See those girls? That’s me, and my baby girl. What you SEE is us snuggled up in a hug and her daddy snapped this of us on New Years Day. What you can’t see is the silent, hidden battle that I’ve been fighting for years.
Even though this post took a few minutes to compose, I feel like it’s taken me years to write it. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I watched my baby girl refuse to eat for days at a time from a tummy bug that it hit me. My mom has watched ME do that to myself for years. Years.
I can’t remember the first time I “shamed” myself for eating or eating too much, or making sure I needed to exercise off the calories I consumed. But I can remember all the times I’ve been limited from fully LIVING life because I’ve been trapped in a cycle of self-induced pain and shame and rejecting myself instead of accepting MYself. Exactly as God created me. I can remember all of the times I’ve bought oversized clothes or would look in the mirror and cry looking at my stretch marks after birthing my daughter.
This may not be the most eloquently written, but for the first time in so many years I can feel the pain I know I’ve caused my mom because of my selfish and what felt like out of my control body and self shaming. So many of you would probably look at me and never know there’s been a struggle. Isn’t that funny how often our biggest strengths can be our biggest weaknesses or battles? I’ve loved food for as long as I can remember. I remember making toast for the first time when I was maybe 3 or 4 and being so proud of myself. It’s not every day an 11 year old starts working for a wedding caterer and is catering weddings for 200 people by the age of 14. But yet at the same time, I’ve used food to hide. Serving everyone around me so I wouldn’t have to eat myself.
I really can’t believe I’m being this bold on social media, but then again, I can. Because I believe that freedom truly comes when we are wholly surrendered to God. This past weekend, I feel like I truly met the Holy Spirit in a way words will never express, and those who were with me I’ll forever hold so dear to my heart. And isn’t it funny how God prepares our hearts for moments we need to be broken. He uses our brokenness to draw us to Him. How thankful I am that His love is not limited or on a timer. He’s waited for me for years to draw near to Him. And yesterday morning as I walked in the doors of our church, the words echoed through the foyer, “I will build my life upon Your love, it is a firm foundation, I will put my trust in You alone and I will not be shaken,” and I could say firmly that my foundation is in Jesus Christ, and my LIFE is built upon the LOVE He has for me and you, not built upon the shame I’ve given myself for so long. Just a few moments later, I found myself jotting down the phrase, “Surrender to Win.” So this is my proclamation. I’ve wholly surrendered this battle, but I’ve felt the tug to share this here. For multiple reasons. For one, I know I’m not the only girl in the world to have fought a silent battle. I’m here to tell you there is NO shame in sharing it. There is no shame in being brave and bold and saying, “hey, I’ve been struggling.” And there is no shame in crying out for support or help.
In fact, that’s one of the bravest things you can do. And secondly, comparison is the THIEF of joy. How many of us turn to social media when there’s a quiet moment, and you find yourself scrolling and see the perfect home with shiplap walls and subway tile backsplashes and think to yourself, “Wow, if only.” Or you see an inspiring person and think “Wow, if only…” And THIS very reason is why I felt so convicted to be bold. Because there is not a SINGLE one of us who isn’t fighting a battle. And the battles we face can knock us down on our butts and can drag us through life if we let it. It can steal your LIFE away and steal your joy, and that’s EXACTLY what Satan would want for us to do. That’s EXACTLY what Satan desires. But I’m here to tell you exactly the opposite. That SURRENDERING your life and your battle, will give you the greatest victory in Jesus Christ. Authentic disciples of Jesus Christ surrender to win. So, friend, I’m right there alongside you. It’s not too late to give it up. To lay it at the foot of cross and say, “Take it, Jesus. Take my life and let it be, all for You and for Your glory.” Because, the world has yet to see what God will do through the person who is wholly yielded to Him.
This mama wants to see her daughter grow up confident and radiant and SURE of the beauty that her Creator has crowned her with. I want her to be able to look in the mirror and see the beautiful daughter she is. But more than anything, I want her heart to blossom with a surrendered JOY and victory because she has been NAMED and chosen and set apart for greatness for her Creator, JUST like you and I. <3 <3 <3