow things down to the two most common issues we struggle with as men and women, sex and eating issues would most certainly rise to the top.
Did you know…
- 95% of guys struggle with sexual temptation and pornography
- 75% of women have eating issues of some kind
But here’s what’s even more interesting…
- 1/6 of Christian women struggle with an addiction to pornography
- At least 50% of men have eating issues and/or negative body image too
As I stated these statistics are not surprising to me. What is does show me, is that I need to be transparent. To show the struggles, denial and lies I have lived out and worked through. Show that because of God’s love and grace, “I am who I am. I am loved and I am Free!”