A basement is usually dark, cold, and dirty. That is where most people put their junk and broken tools and machines. It is a place where things are piled up and forgotten, yet they are taken up space, really. As I am sitting here typing, I am listening to Lisa Harper speak about abuse issues when she was a child and when she decided to let the Lord down into her basement. See, in abuse survivors’ basements, there are piles of guilt, shame, disgust, anger, and a bunch of other “junk” and “broken tools”. They are buried over and over again, just waiting for more junk to be piled on top. It will take more than one Jesus visit for your basement to get straightened out. The Lord helps you move and unpile all the junk in your basement, if you let Him. It is still dark, cold, and dirty during the moving, but understand if you allow Jesus Christ to be your mover, the basement will begin to become lightened, warmed, and uncluttered. We ordinarily do not like for people to go anywhere in our homes or property when it is dirty. We become embarrassed and apologize profusely that wherever “it” is, is a mess. Christ already knows about that dirt. He was there when that dirt and clutter was being added. He did not cause it, but He was already aware of it, so there is no need to be afraid to let Him down in your basement. He wants to help you clean it out. Ask him.
Monthly Archives: April 2012
This will be one of the hardest things I have ever written. It will be hard because I will be blatantly honest about my size and weight. So, maybe at this point some of you are asking, “Well, then why are you doing it, then?” The answer is simple: Because I have to. You do not need to understand that, but I do. See, I have a weight problem. I have a problem with food, and I sometimes eat for all the wrong reasons. A lot of people do, but I cannot write for a lot of people. I scare myself, and others (not on purpose), by my obsession with needing to not be as heavy as I am. Again, I focus on the numbers. I am 5’5″, and I weigh 222 lbs. I am obese. If you ask me, morbidly so. My highest weight has been 276. That was about two years ago. I wore a size 24 in jeans and a 3x – 4x in shirts. I like big shirts even now, however. It is humiliating for me to let you know those numbers. I have great shame in admitting those things. At the moment, I wear shirts that are 18/20, and my jeans are now 20/22. The 22’s are somewhat baggy. I want to lose another 80 pounds. I have been told that this number is too much. I have never been open about my weight with people I am close to let alone the free world. My stomach is in knots, and I have tears in my eyes. This is so very hard.
This is what the camera, and everyone else sees (I guess):
This is what I see:
I am not on a fishing expedition here. I am being as honest as one person can be. I am ashamed of how I look. I want to exercise more and harder to the point that it may not be the healthiest thing. I want to not eat. I have feelings of just wanting to exercise until I pass out. There is NOTHING ok about that.
Just so it is perfectly clear, I do not want to look like this either:
I just do not want to look they way I do. I am eating better than I ever have in my entire life. I am exercising more than I probably ever have. The weight is just not coming off fast enough. I am working hard to do the healthiest things, but the truth is that I struggle every single moment to do healthy. The temptation to use any drugs that will drop the weight is in the back of my mind. I would not do those drugs. Wanting to do the fad diets that have people dropping weight like crazy is in my mind. I understand that is not healthy. I am just being the most honest I can possibly be right now. I go to therapy to deal with these issues. I want other people who are going through this to know that they are not alone. I want any young girls who read this to know that you do not have to get caught up in what society believes is “thin enough”. I realized I was caught up in it way too late. I am not a stupid person. I am well-educated, but this type of “illness” does not discriminate. It does not care what color your skin is or how much money you have in your pocket. It does not care whether you dropped out in the 8th grade or have a certificate with Ph.D. on it hanging in an office somewhere. My goal is to love myself from the inside out. That is the only thing that will help me feel better about the way I look. I was told that recently by someone who loves me a great amount. So, now you know where I am with me. I will continue to fight to do things in the healthiest of ways. As I do, I hope that what I see changes as well.
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30
He bowed his head and gave up his spirit. He did that for me and you. We are so far from deserving of such love, yet, we get it. Open your heart and let it in. It is just there waiting to pour itself all over you, from head to toe. God gave his Son’s life, so that we may know everlasting life in Heaven. God loves us. Some of us are so stubborn that we refuse to accept that gift. Some of us believe we know better and that we are the ones in charge of our lives. Such fools are we. Even bigger fools are we who, not unlike the Israelites, were shown multiple signs of the Lord’s power and graciousness and still refuse to trust in God completely. He keeps giving and giving, and we still have doubt, fear, anxiety, worry, and a multitude of other negative things in our hearts. That is because we are human, and I am including myself in all that I talk about. Yet, God is so very patient. He loves us regardless of our foolishness, and He is so ready to forgive us. He gave His Son’s life, so that we are forgiven. His Son had our sins ripped across his body removing flesh, driven through his hands and feet, placed upon his head. His blood poured from his tattered body because He loves us. What gift have we given in return? Whatever you think you have given, it will never be good enough to get through the gates of Heaven. Bow your head. Give up your spirit, so that it may be guided properly by the One who loves you like nobody else will or can. Our debts have been paid. It is, indeed, finished.
When I was in elementary school, I learned the song “Stop, look, and listen before you cross the street.” It was to teach us to be careful crossing the street, to protect us. Stop before going into the street. Look both ways before walking. Listen to hear if anything is coming that could hurt you. When did I lose that lesson? Who knows? I do know that I lost it, and because it was lost, I allowed myself to be in overdrive, blind, and deaf. That’s dangerous, right? Just nod and agree here.
God has His own Stop, Look, and Listen lesson.
Stop and pray about what you do not know or are unsure of.
Look to God for your direction.
Listen to God telling you what is for your good.
When you do not heed God’s call, it is like running a red light, or a stop sign, right into the middle of oncoming traffic.
I have recently had memories of a particular pile-up. There was damage that I would not care to experience again. I had insurance that is God, but at the time, I was not paying my premium. I saw red flags, heard sirens, and ignored the stop signs. It was after that incident that I started learning to obey the “traffic signals”. Just like in elementary school trying to be taught how to stay safe and protected, I still had a teacher. An almighty teacher, at that. How dare I believe I knew better! There was collateral damage, too. Man, if I had only paid attention to the red flags, the flashing lights, and blaring sirens. I am so thankful that the Lord is forever faithful. He will never give up on trying to protect me and give me refuge.
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:7
The Liar has been banging away at me over the past few days and trying to get me to open my mouth and turn my focus from God. He wants me to remain in overdrive, to remain blind, and to remain deaf. That’s how I ended up in the accident to begin with. I am working very hard to not allow that to happen again.
It started with a child’s song to protect me from those driving around not paying attention. It has ended with me paying more attention than ever. I will forever: Stop, Look, and Listen.