You know, we really work against ourselves so many times. Spinning in a rut we can stay stuck far too long, immaturity keeps us holding on to things that we were never meant to pick up, lost on our paths to nowhere.

Let go!

Look past!

Stop living small…there’s too much to do in this life!

A friend reminded me today of all of this as she whispered,

“It’s time to come out and play!”

Indeed it is!

So let me be that voice in your ear, “Sweet friend stop spinnning, let go and start moving forward, you have work to do, come out, come out wherever you are – it’s time to play!”

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happyweightMy 9 year old (almost 10) came in this morning and asked,”What are you reading?” I felt shame flood my face as I responded, “It’s called Happy Weight.”

Hold the phone….what the heck is that!?

My mind floated back to a memory of a group of women in one of my classes years ago. The class was designed for those struggling to come to terms and heal from sexual abuse in their past. It was a book study through Dan Allender’s Wounded Heart book, I remember how many of those women would hide their books from their children, coworkers, friends because they were ashamed to admit this was part of their story. And I sat on my loveseat this morning as that same feeling gripped me. Wounded Heart never solicited such a response from me, but this book, this “weight” book – GRIPPED!

So I am pondering…memories surfacing. In second grade my best friend was befriended by one of the, what would be in our later school years, “popular” girls. I remember her giving her a piggyback ride at recess. I remember at 8 years old knowing that the girl liked my friend because she was small and cute. She was a tiny girl – always was, even as an adult, short and cute and perfectly tiny, everyone liked her compact size and people were drawn to her because of it. I remember as I look back thinking, “they like her because she is small.” Fast forward to 4th grade and being one of the first girls having to wear a bra that could be seen through those paper-thin, white, private school, uniform shirts. Boys popping bras and making comments left me red-faced all year long. 12 years old, an off-handed, seemingly sarcastic comment from an aunt at a family gathering about the jewelry I was wearing left me feeling “unacceptable,” I don’t think she intended that to be the result but little girl’s fragile hearts are so impressionable! And then my highschool years were brutal – flavored with distasteful, one thing on their minds, boys who objectified and murdered my offered, tender heart for approval, affection and misguided love. “Never enough” was the theme in my life – not because they projected that onto me but because I already believed it and looked for the evidence to support it.

We do that you know? Our beliefs about ourselves and this world look for the support they need to keep thriving – you don’t have to search far to find someone or something to confirm what your heart is set on believing. It’s brutal!

I eventually married with these same crushing beliefs about myself leading the way. Marc and I struggled for years in our marriage, me with self-esteem issues, him with lust issues – it was a recipe for disaster, a train wreck on its way. He couldn’t control his eyes and I took it VERY personal as those behavior solidified what I believed about myself —“I am not enough!” We struggled for a long, long, long time! It sucked! Honestly, it was the hardest thing my heart ever dealt with. So painful, so debilitating, so paralyzing. We stayed stuck in that for so many years and it was a hellhole to climb out of.

As memories flooded back this morning I shared a little with him of the aches of my heart around this issue. Thankfully, my heart has healed from the pain of all those gawks, stares and looks at other women in my presence, at the sacrifice of my heart. When I remember those few moments that linger I am so thankful for Jesus who came and offered His heart, healing mine and cleaning up the mess in those memories.

But I am stuck a little today as I reflect – angry about my years stolen during pregnancy – not able to enjoy my pregnant body, my newborns, nursing, because of the felt pressure to be thin again, pre-baby weight. We both had sadness about it today- it’s sad for both of us – he was robbed too by the world and what entangled his heart.

I felt the anger give way to

forgiveness a little more,

healing of my body image a little more.

So I am gripped – I hate that THIS is “my” issue -it feels so petty, small, stupid. Who gives a good crap really?! And in a quiet, dark corner I see a reflection of my little girl self raise her hand acknowledging the pain of a broken body image.

It is my giant –

less days than ever before,

with less energy than ever before,

with less hold than ever before…

but it can still, on some days, grip me!

