Thursday, March 31, 2011

He Wants Your Ugly!

For years I hid the ugly part of my life. I hid it from the ones I loved and from my God, or so I thought. Of course, I know that nothing is hidden from the eyes of the One who created me.

I had a secret. It started when I was a little girl. My parents did not know about it. When I married, I managed to keep this one little detail of my life from my husband. My friends did not know. The people at my church did not know. I lived my life wanting to please everyone. I wanted others to see a perfect picture. I wanted everyone to believe that I had it all together and that was the image I portrayed.

It worked well for me until a little over a year ago. I had been on the mountain top with my Lord. His presense was so very real to me. I experienced Him daily. We walked together. And then one day it changed. I felt Him telling me to withdraw from my responsibilities. I stepped down as the Women's Ministry leader at my church. Friendships that I had treasured for years suddenly changed. As I sat in church one Sunday listening to the message, these words came to my mind Victory In Jesus, No Longer Living a Life of Defeat. I scribbled them down on a scratch piece of paper I found tucked in my Bible. What did they mean? Was it the title of a Bible Study or a book I was to write? Was it something I was going to do for God?

As I pondered these words in my spirit, I immediately knew that God was on to my little secret. He wasn't asking me to do something for Him rather He was about to do something huge in me. He was aware of my hiding place. Not only was He aware of my hiding place, but He wanted it. I began to run. It seemed like I ran forever. The distance between me and my Lord was cavernous. I was very lonely. I longed for Him, but the price was too great.

Meanwhile, I maintained the picture perfect facade. I didn't want others to know that the woman that had led them for years was now running from the very One she tried to point them to. What would others think? I had to just keep going through the motions. I attended church, but my heart was not there. I facilitated a Bible Study, but it was all just empty words strung together. How long would this last?

One day, I was laying on my bed doing my Bible study homework. It was very much me just going through the motions. Spiritually speaking, we were at a stalemate. He wanted this one area of my life and I was not giving it up. I knew why He wanted it. His daughter was being held captive. My secret had held me captive for more than twenty years. It had become such a very real part of me that I could not image my life without it. Yet, I hated it. Why couldn't I just let it go?

The secret that I carried with me was that I hid food -- mainly sweet things like Little Debbie cakes and candy bars. I had made food my god. I retreated to my hiding places when I was sad, lonely, depressed, happy, or bored. I used food to fill the void I was feeling at the moment. I hated myself for this. When I looked in the mirror, I hated the women looking back at me. I could not imagine how my husband loved me and wanted me. I was useless, ugly, worthless. My feelings about myself were dependent on the number that looked at me when I stepped on the scale. In my mind I had come up with a tolerable range. When I went over it, I loathed myself. This is the cycle I lived with for more than twenty years. It was not an everyday occurance, but was more frequent that I care to remember. Why would God want this?

Now back to that day where I lay on my bed doing my Bible study homework. I was reading in the book of Psalm. My assignment was chapter 146. When I got to verse 7, the breath literally left my body. Verse 7 reads ..."The Lord sets prisoners free." My sobs were uncontrollable. It was as if my Jesus had been running along side me all along and right at that moment He grabbed me by the shoulders. He began to whisper in my ear, "I can do that for you! I can set you free!" I could not catch my breath, all I could do was cry. Finally, I was able to whisper "Can You really Jesus? Can You really set me free?" In that moment I wanted Him to take it. The pain of hanging on to this area of defeat was too great. I struggled with how to give it to Him. I wanted Him to have it, I really did. I struggled over the next few days. I wanted to be set free but really did not know how to grab hold of the freedom that Jesus was extending to me.

Several days passed. I felt the Lord telling me to share this with my husband. He is a Godly man who loves the Lord more than he loves me. I am very grateful for him. We were on our way home and I told him that I needed to share a secret with him that I had hid from him for years. I know his heart had to skip a few beats wondering what bombshell I was about to drop on him.

The words would not come but the tears flowed. We sat in our car talking for what seemed like hours. We prayed together and then I took him by the hand and showed him my hiding places. I opened cabinets that for years had concealed my secret. I reached in jars that he thought were just for decoration, but which secretly contained evidence of my bondage. He collected it all and we threw it away. I was embarrassed. His strong, confident wife was broken and fragile. But that day I grabbed hold of the freedom that Jesus extended to me and I have not looked back.

I can tell you today, a year later, that Jesus has taken my cravings away. He has freed me from the self hatred that held me captive. Food is no longer my god. I no longer run to it to meet my needs. Jesus set this prisoner free!

Is there an area of your life that you can't let go of but you constantly feel guilty about? If this is true, then you are being held captive. Just as He set this prisoner free, He will do the same for you. All you have to do is lay down your yoke of slavery. Dear one give it to Him and let Him carry it. He wants your ugly!

This post was submitted in a giveaway being offered by Ann at A Holy Experience for a change to win a scholarship to attend the She Speaks Conference. This is a conference by Proverbs 31 Ministries and it is for those that feel God is calling them to speak, write and lead. If you have ever felt God prompting you in any of these areas, I would highly recommend the conference.

post signature

1 comment:

Malissa said...

Beautiful... love it and love you!