Mold me each day, Lord, into what You would have me to be.

Mold me each day, Lord, into what You would have me to be.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Truth Will Set You Free...

This is a very personal post (and a long one!) about something that is close to my heart, and I realize that by putting it out here in the blogosphere it will now be the equivalent of my wounds laid open for all to see. But, we all know that the truth will set you free..........and I refuse to wear these shackles a minute longer.

Some of you have been following my blog ever since it started, back when it used to be called Aprille's Weight Loss Journal. It was a daily diary of my food intake, exercise regimen, and weight loss. I also posted about things going on in my life, pictures of my family and stories about them, what God was doing in my life, etc. However, I began to feel that since I was blogging under the guise of being a "weight loss journal", that probably I should just be talking about my weight loss journey. So, when I had not lost any more weight or when maybe I had gained a pound or two - whatever the case may have been - if there was no progress, then I felt like a failure and that what I had to say was not worth reading. I began posting less and less, and Michelle began hijacking my blog more and more trying to get me to post, etc.

Finally, I decided to change my focus. I didn't want my blog to be all about my weight because it was not doing my self-esteem any good. Also, I felt like my weight should be a very small part of who I am, not the main part of who I am. So I changed the name after much consideration to "Clay in the Hands of the Potter", to remind myself and everyone else that I am being molded and shaped daily - that we are all being molded and shaped daily - into what God wants us to be (if we let Him, that is).

Feeling better about this, I got back to posting regularly, and in the meantime, my weight has been creeping back up - I now have gained back half of what I had lost originally. Depression began to creep back in as events have unfolded in my life. I can honestly say that "Life happened" in 2008 - maybe that doesn't make sense to you, but it just seems like my life in so many aspects was turned upside down, inside out, and to me in so many ways it just seemed unrecognizable. I began to turn to food instead of God, and I have had some really low points...........of course if you're judging by Weight Watchers - I guess that would be "high" points! LOL!

Using food as a crutch was a new thing for me. I have had an eating disorder for many years, but the disorder apparently switched from one end of the spectrum to the other. My usual mode of thinking would be to do without food, so leaning on food is really a big change. I was diagnosed with anorexia in college, and rather than actually talking to me about it or at least tell me what his concerns were, the doctor sent a letter to my parents. I had no idea of the diagnosis until my parents informed me. My parents didn't mention it to me at first, but they were asking me about my eating all the time while I was 7 hours away, "are you eating good?", etc., etc., all the while I didn't really even realize that I had a problem. Then, one day I made the mistake of asking a friend if they thought I needed to lose weight, and they said that it wouldn't hurt. That was all the excuse I needed - I immediately fell into full-blown anorexia. When I came home finally for spring break, my parents thought I looked like I was on drugs. Pretty, huh? Anyway, I have battled this mindset for years, although never actually falling back into it completely. I'll lose a little weight, put it back on and then some, and cycle around again. Always though, keeping myself from actually going back down that dark road (well, most of the time anyway).

Lately though, as I felt things unraveling all around me, and I began to shovel food into me as if my stomach was a bottomless pit, I started turning back to my old friend, Ana. I would plan and plot ways to do it without my family noticing. Yes, I was actually planning it out, ways and means to an end...to the end.

Thankfully, God reeled me back into reality. And the reality is that I cannot go back to that lifestyle, any more than an addict can in good conscience go back to her drug. There is nothing about that thought process or lifestyle that leads to any good at all. You end up pushing away the people that love you because you become so obsessed with the control you feel you have, but that you really don't have at all.

Well, some of you are losing weight in healthy ways (Michelle, Terri, Dianne, Tina), doing healthy things, things that make you feel better, not just look better. So, I have decided to stop this cycle now, and begin fresh tomorrow morning. I will be a good steward of this body I have been given so that I can be the best wife I can be, so that I can be the best mom that I can be, so that I can minister effectively, and be the kind of Christian that people want to be around - not someone that they dread to see coming because of the chasm of dark misery that seems to follow behind.

And so, in wrapping things up, I just want to share a few truths with you...

The truth is that I am overweight.
But also, the truth is that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
The truth is that I feel bad about myself.
But also, the truth is that I am a princess, a child of the King of Kings.
The truth is I have a real lack of self control.
But last and best of all, the truth is that HE IS....

HE IS my strength to turn away from the refrigerator and to my knees in prayer.
HE IS my resolve to not fall back into old, bad habits.
HE IS my confidence that I am more than the mirror tells me.
HE IS THE WORD that speaks life over me and hope, not eating disorders and death.
HE IS my victory, and through Him, I am an overcomer.


