When I was struggling through year after year of depression, loathing myself, filled with anxiety and feeling hopelessly stuck, God began to show me my greatest enemy was my own mind. After He would no longer let people, circumstances, or old identities come to my rescue, He slowly began to teach me how to take my thoughts captive and how to renew my mind.
I don't know much, but I know the girl I was in those years is gone and who I really am is the girl typing this now. Ask anyone who knew me during that time how much I have changed and they will more than witness on my behalf, I am made new, by the renewing of my mind. God and His word in His patience did this.
As I have walked further and further into this freedom I began to stand in awe of how awesome and amazing this was. After being a believer for years it was once again made evident to me that God's Word works! It's not just beautiful words on a page if we apply it to our lives and circumstances things can change...we can change.
I began to wonder what else I could pursue freedom in? If this was available for other areas of my life, I wanted it. So I began to seek the Lord about my weight issues in regards to my mind.
What was it in my thinking or wrong belief patterns that were keeping me in bondage? What were the things that were my go-to behaviors based on what I thought about myself, health or others? Would I be willing to let Him speak to me about where I was getting it wrong and let Him bring truth, healing, and life to those areas in my mind?
I began to ask the Lord why I always gained the weight back, why it was I could have some success but ultimately seemed to self-sabotage?
Through some research on self-sabotage, I began to realize that I was trapped by my own judgment. I had been hurt by the health and exercise community, I thought because I would never fit in with them. They were a bit "over the top", extreme, and wasn't there more important things in life? The truth was I felt shame over my own failure and when I looked at myself through their eyes they were mean and disappointed with me. So I judged them as mean and judgemental, healthy elitest types, who looked down on chubby peons of failure like myself. I assumed they saw me as weak and inept and I presumed "those people" were mean and rude. Why on earth would I ever want to become like someone that I judged that way?
Even though logically I wanted to be healthy and I wanted to eat better and try, my heart and soul were there to protect me from ever really becoming "like them" and so I would self-sabotage to ensure that.
The Lord showed me I held deep resentment and bitterness and unforgiveness towards my mom and other people who I had perceived wouldn't love or accept me until I ate organic and joined their fitness program and tried hard enough to be "thin like them". I considered myself an outsider of a club I didn't want to be a part of anyways, I reasoned. I had to begin let God love me in these places where I held these deep wounds of rejection and show me that, just because I became healthy and incorporated working out regularly didn't mean I had to become this mean version of health that I had held in my heart and mind. I had to let that go, choose to love those people and forgive them and myself for being so harsh and critical.
No one told me I was an awful, lazy, overweight slob, I had told myself that. Every time I stood face to face with someone's self-discipline or success it reminded me of what an utter failure I had come to believe I was and the internal bullying began. The Enemy certainly doesn't have to work hard when he has your own mind on his side.
Fear of Success
As I began to notice my judgments more and more and ask for God's healing of my heart in that area, I began to trust that I could move towards health. I never realized I was scared that I would become mean and look down on people like I had felt all these years. I had to let myself know that no matter how much success I had, I wouldn't allow myself to become like that.
Because I had judged people so harshly for being successful, reasoning they must be freaky fanatics and doing something so shallow to meet their goals, I feared becoming successful. Other people would judge me the same, think the same, I would make them feel insecure or inadequate the way others had made me feel. I didn't want that, I didn't want to be unfairly judged....the way I had unfairly judged others?? Now I was seeing.
I was afraid people would abandon me, misunderstand me, I wouldn't be able to be as real or relatable if I had success, who would I be if I didn't have that piece of my identity for so long? But the truth was that success or failure or people's opinions aren't the things that define us, it's the Lord and truth and everything He says about us. It's about our hearts surrendered to Him. Would I be willing to trust Him and move forward towards freedom, even with the possibility that people, just like me, would be sitting behind their screens scoffing at me as I had?
The more I forgave and received forgiveness, became aware of how harsh and critical I had been of myself and others and ultimately receive God's love for me in this area, freedom began to move in, slowly but surely.
We have to be willing to let God shine a light on the long dark places that we may not even realize that we have been stuck in thinking. Your area may not be mine, but He is so faithful to reveal wrong and broken thinking that may be holding us in the area that we logically know we want freedom in and yet somehow remain stuck. Let's be brave enough to ask Him.
Watch the video below for more....
Next week: My Eating and Excercise (although not a magical solution, I will share simply for anyone interested as it has really helped me)