Friday, July 10, 2015

Who Am I Without ED?

I'm sitting here literally eating peanut butter from the jar. I have a spoon, and I don't care about double-dipping right now. My husband makes fun of me - "Boy, we sure go through a lot of peanut butter around here!" *smirk*

MMmm Peanut butter!

I think back to a few years ago when the thought of peanut butter frightened me. Fat and Calories and Thickness - OH MY! But back then, I didn't know what life would be like without ED (eating disorders). I thought it was all good to be afraid of calories, like I was saving myself from a most-certain struggle against obesity. Ha!

"Ha!" That's what I like to say to my old eating disorders whenever I've finished a good meal or snack without guilt.

"HA, ED! You no longer have a hold on me because my Papa God is sovereign! You're like that bad boyfriend who was only trying to hurt me, and my Abba stood in the doorway of my heart with a holy shotgun and chased you out! Now stay away!"

Can I get an Amen? :o)

Identity is a soul-deep thing. We need not look far in the news right now to see what one's identity means to them. It's our core. Our self. Our being. We fight for it, even when we are misguided or mistaken.

I fought for ED to be in my life. I thought that's who I was. I didn't care if I was miserable and full of anxiety; ED became my comfortable, a slow dripping in my veins.

That's why we must find our identity in Christ -- to know who we really are.

When my identity was in ED, I didn't know who I would be without anorexia, body hate, guilt & shame with every bite of food, being known as the skinny girl. Who would I be? I would say, "God, you can have my life...every area...except eating disorders. You wouldn't take that from me, would you? My identity? You'll let me have this one thing, won't you, Father????"

I can tell you this: "I found my life when I laid it down." {"Touch the Sky" Hillsong United}

You get tired fighting battles, you know? There are only so many arrows you can evade. There are only so many strikes and blows your head & heart will take. Because I wouldn't let God take my misery from me (Isn't it strange how we treasure misery without realizing it?), I was defenseless.

The second I surrendered, I received His holy armor. I'm talking Ephesians 6 armor - the sturdiest of all. It had been there all along, but I had to decide to shift my identity before I agreed to pick it up. Essentially, I needed to protect myself from...myself, and of course the enemy's influence.

So who am I without ED?

First, who I've always been:

  • A daughter of the Most High and Mighty King, and the beloved of His heart
  • Saved by His grace
  • An unconditionally loved daughter of devoted parents & step-parents
  • A mommy with a son who adores her
  • The eldest sister with forgiving, gracious siblings
Next, who I have become without ED, with God at the steering wheel:
  • An advocate for women and their self-worth
  • A teacher who is unashamed of the Gospel and its message
  • A woman bold in the face of the lies of our culture and the enemy
  • A better wife, daughter, mom, sister, friend because I am FREE to love with abandon
  • A person passionate about healthy eating...and eating, and eating! Gosh, I love food!
  • An unchained spirit, free to worship Him because I hold nothing back from His hands!!
  • A bigger heart, a Spirit-filled messenger, a joyful testimony-giver
  • Able to let go of false guilt and shame about my body when I eat
  • An open book - that my testimony may lead others to Him. Jesus, use me to glorify Yourself!
  • Your friend, your sister who will pray for you

Find your identity in Him, friends. What He has in store for you is greater than you can imagine. It really is; I never thought it possible.  

His perfect love will cast out all your fears. (1 John 4:18)



(P.s. If you want REAL & good peanut butter, look at the ingredients and make sure there is only ONE ingredient: peanuts - most nutritious if not roasted, either)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Through the Waters

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Or maybe, more correctly, the wrong side of the wall! We have a poorly insulated wall between our kitchen and bedroom. And everything that someone does in the kitchen is magnified, like someone put a series of subwoofers and amplifiers in our bedroom, mighty close to our bed. So, when my husband got home from his 5am bike ride, the poor lad was hungry and unintentionally put much noise into said subwoofers and amplifiers, waking grumpy-wife-who-had-planned-to-sleep-in-for-once. ;)

Anyway! I knew my own need for the Word, and I dug right in...with cup of coffee in hand, of course!

Abba moves me with His Word; He anchors me with it, also. I feel like I am plowing my weary hands into soft earth that was broken up for me that I may more easily dig my roots deep, deep into the rich soil. And then I am watered, bathed in sun (Son), and I grow with radiance. If I remain in the Vine, I will produce heavenly fruit that will nourish weary, searching souls. That is His power displayed in us: love, encouragement, hope. 

I read Psalm 77 this morning. Here are verses 19&20.

"Your way was through the sea, 
your path through the great waters; 
yet your footprints were unseen. 
You led your people like a flock 
by the hand of Moses and Aaron."


It's rare that I think of the Israelites' freedom of slavery with much awe anymore. Sometimes you forget if you grew up hearing this action-packed true story over and over again. It's easy to think of it as a children's book type of story instead of one of the most miraculous acts of God in the Bible! 

​God's way was through the sea. THE SEA! Imagine the terror. I'm sure you have before. There was no other path than through the great waters. He led the Israelites to the waters with an enemy behind them, and He pointed, and the God-of-impossible put the people in position to trust Him or die; there was no other way. He was leading them, telling them what they must do by bringing them to this point -- YET HIS FOOTPRINTS WERE UNSEEN!!! He requires such great faith of us! We must trust that He has led us thus far, even when we cannot see Him at work in the moment of decision. We have to trust that He built His Spirit into that decision - that the Spirit is guiding us, like Moses and Aaron led the Isrealites​ by the power of His Holy Name and His Holy Word.

Some days - okay, many days - I am saying, "Lord! I felt your hand upon me, guiding me this way, and now I don't know if I'm at the right place. I don't know if I've done what You asked. I was so sure...and now? I don't know!"

Perhaps I am on the shore of great waters, and He is just waiting for me to take that next step so that He can open up the sea and make a great path for me, with the Holy Spirit as a lantern guiding each step. I cannot see the other side yet, and maybe I'm not supposed to until I've shown my faith in Him ALL ALONG THE WAY.

I must stop being a product of my generation and culture, the age of instant gratification, the age of Google for an answer. Because "Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth." {Psalm 74:12}

What is the King calling you to do? How are you following Him in each step, each hour, each day? It looks different for each of us. May we remain anchored in His Word, forever awed by His majesty, exceedingly in love with His plan for us, sacrificially willing to do His will.