Tuesday, September 9, 2008
" I have no greater joy then to see that my children are walking in the Truth" 3 John 4
Truth. Truth. How can we find truth? what is truth? Obviously the first answer is God, and the Bible, and even sometimes people and creation. When you hear truth it can be like clouds parting. A small beam of light into the dark abyss of lies. Truth is everywhere! So why is so hard to listen?
I've been going through this book I heard that made a big impact on my friend Michelle. It's called "Lies women believe and the Truth that sets them free." At first I started reading it because I knew I would be working with college girls, and I know from experience how many lies infest inside you during your time in college. But even though I've only read the first section I start to notice...Wait! This is talking about me!
Take for instance God's love. I would never SAY God didn't love me. But, do my actions say the same thing? Isn't worry or an anxious heart form of questioning his love for me? I mean, if I truly believed he loved me, I would never worry, because I would know in my heart that what is happening to me, what will happen to me, is because He loves me. Maybe the evil itself is not from his love, but definitely the journey through that evil. So that stopped and made me think. "if that's true, then He loves me so much, and is so perfect, that He knows that the most perfect and loving place for me right now is to be in...Arizona?" Wow! That's crazy! Cuz that's not how see it. But if I don't believe that, then I REALLY don't believe he loves me. Truth. Crazy truth. It really makes you step back and re-think so many things.
Sometimes "truth" can also lead to lies.
I hardly ever tell this to anyone. In fact, I didn't even tell this to Ryan until we had been married for like six months. But when I was in 7th grade some kid made fun of the way I looked. He was surprised that his friend could ever be attracted to me. I know of so many girls who have had very similar experiences. From then on, I was always counting fat grams, watching what I ate, weighing myself. I would constantly be doing sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts, whatever, while everyone else would be siting and relaxing. I had drilled it into myself that I had to work on myself, that I could only be attractive if I looked a certain way. Thank God he protected me from more dangerous measures, but my thought process itself had become a cancer inside me. Even to point that I feel self-conscious in front of my very own husband!
Living single, it was very easy for me to control my body. I was starting to feel OK with it, I had met others girls who shared similar issues, and I was really trying to believe in GOD's truth. "I praise you because I am perfectly and wonderfully made." God created me perfectly just the way I am, slow metabolism and all. Then it came. I small, innocent remark. I am sure that whoever sent it only had good intentions. It was in fact the "truth". In essence it said...my clothes were to tight to be attractive...I just stared at it.
Now, I am not one to really flaunt my body. Maybe when I was young and naive, but now? No! I try hard to be fashionable yet modest. I where camisoles under almost all my shirts so when I bend over no one can see anything. When I wear skirts I always make sure it passes the fingertip rule. I know that I am not only representing myself, but also God and the way I value myself.
But...see. whether I admit it or not. I had lost control. When I got married I no longer had time to teach gymnastics, in which I could work out with my students during their condintioning time. It was harder for me to grab one of my friends and say "hey, let's go to the gym." I was learning how to cook things that Ryan would like, apperanetly alot of men don't absolutely adore salads, who knew? So I would inveditably eat whatever I had cooked up for him. And life just got sooooooooooo busy! Needless to say, I had gained so much weight.
In church, our pastor talked about our "hell on earth," a real or theoretical situation that you do everything in your power to avoid because of the personal pain you would experience through it. Mine has always been being over weight. But there it was. Looking at me in the face every morning I would wake up. I began to try and take back control. Running. muscle strengthening. trying to eat smaller portions. Then I learned that the medicine I was taking could also be keeping me from losing weight! AH! It began to get daugnting. dis-heartning. No changes. no nothing. So I gave in. I began asking Ryan if I could get some new clothes. I had know idea when my weight would finally go down but I couldn't wait for that. So there I was, trying on sizes I thought I would never be forced to wear. With the small budget we had, it was a slow process. A new piece here, a new piece there. Anything I could that would cover this now hated body.
Here is where this comment plays in. I had tried to be so careful! I had been watching what I ate! I had been excercising! I bought new clothes to cover it up! But it didn't seem to matter...When I read the comment my heart stopped. I had to get out of there. I put on my shoes and ran and ran. Not content with that, I even walked on the treadmill until my feet started hurting. I figured I still had time till bed, so I jumped in the pool and just started swimming until my husband found be in a hurt confused puddle.
The comment was probably true. Maybe I needed to go to Goodwill and find even bigger shirts to fit in. But to me, it didn't matter. I saw myself as being fat. and now other people knew it as well. While I was running so many lies entered my head. Hurtful and pronounced. Over and over they swept. But...I prayed. I prayed that God would be my savior. That he would walk with me through this journey. I was running, and I hurt so bad that I almost convinced myself to start throwing up. I mean who would know? it was late. No one was around. But then I started to think about truth. What was true? God's word! I frantically began reciting old scripture verses I knew. It didn't matter what they were about. I just needed some TRUTH!
Eventually my mind couldn't take it anymore, and that is when my husband, my gift from God came to me. I no longer had the capacity to remember any truth. But he sat there next me, stroking my arms, whispering beautiful truths.
This is a journey I didn't want to go down again, but here it is. And I will walk though it because God loves me. Even writing this I'm crying. I wish I could brush off the comment. I wish I could go on living as though it wasn't said. But it opened a pandora's box of lies. lies and insecurities.
I don't know how this experience will mold me. I have a hard time letting hurtful comments go. I just want to remember truth. Beautiful truth.