LIGHT: Day Two of hope*writers New Year Writing Challenge


I struggle with feeling anything but light.

From as far back as I can remember, someone in my family has had a poor relationship with food. I grew up in a household of diets and closets full of all the seasonal clothes in addition to all the sizes for every season. My parents each had their own self-image battles that ran the opposite ends of the weight spectrum. 

The number of times I saw anyone stop and admire the reflection in the mirror amounted to a handful in the 22 + years I primarily resided with my dear parents. 

My self esteem and relationship with my own reflection was shaped by what was modeled for me. I saw the critical eye of my parents, internalized their statements to and about themselves, listened to their judgments, and I deduced a number of things that ultimately shaped my thinking about myself for the rest of my life:
  • I said too much (I was sassy from word one)
  • I ate too much (I got to a point of hating the feeling of being full)
  • I was too much. 
  • If I could be smaller, then I could be more acceptable. 
  • If I ate less, I could be in control.
  • If I was the “perfect” number on the scale, I would feel light and be light (happy) — somehow my family and others would like me more. 
The enemy would love for me to keep this whole struggle with constantly feeling heavy and seeing myself as such out of the light

The longer our fears, our anxieties, our own perceived inadequacies are kept in the darkness, the more that consumes us and has power to snuff out the real strength and might of our Heavenly Father. 

To fully embrace the freedom He has for me in this area, and in so many others I am not addressing today; I must believe and live in the following truth:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 

The victory for me and for you is to stop hiding in the darkness. Shedding light on fear diminishes its power. Bringing even what seem to be some of our best hidden secrets and weaknesses into the bright light shed by the One who loves us most and is filled with compassion toward ALL of our frailties can only bring about healing and wholeness.

I haven’t completely overcome my struggles with body image by any means. I had no idea the first time I decided to rid myself of what I thought was an over-indulgence of chocolate chip cookies as a new teenager that somehow this beast would continue to rear its ugly head in other ways at 53. Yet the same grace, mercy, and forgiveness available to teenage me is still available on my weakest days now. 

Let me leave you with my new favorite praise song as truth to savor on all of our lips. We have been set free, praise the Lord! 

Leaving a trail of beauty~


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