Tomorrow is July 4th, Independence Day in the United States. Growing up July 4th was my favorite holiday. We spent the week leading up to it shooting off fireworks, swimming and having the time of our lives with the neighbor boys. We didn’t have any other girls in the neighborhood which was fun for my sister and I because I think those boys made me a little tougher than I would have turned out otherwise.
Anyways, I loved July 4th. As I’ve gotten older the holiday has changed some for me and now I live in a county that we can’t shoot off fireworks… it’s kind of a bummer, I mean I get it, but it’s still a bummer.
This year, as I was thinking about the holiday and what our plans were a question popped in to my mind that I’ve been pondering. I honestly haven’t been able to stop thinking about it so I figured the best thing to do in that situation is to sit down and write.
Here is the question…
What is it in your life that is holding you back? What do you want to do, but you can’t because you have to break free in some area and you haven’t done it yet?
I think we all have something. We all have that “thing” that can bring us down or make us doubt our worth and our purpose.
Years ago, it was my addiction to food. It was the idea that without the food, or actually the binge because we all need food to survive, I would have to deal with the emotions I was stuffing down and numbing myself from.
I thought I was great at keeping this secret of my binge behavior, eating in my car, hiding the bags of food so no one would find them, or shoving food in my mouth quickly before my husband or family would find me with it in the kitchen when I was “supposed” to be doing something else.
This is what binge eating disorder looked like for me.
But, it doesn’t anymore. After 10 years of work, therapy, vulnerability and a heck of a lot of grace… I’ve declared my independence from my eating disorder.
That doesn’t mean I don’t struggle, I promise you that is not true. Today I am more mindful though. I know when I’m feeding my feelings a little too much and allowing food to numb my emotions. Some days I can recognize it before I start, other days I don’t. I don’t binge the way I used to. I overeat sometimes. I’m not perfect and I don’t always listen to my body, but the difference after all these years is this…
I spent years not even trying because I didn’t think I was strong enough to get past it. I couldn’t see my life without the binge. I NEEDED those donuts to numb the pain. I NEEDED that ice cream to cool my temper when I was angry at the cards I’d been dealt. I needed multiple candy bars that I would inhale because they made me feel “good”, for just a few moments when in every other moment of the day I hated myself.
I didn’t need the food… I needed Jesus, and when He got a hold of my heart, He softened it and He brought me to my knees. He saved me, He saved my marriage and He gave me the courage to fight the battle of my life against my eating disorder.
What do you need to declare your independence from?
- Spending money you don’t have and creating more debt?
- Drugs or Alcohol?
- An abusive or unhealthy relationship?
- Self doubt?
- Food Addiction?
- Are you a workaholic?
- Are you depressed?
- Fitting in with a certain group and not being true to yourself?
Whatever “it” is… it’s not too big that God can’t help you find freedom from it. I know it feels that way. I promise you I know, I’ve been there.
- Find a therapist.
- Drive to your nearest church and ask someone to pray with you.
- Get on your knees, right where you are and surrender it to God.
- Call a friend.
- Call a parent.
- Forgive that person who hurt you.
- Forgive yourself.
God hasn’t promised us that life would be easy, but He has promised us that we don’t have to walk alone in our struggles. He is there, waiting to help you declare your independence.
Today can be your Independence Day.
Don’t waste another day telling yourself you CAN’T… YOU CAN and YOU WILL once you decide you are worthy of freedom that is waiting for you.