She was the human definition of "skin and bones". Her hair was thin and stringy. Her skin was coated in fake orange tint and the only thing covering her joints...every bone sticking out. She stood for what seemed like a lifetime, mulling over a yogurt choice....only to fill her cart half full with probably 30 containers of the "carb smart" brand. The only thing to rival it were packages of chicken breasts, jello and leafy green vegetables in plastic bags. She never looked anyone in the eye. You could feel the loneliness emanating from every pour. I could hardly stand to walk away from her. I wanted to run up and wrap my arms around her, cry my eyes out and beg her to get help. Its not often you see someone dying right in front of you.
I prayed and prayed and asked the Lord what to say to her. But I couldn't do it. I couldn't say anything. I was afraid I would offend her. I was afraid she wouldn't want to hear me. I was mostly afraid because I didn't feel like I had any authority to speak into her life. I have struggled my whole life with body image issues. My issues are vastly different in the way they are manifested but they come from the same place: insecurity, self-hatred and deception. I worried she would take one look at me and say, "Well, first of all, you're body is my worst nightmare...and what the heck are you talking about? You are as messed up as I am."
So I got in my car, drove away, walked in my front door and cried.
I don't even know why I'm writing this because normally I have some neat little way to wrap it up in a life lesson and we all can move on feeling warm and snugly. I can't do that this time. I'm too angry. I'm too angry at the lies we believe in. I'm too angry at the deception of beauty that too many women are buying in to. I'm too sad that we make choices, so many times, based on comparison, envy, insecurity and pressure. Women (and men) bound up in this war of lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes...being fooled into believing that all that life holds for you is what occurs when you spend your days trying to make the world believe you either are perfect or that you don't care (even though you do so bad its killing you) that you aren't.
So today I declare we get to have the day off.
Today, we get the day off from all of it...all the lies...all the hurt...all the pain.
You (and I) have a free pass. You are free to be who you are. No pressure. No lies. None.
You are free and loved and whole and nothing else matters in the world but that.
So take a deep breath.
Close your eyes.
Feel it. True freedom. There is no one to please...nobody else you need to be. Just you.
And guess what...you can have tomorrow off too. And the day after. And the day after that.
Just think of this as an eternal weekend.
Food for thought:
I thank you today for TRUE freedom. Papa, I pray that every woman (or man) that reads this would be overwhelmed by your love today. I thank you that in your presence, there is healing and fullness of joy. I thank you that when we are near you, nothing else matters. The warmth of your heart melts away the icy grip of sin and death and the trappings of this world. Papa, I thank you that you came to set us free and whom the son sets free is free indeed. I thank you that we don't need to be anyone other than who you have made us to be. You made us in your image, which is perfect and lacking nothing. We can cling to that truth and bind it on our hearts. I declare full freedom from self-hatred and condemnation to every person that reads this in Jesus' name. Papa, be near to the broken hearted and fill them with joy. Let your joy be their strength to fight back. To not give in. To grab onto their freedom with all that they have and to bind it on their hearts. Thank you for you love and that you never stop desiring us to love ourselves the way you love us. Let us not hold back anymore. A love war has been declared.
In Jesus' name I pray,
"But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."
"You are altogether beautiful, my love;
there is no flaw in you." Song of Solomon 4:7
"For you formed my inward parts;you knitted me together in my mother's womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works;my soul knows it very well."