If you are a judgmental person, then please stop reading immediately. This is not for you. If you are reading so that you can feel better about your “Self” – your own less large failures – by comparing them to mine, then you can let this pass as well. But if you are in need of mercy, compassion – maybe even some understanding – then greetings to you. Read on.
The thing is, we all have struggles. We all live with areas where we are failing, and we all know what it is like to have places where we are not yet walking in the fullness of the victory Jesus has won for us. Our struggles may look different from one another on the outside, but if we were able to peer within the angst of a person’s soul awake in the middle of the night, tossing and turning with grief and self-blame, we would recognize the similarities.
I have my share of struggles. I have more than my share of victories. I am well acquainted with failure and I am bathed in measureless grace. Yet, the grip food has had on me remains the defining battle of my adult life. I get free. I think I’m done. It comes back. It has caused me tidal waves of embarrassment and swept me away in shame. It has led me to dig deep in order to stand against the screaming accusation that as I am failing here – in such a key area – I am disqualified as a lover of God, a teacher of his goodness, a woman meant to draw others to his heart.
It is simply NOT TRUE. Not for me. Not for you.
No one chooses to carry excessive weight. No one signs up to have an obsession with and an addiction to food. No one stands in line to bear humiliation and to feel disqualified from the life they had hoped to live. Shame, self-loathing, and self-hatred are wicked stepsisters releasing the fumes of hell. They are aligned with the enemy’s sulphuric breath. They are familiar partners with every addiction. They make up the links of unyielding chains. They are LIARS unseated by the Blood of Jesus.
Here’s something to consider…maybe your addiction, maybe mine, is not actually our fault. Maybe the reason for it does not lie in some massive lack of self-control and failure as a human being. Perhaps it is not related to the people in your life. Maybe your husband has nothing to do with it. Maybe your lack of one is completely unrelated. Maybe your children are innocent bystanders. Maybe you are.
If you are struggling now, what if the unseen enemy has targeted you from the very beginning because he knows what your destiny is and he has unleashed every weapon in his arsenal to keep you from living in it and from it. What if he so fears you that he has tried to bind you in agony to keep you home – keep you silent – keep you from offering what you possess and see and love. What if you are more glorious than you even dreamed? What if it’s true that though man looks at the outward appearance, God does look at the heart and when he looks at you - you take his breath away? What if what has been forged in you through this fiery, painful ordeal is more priceless than gold? Because even now as you read, you are glancing Jesus’ way yet again for hope, for change, for freedom, for strength, for love, for faith, for mercy, for one more day - and in so doing, you are conquering his heart.
Go ahead and ask him. He speaks “YES” over you.
The answer is “Yes”. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
And it begins on the inside. It begins with a rejection of self-hatred and an embracing of self-love, which is simply agreeing with how Heaven feels about you. Until we agree with what Heaven knows about us to be true, our lives will not go or flow or flourish as they are meant to.
We know from the Word of God that his mercies are new every morning. They never run out. He is not tired of us coming to him again. And again. And oh yeah, again. He looks at us with compassion. He understands our struggles and why we have them and the truth that THEY DO NOT DEFINE US. Only Jesus does that, beloved. Only Jesus.
You are your Father’s child. You are the beloved of God. You are the chosen and holy one who has been bought with the precious blood of Jesus and you belong to him. Your future is assured. Your destiny is stunning. One day you and I will run in a depth of freedom not known since the Garden and we will look like, and be, who we truly are.
Even now, he says we are beautiful. He is not disappointed. He is not ashamed. He beckons us again to come close. To forgive him for not freeing us with a snap of his fingers but in some mysterious reckoning of eternity allowing this struggle to continue. Maybe this is one of the ways that we are sharing in the sufferings of Christ Jesus. Maybe. For a little while.
And the way that our addictions have harmed the ones we love? Oh God, we plead your mercy. We ask for their forgiveness. And may what they have suffered be added to the account making up the balance for all our Jesus endured.
Because freedom is our birthright. Again I tell you, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Free from Self-Hatred.
Free from Shame.
Free from Condemnation.
Free from Accusation.
Free from Judgment.
Free from Sin.
I don’t want to be fat forever. Not on this side. I don’t believe I will be because I am discovering the assignments and strongholds the enemy has made and claimed and I am breaking then, rejecting them, and cutting them off in the mighty Name of our King. Satan has lost. He has lost me. And fat or normal weighted, I am the beloved of Christ and so are you.
Press on. Press in. You are invited and welcomed into the arms of your Father.