For some of you, this may be more information than you wanted to know, and if so I apologize. But I hope that this will speak to someone who maybe is fighting this same war within themselves. Don't give up, don't give in, and don't give the enemy another inch because we are overcomers by the blood of the Lamb.

Special thanks to Michelle, who has stood with me through all of these years of ups and downs. Thank you for being my forever friend, my sister in Christ, for being real with me, for loving me even though you know all about me, for helping me to stay level when you know the directions my thoughts sometimes lead me, for threatening bodily harm to me if you even see the slightest inkling of old habits slipping back in (LOL!), and for always telling me the truth, even when I don't want to hear it (but need to). I was truly blessed when I met you, and had no idea what an impact you would have on my life, and that all of these years later it would seem like we're family.

To Misty, who has been in my life for the past three years, and what a blessing you have been. Thank you for becoming a mentor to me, for guiding me and teaching me in ministry, and pushing me to become all that God would have me to be, to be the warrior that He has called me to be for Him. Thank you for seeing the potential in me that God has placed there, even when I have continued to doubt. Thanks to you and to David for allowing me to minister in your church, and for always believing in me. Thank you for your encouragement, for your wisdom, and also for telling it like it is - but always with kindness and a gentle spirit. You are a woman to look up to and I have been so blessed that God brought you into my life.

To Marla, You have been in my life for most of it, even though we didn't get to be good friends until the last few years. Thank you for your prayers that have meant so much. Thank you for always reaching in to my deepest reserves to try to pull out my fullest potential. You have so much to offer, and God is using you mightily to help stay-at-home moms get to stay at home! Thank you for always building me up, and for not allowing me to accept the lies that the enemy would try and spoon feed me about myself. Thank you for allowing God to use you without worrying about what anybody will say or think, but just walking in obedience.

Lastly, to all of you, my bloggy friends - thank you for all of your kind comments. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your prayers.

Love,
Aprille :0)

16 comments:

Elizabethd said...

Aprille, your writing touched my heart. I am fortunate not to have been through what you have been through, but have watched a daughter in the same trap many years ago.
I will pray for your strength. Always know that you are loved by our precious Lord.

Marla said...

It seems like I say this all the time-but you are amazing. You write like a pro, crochet like a spider, sing like a bird and on top of all of that you you are beautiful. I am so thankful to have you as a friend-my amazing little sister! I love you!

Michelle said...

April, I am so glad that you have gotten the revelation that you have. Life HAS happened in 2008 and we ARE making it through! We are overcomers and daughters of the King! And YOU are amazing!!!! I appreciate all that you said and I am so glad that you are my forever friend. You are precious to me and I love you!

Your sister in Christ,
Michelle

Aprille Roberts said...

Elizabeth, thank you for your kind words and your prayers. They are appreciated more than you know. Your family is still in my prayers too.

Marla, I just need to look at your comment a few times a day and that will help build my sel-esteem! LOL! Thank you so much, you're very sweet. Love you too!

Michelle, thank you. You've had quite a year too, and you're right - we will make it through! Love you!

Pinkshoelady said...

Hi April,
I am so impressed with your honesty and conviction of heart. God loves you and made you beautiful. I know you hear people say that and then look in the mirror and wonder if they are lying to you. I know because I too struggle with my body image. I have never fought the eating disorder battle that you have but my battles are mirror based and lies from the enemy just as well.
I would love to share my story sometime with you.

For now please keep shouting in your heart all the things that HE IS! also go read psalm 139 and put your name in there.

He loves you and I am praying for you.

Pamela R.

Aprille Roberts said...

Pam, thank you so much for your very sweet words, you are very encouraging. I look forward to hearing your story whenever you choose to share it. Thank you for your prayers.

I'll be praying for your conference this weekend. I believe God will really use you to minister in a big way!

((Hugs))
Aprille :0)

Terri said...

Aprille,

I'm proud of you for having the courage to share. Have the battle in fighting addictions (whatever they may be) is the ability to recognize your trigger points and when you are slipping back.

I'll be praying for you!

Love,
Terri

Aprille Roberts said...

Thank you Terri. I was a bit scared to share this for fear of what people would think of me. I just hoped in doing so, it might help somebody, and also by writing it down it helps me to face it head on instead of being swept under the rug as usual.

Thank you for your prayers, they mean so much to me.

Love,
Aprille :0)

Anonymous said...

