Have you ever invested so much time into working a system only to find out that your hard work was void? I definitely have, again and again, system fails, girl goes round, round the mountain…
I will be very candid with an example. This example is actually of one where I found the way out however I SO need to apply this to EVERY area of my life.
I have struggled with my weight for most of my life. Some of this might be genetic, I know some of this struggle was derived from depression and I am sure I could lump on a whole gambit of reasoning for the struggle; thinking I had to look a certain way and working so hard and then feeling defeated that my unrealistic expectations were empty in true nourishment (that which comes from Him)..…
I honestly had an epiphany one day in college. Now before I reveal that, I want to share that I truly was overweight by health standards, I had tried everything under the sun and nothing worked and I was in pain, my body physically ached. Overweight you say?? How much? Well to give you an idea I would guess close to 80lbs. Ok, so now you are getting the picture on my almost 5’1 frame. I remember walking to one of my college courses at the UW from my apartment and sucking my stomach in as the wind blew against me as I was embarrassed by what the wind revealed and I had had enough.
Now by "enough" you might be thinking "Oh great, she finally decided to eat right and get in shape". This was not the case for I was probably one of the best dieters around, I knew everything about health food and exercise and I was probably pretty disciplined compared to a lot of people. What I was doing here was a letting go, a grasp surrender. I never once stopped and invited my Lord and my Savior into my struggle and I finally lifted the white flag.
These battles come in all forms, shapes and sizes. It could be a relationship struggle, a career change, addictions of any kind, you know what you face.
The first thing the Lord said to me and started stirring in my heart when I finally looked at Him was something along the lines of…. "If I never remove this burden from you, if I never make you to be thin but have planned that you might glorify me right as you are now, will you surrender?" WOW. This hit me like a ton of bricks! You mean you might require me to worship you even in this state? You mean you might intend for me to remain here to carry out your purposes? Ouch, this hurt but it was from Him. I can say honestly, the Lord got my heart to that place as I allowed Him to press on me, where I could say, "Ok Lord, your will be done, I want what you want, I am your girl and this life broken and all is yours."
You might be thinking to yourself, "How could the Lord allow such a thing, I mean isn’t it a sin to be gluttonous or overweight?" I would have to say to this that yes, gluttony is a sin but being over-weight is not. How did I come to this conclusion? Jesus showed me that in this particular struggle in my life the sin laid in the not surrendering to Him, the sin was in the not yielding and proceeding to my own "solutions". His challenge to me was towards my heart, as I allowed him to change my heart I had to surrender my appearance, my weight, my being to Him. My life is His, even in this. Being gluttonous is a sin issue, it has to do with the heart, being overweight is a physical state that can be the by-product of many things and several of them not sinful, to assume sin is the cause would be naive and presumptive. I could also say that gluttony is also a presumptive heart issue attached to being overweight, aww the tailspin. Allow God to pin point the heart issue if one exists at all, whether fat or thin. It could be obsession with thinness, looking for purpose apart from God, caring too much about appearance, it is endless and great reasoning for why we must bring our pain to the Lord. He is the only one that knows truly what our heart’s struggle with, He is the great pin pointer : ).
This was a HUGE life change for me. Especially when we are constantly bombarded with the societal belief that to be skinny is righteous and to be overweight is slothful, sinful, wrong and needing of a cure…lies. An individual who has it "all together" on the outside may be screaming the same exact battle within but the appearance is manifested differently, oh we are so deceived! God is ALWAYS after the heart, the heart is His treasure, the heart is what proceeds this time on earth, this is where He spends His time and this is what He is taking with Him as we spend eternity together.
The Lord is a loving Father and after He spoke the aforementioned words to my heart and He got me to that place to true surrender, where I could say “I’m yours, not my own”, He then started to advise me, instruct me and guide me. It was the neatest thing, peace started to flow in abundance over this area of my life. He unraveled me and caused me to let go and hang on to His ride. You know what? I actually lost that 80 lbs over time but it would have been alright if the Lord said “no” as He has in other areas of my life. The Lord did something so much greater than the weight loss, I GAINED intimacy with Him. This became a journey together. I would ask Him what He was requiring of me and then I would obey and let go. Sometimes God asks us to do things, little things, that might not even make a lot of sense but it is His plan for freedom so just obey. He may require something of you that no one would suspect would be a door towards freedom but our wisdom is foolishness to the Great I Am.
So I lost that particular 8olbs and after pregnancy put some back on and life-long processes will always be processed as life exists and the goal was not the 80lbs anyways so lay it down “little one” for you possess the treasure He intended for you to have!! In all things surrender to Him, His ways are GREATER. I battle for joy in where I am, for where He enabled me to be and as long as I obey Him, I sink into gratitude for where He has placed me “imperfect” but perfectly His, broken, fellow soldier, in love with the greatest Love, You my God and King.