Thursday, September 17, 2015

I Love Ice-Cream Until I Hate It

When I see ice-cream in the freezer, I get really excited. I probably forgot it was there, and after a day of  school, writing, debate and speech, it looks exceptionally lovely. All sweet and creamy and cold and sometime have cookie dough, and that's even better.

But after a second, the excitement fades. I don't mind going through the trouble of washing a bowl, getting a spoon, and thawing the ice-cream. That's all worth it for the sweetness and general loveliness. But other concerns cross my mind.

I probably shouldn't have any ice-cream, especially after everything else I ate today.

I mean, my hips are big enough already.

And have you seen the way my thighs get all wide when I sit down?

Or the way my legs jiggle so grossly when I run?

Or ... anything else.

Regardless, I find some excuse--I won't have any tomorrow, or I'm going to play Frisbee tomorrow, or whatever--and scoop the ice-cream into the bowl. I pull my laptop up and edit my novel, taking a few bites, keeping my cat's nose out of it.

I finish, and leave the bowl or mug on the coffee table until I go to bed. It's when I'm in bed that my mind goes back to the ice-cream.

The vanilla and cookie dough don't feel as good anymore. The ice-cream doesn't seem as sweet anymore. My excuse isn't as valid anymore.

I don't feel happy anymore. The joy has faded. Instead I feel regret. I feel fat. I feel ashamed. I wish I could throw it up and--

Did I really just think that? Even if I know I would never do that (I would never do that, right?), the thought scares me. 

My excitement over the ice-cream is long gone. Instead, every food I ate over the day is running around in my head, reminding me how I failed to eat healthy like I want to. How I failed to eat less like I want to.

Tears sting my eyes. Another thing I messed up, along with schoolwork, debate research, and speech writing. Not to mention my general awkwardness. And the million other things I messed up.

I shouldn't be thinking like this. And there's another thing I failed at--not thinking about what I think I failed at. How, exactly, can I succeed here?

Can you love something and be afraid of it at the same time? Because food scares me, but I love it too much to quit eating it. Food is good, right? You need food to live and stuff. Plus it's enjoyable.

Until it's not.

Until it becomes a source of shame and self-hate.

Until it makes you want to throw up.

Until it makes you scared to eat.

Food isn't the problem. 

Fear is.

Fear I won't be thin enough. Fear I can't get past this. Fear people would treat me different if they knew I struggled with this stuff. Fear I won't measure up.

But I know now, and I'm learning...

|| "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."  -1 John 4:18 ||

There's no pressure, not from the One who matters. No pressure to be perfect. No pressure to measure up. No pressure to be something I am not meant to be. No pressure to be something someone else tells me I should be.

No pressure. That's all that's up.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Start Here.

For the one who desires to be honest, but are afraid others won't accept your brokenness

For the one who has heard the word grace a thousand times, but don't know what it really means

For the one who wishes she were confident, but can't figure out how

For the guy raised learning Sunday School answers, but feels like he doesn't know anything

For the girl who wants to make a difference, but feels too small to be noticed

For the "cool kid" who knows how to be liked, but is crushed when they aren't

For the teenager who has something to say, but fears no one will listen

For the good girl who is breaking inside, and the good boy who won't show his struggles

For anyone who wants to be brave, but doesn't know where to start

I'm writing for you.

I'm afraid of honesty, but I know the risk is worth the reward. The only reason I know what grace is, is because I need it every day. I try to be confident, but I'm still learning how.

Bravery isn't just moving to a new city. It's not roller coasters, skydiving, or tightrope walking across the Grand Canyon. Courage isn't just being a missionary overseas. It's not starting a charity or speaking in front of a crowd in from a thousand people.

Bravery doesn't start big. It starts with a small step outside your comfort zone. Then another step. And another after that. You say the next yes, and the next one, until you look back and see how far you've come. Bravery is learning and living out the lesson. It's being afraid of coming change, but choosing to face it anyway. It's knowing that you're not perfect and being able to receive grace.
Use your words, your actions, your heart. Use the gifts God has given you.

I want to be brave, and I want you to join me. I don't know everything, but I'm learning.

If you want to be brave, but don't know where to start

Start here.