This post talks about my faith.
I know that not all of you believe as I do, so I wanted to tell you up front this is about my relationship with Jesus.
Feel free to skip it if you want, but if you are hurting, I encourage you to keep reading.
3 years ago, I was utterly and completely broken. I was overweight, we had just moved into a tiny crappy rental, and I was deep in a depression.
In my previous life (before Matt came along as my knight in shining armor), I was told some very destructive words.
You are fat.
You have no talent.
You cannot be a good mother.
You can never support a family on your own.
You cannot be happy without me.
No one will ever love you.
Words are a funny thing- they are spoken to you, you hear the sound, and those words are gone. Except your brain imprints them into your being. I wrote a song called Survivor and one of the lyrics says this:
A few days more and all the marks he left will go away,
But time can’t make her heart forget the words he had to say.
And those are the most honest lyrics I could have ever written.
So powerful, so fleeting from our mouths, so PERMANENT.
3 years ago, even though I had already married Matt and moved on, those words spoken so long before still held power over me. They lorded over my life as if I was wearing a tattoo on my forehead, and knew the whole world could see it. While I intrinsically knew those things he’d said about me weren’t true, my mind constantly ran them over and over like a top 40 song being repeated on the radio.
One night, as I wrestled with those words- ugly, fat, talentless, unloveable- I reached my breaking point. It was 2am, the rest of the house was asleep, and I fell on the floor in agony.
“God, show me that this is not who I am.”
And I cried. I cried out, I bawled, and I begged God to come to me.
As I sat on my floor, drowning in my sorrow, the most amazing thing happened.
I felt arms from behind me hold me. No one was there, because I looked. But I knew the arms of Jesus were wrapped around me, and in that moment, I was sitting in the lap of God. His was the only lap I wouldn’t have crushed at (at least) 238 pounds.
I have never known such a peace amid my devastation. There were no words that I heard, I just felt comfort. Broken as I was, God unveiled his glory to me when I needed him most.
I sat and cried for 2 hours. And he was holding me that entire time. I told him every hurt, every memory I could recall, and he took it all in like the KING he is.
Finally, as the tears dried up and I ran out of things to say, I felt him slip away as softly as he’d come.
I stood up from the floor, laid on the couch, and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, I knew what I had to do.
I had to change. I had to forgive. I had to grow. I had to choose to trust in love. And I had to learn how to let Jesus be the one to lead me.
Now, here I am. 3 years later.
I no longer believe the lies once spoken over me.
I KNOW they are not true.
I was fat, but I’m not now. And it’s taken me the last few months to be able to say that. But I’m saying it now.
I have talent. I am artistic and creative. The fact that so many of you are reading these words today prove to me that I have much to offer this world.
I know I’m a good mom. We don’t spoil our kids, but handing them the world isn’t being a parent. It’s the bedtime kisses, listening about their days when they get off the bus, wiping away their tears, teaching them how to deal with opposition as peacefully as they can. Training them to be socially active if there’s an injustice. Letting my heart break 10 times harder than theirs when they have been hurt by fickle friends at school. Listening to them, and not telling them what they think. Teaching them to think for themselves.
I can support my family, but Matt has graciously allowed me the honor of being a stay at home mom. I owe him the world for that. Every penny he makes supports these children, and they are not biologically his. But they are his kids, to be sure.
I have found happiness. Sure, my life is not often a bed of roses, but that has nothing to do with my personal happiness. My happiness comes from knowing that whatever is going on, there’s a joke to be found somewhere. We can always be thankful and happy that even though our lives aren’t perfect, we are together as a family, and we don’t need things to supply a sense of joy. In fact, the less concerned we are with things, the better life gets!
And I am worth loving. I am loveable. Matt loves me, no question. But at last, I have learned that I truly love myself. At last. Did I deserve to be a victim of domestic violence before? No, not one person in the world deserves that. But being broken by someone makes the love of someone else even sweeter. I can appreciate and embrace that my life is very full of love indeed.
I know that something like a diet seems so trivial to others on the outside, looking in. But my life has been forever changed, and continues to change as I press on to the final goal. I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of- if I lean completely on Jesus. Together, he and I have healed some serious emotional wounds that I thought I might carry around forever.
But most importantly, I have learned that when you are broken into a million pieces, you can be made whole again.
My shape is different, my heart is different, and I am different.
And I never would have known it if I hadn’t been broken.
There is beauty in my brokenness, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.