My personal body weight, shape, size and scope is something I have struggled with my entire life. I always wanted to be taller, thinner, prettier, have longer fingers, blonde hair instead of red, and absolutely NO freckles. I have come to love my hair color and even my pesky freckles, but my weight is something I have always struggled with.
When I really started unpacking all the emotions from my divorce, I certainly pulled out some issues with my weight. “I’m no longer desirable because I’m so fat. He probably wants someone skinner than I ever was or ever could be. I am fat and ugly.” That was my self-destructive mantra. And boy was I an expert at repeating it. Early and often.
The problem with that mantra, obviously, is that it is dangerous. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. There were times I would give in and eat my way through particularly stressful days, and I just didn’t care. I got more comfort from brownie batter than I did from anyone’s words. Of course the guilt would eventually overtake me and I’d vow to start dieting again. I call it the weighting game. Up and down. Back and forth. Like a pendulum, my weight swung up and down.
My weight directly correlated to what was going on in my life. When I felt good, and hopeful, I ate healthy and my weight dropped. When stress, depression and sorrow overwhelmed me, a trip to the store for a box of brownies almost always followed in its wake. The key was that I had no hope.
This year, 2017, has started out a bit differently for me. Oh, I still fight the “mean reds” (a la “Holly Golightly” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s), but I have begun to fight them head on, instead of curling into a little ball, clutching my brownie batter bowl and spoon and hissing, “my preciousssssss.” I figured out that if I turn and face my fears, my anxieties, my unbelief, often times it gives those emotions less power.
There is a verse in the Bible that has always resonated with me, especially in later years. In the book of Mark, a distraught father presents his demon-possessed son to Jesus begging for him to do something, anything to help his boy. He says, “…If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus replied, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately, the father of the child cried out, “I believe! Help my unbelief!”
I believe! Help my unbelief!
How many times have I sat in my little ball of self pity and depression and cried out to God to help me, heal me, free me, and still, I felt nothing. I believed enough to cry out to God, but my unbelief rapidly followed with doubts and worries and fretting. I believe. But my unbelief is a mighty powerful force.
I desperately want to believe that God has greater plans for me than I could ever imagine for myself. I do! But at the same time, I am stuck in the here and now, battered on a regular basis by events and thoughts and lies I tell myself. And my unbelief wins out almost every time.
This is a NEW year, I tell myself. I have stopped dieting and started eating healthy. I’m losing weight. But I’m still waiting. Waiting for that weight of the unknown to be answered and the weight of my sorrow and regret and self doubt to be lessened. It is a horrible game I play.
Lord, I believe! Help me beat the life out of my unbelief.
I don’t want to play the weighting game anymore.