She thought she was fully alive. Little did she know she was slowly dying inside. She wasn’t finding her life, she was letting it slip away. She was that girl, the one who would go to retreats and hear people say, “Write down the biggest lie you believe,” but she never could. She was that girl, the one who never wanted anybody to know. The one who thought she could just keep it in a cage, bottle it up, and cocoon it, keeping it “safe”…where she thought she had control. After all, it was her way of coping. It was her way of keeping something out of chaos, yet her mind would never rest. A million lies would dart like fruit flies every second through her mind. She was that girl who was slowly fading away, losing everything that she thought was bringing her life. She was a domino. Every choice she made, every lie she believed, every meal she avoided. When she fell, everyone else would be affected. Because those she loved, and those who loved her, were hurting because of her selfishness. She thought that every day would be one day closer.
One day closer to finally reaching it. Yet the harder she tried, the longer she stretched out her arms trying to grasp it, the farther from reach it became. The more painful it was, the more weak she became, the more clouded her thinking, the more exhausted her body. She couldn’t give it up. Deep down, she knew the truth.
She knew that’s not what identity was. Yet she thought maybe…just maybe, if she restricted one more meal, if she could wrap her fingers around her ankles, if she could see her hip bones, if she could just slip into those tiny jeans…she’d have made it. So why, for all these years and years was it harder and harder to reach? She was never satisfied, and she never would be. Yet she thought maybe she could just try her entire life and finally REACH it. She’d wait till the afternoon to swallow her first bite, because she’d think to herself, “I only have a few hours left I could eat anyways, so let’s just hold out till 3 pm.” She subconsciously thought, “No pain, no gain.” Yet every hunger pang, every muscle cramp, every headache, every stomachache, every dot of acne that seemed to multiply by the hour, every time her toes turned black…she thought she was one step closer. When she was just slipping…falling down backwards deeper and deeper into a pit of frustration, anxiety, worry, stress, and…fear.
She didn’t want it. She didn’t want this. She wanted to be able to enjoy her life, bringing Him praise in every thought, every action, every word…yet the lies clouded her thinking. They overwhelmed her very being, and they started showing themselves…from the inside out. She found her identity not in a number on the scale or a size of pant, but with an “ideal” she considered success, that she called beautiful. When really…that identity would never be her. That identity was the identity of the enemy saying, “I’ve got you.” That ideal, that identity, that lie. The lie that whispered constantly, “You’ll reach it. You just have to wait a little longer. You just have to starve yourself a little while more. And then you’ll be there. And then…the world will say ‘wow, she’s beautiful.'” But…what would be the gain in that? Would she reach it from a hospital bed?
She told herself that was what brought her life. Yet she knew that it wasn’t. She knew it was wrong. She knew it was a foothold the enemy would whisper was “normal”. Yet who was she honoring? No one but the enemy. Every lie was letting his grip and chain squeeze a little tighter around her. She couldn’t shake it. She couldn’t loose the bond, the yoke of pain.
In her pride, selfishness, and incredible fear, she thought that letting it go…no one would accept her. No one would call her beautiful. After all…it was a slippery slope, a tricky road to walk. Her love language was words of affirmation. So slowly…she found her identity in the words people would say, in the things the world would whisper was success.
And she was losing her identity in the One who wanted her to hear the words…
He wanted her. Every single bit of her. She’d surrender, lay it all down. Take rocks and chuck them across the river to tangibly “throw it away”…yet the enemy just would whisper constantly, “Don’t do it. You’ll lose.” Yet what she couldn’t see was that…by throwing it away, He would win. Her fear of losing a control she never had to begin with…it terrified her.
When she looked in the mirror at herself, disgusted by the acne that she’d never dealt with before, the physical pain of not being able to stretch out her legs because of the cramps and nerve sensations, the laser treatments and acne extractions that caused her to wince and flinch and squirm, the bloodwork to figure out why her face just wouldn’t clear up…it was just the still small whisper of the One who calls her chosen, beautiful, accepted, equipped, and enough, saying “Trust me. I see you, my daughter, for who you are in Me, not for what you think you need to be.” It was the faithful, constant life-filled whisper of Him, nudging her to just finally break free. Give it up.
She’d find herself in a puddle of tears, sobbing. Trying to wrestle through the pain, the fear, the stress, the worry of, the immense lie of, “My husband won’t want me like this. He won’t want me if I’m not what society says is beautiful. If I have an inch of fat or a spot of acne. He won’t want me.” She’d find herself wading through lie after lie after lie, when all she wanted was to reach the truth but she couldn’t reach the Father because the fog of sin was too thick. She’d find herself walking with her hands out trying to reach clarity. Trying to reach the edge where she could just jump off…give it up, be done. But fear would just hold her back.
So when she slipped on her wedding dress to try it on a final time, and it was too small…she gave up. It was the final thing. So when she laced on her shoes as tight as she could and ran up the hill to just…run it out, He met her there.
And He said…as clear as day, not a bit of fog, “You, My daughter, are My Bride. I choose you. I create you in My image, My daughter. You came from Me, and you will return to Me. I see you. You are beautiful to Me. You are enough to Me. And you are beautiful, because I have chosen you to reflect Me in a way no one else can. But you haven’t been able to reflect Me, because you’ve been wrestling from the inside and fighting a battle that I’ve already won. A battle that you thought you had to fight alone…but you don’t need to fight it at all, my daughter, because I see you for who you are in Me, and you are enough. You don’t need to be any more than that.”
So…right there. When she laid it down. She found her life. She breathed again. She crumbled at the foot of the Cross and He met her there. He picked up her chin and kissed her cheeks and started healing her from the inside out. And He started whispering truths. That she was beautiful no matter what. It didn’t matter whether wearing a paper bag or a beautiful lace dress. He looked at her with the same soft, tender eyes and didn’t term her Forsaken. He called her “Sought After.” That she wears a crown of beauty in His hand. Because she is far more precious than rubies. She is chosen. She is chosen for a purpose. She was handpicked to be His daughter. She is loved by her Father. He picked her up when she couldn’t walk and gave her wings to fly. And when her wings weren’t strong, He wrapped her up in His and stilled the lies and said, “I’ve already won. Remember that.”
And for the first time. She said no to lies. She said no to the lies that were killing her and she found her life when she laid it down. Her heart started beating again. And He smiled, because He saw His daughter coming to life. She was crowned with beauty, she glowed. She radiated purity, hope, victory. Because she has been crowned with a crown of victory from the One seated on the throne.
I wish I had more words to conclude…but, sweet friend, victory can be yours. Choose it. And every, single day when the lies are outside the door waiting to come in, choose to say yes to the truth. Because every single day, every single truth you choose to believe will form a habit until you live a life of victory, and you choose one victorious habit after another. You are more than a conqueror in Christ.