April, I know that opening up like that was hard, but it has to feel like a burden that you have been carrying has been lifted from your shoulders. It is in the capable hands of Jesus! That is victory!
I understand. I have turned to food when troubles hit my life. I had lost 53lbs through WeighDown Workshop --(it starts with a fast,unless you are hypoglycemic or diabetic) it is where when you think you are hungry,head hunger, you are to turn to God's word(read it). You cut your meals in half( not large portions) and stop eating when you when you feel full not stuffed. Exercise is important, but not strenuous. I need to get back on it, because 'life has been happening' here. I understand.
I know myself well enough that weight watchers would not work for me. I do not like counting points or keeping a log of what I eat. I would feel like I was confessing to a priest my 'sins' instead of the Lord Jesus. I talk to Him when I eat too much or went to food instead of Him. It is what works for me. I hope my words are helpful and not hurtful. I would not ever want to have you hurt. You are of great worth to our Heavenly Father and He loves you so much! You are beautiful in His eyes!
Love,
Miriam :)

Anonymous said...

Dearest Aprille, I just want to to know that I admire you for your honesty and your determination to keep pressing on and following the Lord. We all have problems which we are often afraid of sharing. You have probably helped more people than you will ever know by being so open.

God Bless,
love and prayers,
Tina xxx

Aprille Roberts said...

Hi Miriam and Tina, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to comment back. I've been able to check my email, but have been having problems with the internet - my home page, etc.

First of all, Miriam, thank you for your comment. I don't think it was a bit hurtful, it just sounded very encouraging. I have never actually been through the weigh-down workshop, but a friend gave me the tapes back years ago, along with the workbook, I've just never gone all the way through it - I've done very little in fact. What I heard was very good though, I need to spend some time listening to that again. It has such good scripture study, etc. I cannot do weight watchers either. I can count calories, but not points.

Tina, thank you so much for your very sweet words. I was sitting at church today and I thought about this post, and I started to wish I hadn't shared it. I feel like I should be past this, and not struggling with it at all, and like it shows a real lack of something on my part to even be having thoughts of it - either maturity, or resolve, or common sense, or something! But the thing is that I am not perfect, but I am moving past this (God's moving me past it!), and I am striving daily to be more like Jesus. I really hope that it does help somebody. Thank you for your encouragement.

Love you ladies,
Aprille :0)

Tracy said...

I've been so busy that it's taken me this long to come back and check your blog and see what you're up to. I wish I'd had a moment sooner.

April, thank you for being so honest. You are brave and courageous! I pray that you will be able to walk forward with confidence and live a victorious life. It is, after all, the life that Jesus died to give you...a victorious one!

Aprille Roberts said...

Tracy, I SOOO understand about being busy - I'll try to catch up on reading blogs, only to find that I'm SEVERAL behind! LOL! Thank you so much for commenting me. You are very kind. I appreciate your prayers so much, and I know that God doesn't want me to live below the abundant life he has for me. He doesn't want any of us to live below our potential. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Tracy.

Much love,
Aprille :0)

Dianne said...

Aprille, I had no idea that you were struggling with a problem for most of your posts sound as if you had your whole world in control.

It takes a lot of courage to admit that you are suffering with a problem and I think you are so brave to be able to talk about it like you just did.

I would like to encourage you to stay close to the Lord who knows your every need and loves you more than any earthly person could but also to stay close to those who love and know you best and confide in them when you have moments of weakness.

I may be on weight watchers and may be losing slowly but I struggle too as I am sure others do. So, don't feel like you are the only one battling this problem with food. I think you are handling this the right way by just making good eating choices opting one food over another. It's a moment by moment battle and I will be praying for you and if you need encouraging just send me a post and I'll come over and see you.

You are very amazing and your honesty is refreshing! Keep up the good work.

Aprille Roberts said...

Dianne, thank you so much for your comment. No, I certainly do not have my whole world under control! LOL! Not even close! Thank you so much for your very sweet, very encouraging words. I have felt weak in having to post about this subject; thank you so much for telling me that you think it was brave - that's very uplifting to me. I've missed hearing from you, thank you so much for stopping by!

Love you!
Aprille :0)

Shauna Okongo said...

Aprille,
I love this post and can so relate to it. I have struggled with my weight for years, and it seems that since my children were born, I continue to lose. I can't seem to take any weight off, but just continue to grow larger. It seems like everytime I start some sort of program, life happens and gets in the way. So now I am the heaviest I have ever been, and feel quite awful about it. Anyway, sister, you are not alone in this battle.
On another note, thank you for the blog award while we were in Africa. I am so sorry that I was never able to respond back, as our connection was difficult and expensive, so our time was limited. Thank you so much! Grace and peace to you!