It’s a part of my story…  

…a part I would like to shake loose…

I want to love myself no matter what size pants I find myself in, no matter what blemish erupts on my face, no matter what Marc does or does not do, no matter how cute that dress on that mannequin model does NOT look on my body, no matter what I choose to eat, no matter that I didn’t get up early and bust my butt at the gym. NO MATTER!

I do know all the right things to think, say, do. I have taught the healthy image classes, the inner healing classes, the boundaries classes – so it frustrates me to not be free –

but some days we just aren’t!

balloonAND that is as much about loving myself as anything–

giving permission to be fonky and right where I am,

bringing it to God one more time

as He peels the layers and digs deep into my heart.

So I offer my heart and am reminded as I read Happy Weight, which ironically has nothing to do with weight at all but rather the healing of our body image and how we see ourselves and others. This truth jumps off the page —

“The truth is,

you are already the most amazing person you know.

And if you aren’t sure that’s true, you just haven’t met the true you yet.”   

Isn’t that lovely? My heart jumps up and down about this sentence because it is so true, so true! You, me, we are the most amazing persons in the entire world – today, I believe it a little more and tomorrow I will read again and believe a little more and then the next day…a little more as the grip that’s left loosens, loosening and forever letting go!

enough

 

Ya know that pit experience I shared about last time and all those treasures I found there – I don’t want you to get the wrong impression that I am some kind of superhero, awesome turn into the wind, take the high road, overcomer anamoly that you think you wish you could be like.

I am not that girl! I wasn’t interested in those treasures for a good long while, I couldn’t give a flip about them at first. I, maybe like you, found myself at the bottom of the pit and I was pissed off about it, I was a big baby about it, I whined and complained and had a major full out temper tantrum about it. If you have been reading my blog and journeying with me, you know this but for those of who just tuned in – please, please, please know I was an epic failure in my own pit.

Isn’t that how we categorize it, after all, success or failure?!

We are such creatures of extremes and labels…everything fits into a nice, neat box – if only life would stay in that damn box! But it doesn’t, it’s messy and unruly and bigger than the box. God didn’t design life that way, He didn’t design you that way — newsflash — you don’t fit in a box!  And neither do any of your experiences!

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Honestly, I don’t believe that anything that happened in that pit God views with disdain or disappointment. He gave me a safe place to shake my fists at the world, to cry out in my pain and dissatisfaction, to blame others, to blame Him, to wrestle with my identity and expectations, to be lost and hopeless, to despair, to feel the numb nothingness, to climb the walls only to fall flat back on my ass over and over until I was done clawing at this life and all I expected it should be, that it should offer.

It was a process, just like everything else we experience.

When we “process” through the good stuff this life has to offer we don’t judge ourselves — planning a wedding, having a baby, starting a new job — all of these things are experiences that require processing and moving forward. The “negative” things in this life are no different — grieving the loss of a loved one, losing a job, working our way out of a pit —  processing and moving forward is required as well.

On the other side of all of life’s experiences we learn to live in a “new normal”

– positive or negative –

it’s a process as we embrace the change it offers.

So yes, I “failed” over and over again in the pit, I was not excited to be there at first, I did not want to look for any stupid treasures, I was not interested in lessons and change and anything else that place had to offer…but He kept me there long enough for my heart to to soften and become curious.

He knows what He is doing.

At the end of myself I found His good gifts buried there in that pit.

It was all a process– a big messy mess–

mess_corrected_WEBkicking and screaming,

refusing to talk to Him,

numbing,

breaking,

emptying myself out,

laying it all before Him,

being openly, painfully honest,

looking out, looking up, and then looking in,

I stripped, in His presence, into naked intimacy, bearing my soul. 

And He carefully picked it up and held it close to His heart. And I felt Him sing over me, over every part of the process, the ugly, seemingly epic failing parts and the beautiful, surrendering into new normal parts.

Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.

 I am His delight, all my parts, no boxes, no judgment, He sees me and says, “It is very good!”

Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

So my friend, please stop judging yourself and where you find yourself today. You are in process and all parts of it are good, not neccesarily fun, but they are good! Each part is essential, a requirement, for the changes being made in you. He is working all things for your good. Trust the process and keep taking baby steps forward to your new normal!

boxAnd when you are ready, there is no rush,

look down and find your own buried treasures in your pit!