My weight does not define me.
My weight does not even begin to describe me.
It’s a number. That is all.
There it is.
That number is not what I weigh today, and I hope to never see that number on the scale again.
In the meantime, while I continue the journey of making peace with my flesh and bones, I can tell you that there are times when I have allowed that number to silence me and keep me from doing things that make this world a better place. There have also been times when “being who I was created and redeemed to be” (as Bob Hamp defines the word freedom) has leaked out through the barriers that I have put up to help me feel safe.
For far too long and far too often I have allowed that number to define me and shape my identity. As I continue the journey of healing, that number will continue to change. Not because I obsess over it, but because of Who I am allowing to change me. Because of Who does define me and Who does give me my identity, which I have struggled with all my life.
It’s taken me a long time to come to the place where I believe that I am worthy of His love and care, not because of what I’ve done (or not done) but because of what He did. Because I am His child.
Because each of the children that I birthed into this world was worthy of my love and care before they could speak or do anything of significance. The moment I held them in my arms for the first time they were already loved, secure, accepted, and significant in my life.
Matthew 7:11 says, “If you being [human*] know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him?”
[*human: I’m using the Greek definition of the word evil, meaning “in a physical sense: diseased or blind”]
Being human in this sense means that I can sometimes be described using any number of adjectives:
weak, hurt, injured, lame, ailing, battered, wounded, debilitated, crippled, maimed, traumatized,
messed up, broken, flawed, imperfect, defective, faulty, blemished, damaged, botched, cracked, leaky, marred, confused, unfit, dysfunctional, frail, crazy, deranged, unhinged, unstitched, unglued, unsteady, impaired, abnormal, unfinished, incomplete, twisted, warped, contorted, mangled
soiled, sketchy, adulterated, deficient, lacking, insufficient, deprived, inadequate, unsuitable, not enough.
Contrast those adjectives with just a few that describe my Heavenly Father:
good, whole, perfect, excellent, safe, strong, healthy, sufficient, enough.
Now read that verse again…..”If you being [human] know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him?”.
That number will change because there is One who describes me with words like: accepted, secure, and significant in His Kingdom. When He looks at me, He sees me and calls me “beautiful” and “beloved”, and tells me that He is well-pleased with me. He was well-pleased with me the moment I was born (again) into His Kingdom and before I ever did one significant thing. My messed-up childhood, and growing up without a father, left me with wounds that made it hard for me to believe what I heard when He spoke those words over me. My journey to really believing it is true has been a long one.
There’s a handful of people in my life that I’m hoping, if they read this and see that number they will be kind and compassionate, and will withhold judgement and not feel ashamed of me. My own shame about that number and my personal struggle with my weight has kept me from sharing more of my story with those who need to hear it. That number changes, daily sometimes, and it’s a number that I have allowed to silence me for too long.
I thought it was okay for others who struggled with their weight to say and do things that make this world a better place, while holding myself to a higher (impossible) standard. A standard that goes something like this: “When I can ‘pull it all together’ and maintain that pulled together state over a long enough period of time (in other words, for the entire rest of my life), then I will have proved my worthiness. Then I can speak.”
Because I believed I had to meet that higher (impossible) standard, I have, for the most part, kept silent. I have sat on my hands when I wanted to write, and put my hand over my mouth when I wanted to speak.
If I waited until I pulled it all together, and then held it all together, for the entire rest of my life, before I speak, well, you see the problem with that. I won’t ever speak. No one will hear my story.
Those who know me well would tell you that I have spoken and written, and they are right. In spite of all my hangups, parts of my story have leaked out through the cracks!
If you only knew how long I resisted telling my story for the first time, and how hard I have worked to overcome all the obstacles that were in my way…
In her book, I Thought it was Just Me, Brene Brown writes, “Stories require [courageous] voices to speak them and [compassionate] ears to hear them”.
This is only part of my story. I hope your compassionate response after reading this is, “I hear you.”