Today is the day that I am sharing at Morning Break, from the final chapter in the book, My Big Bottom Blessing by Teasi Cannon (sorry – it’s kinda long…) Wish me luck!
Do you know what it’s like when you’re scared to see yourself?
Do you know what it’s like when you wish you were someone else?
Who didn’t need your help to get by; Do you know what it’s like, to wanna surrender?
Do you know what it’s like when you’re not who you wanna be?
Do you know what it’s like to be your own worst enemy?
Who sees the things in me I can’t hide; Do you know what it’s like to wanna surrender?
I don’t wanna feel like this tomorrow, I don’t wanna live like this today!
Make me feel better! I wanna feel better!
Stay with me here now, and never surrender!
Never Surrender by Skillet
When you’re smothering in self-loathing, insecurity, and untreated wounds, Life is a Battlefield! When you’re in the grocery store, does O Henry call your name? Does that size 00 Mom with 3 behaving children make you want to crawl under your cart? Do you obsessively read the headlines on the magazines at the check out counter, praying for a miracle like, I don’t know, “Lose 20 pounds Instantly by Breathing Right”?
At home, we have television shows like The Biggest Loser (a play on words?) or ads like the new Kardashian Glow Tanning Product – in less than 30 seconds I found out that a tan is something every girl wants; it makes me look skinnier, it makes me look better and 10 lbs thinner; when I’m pale I will feel a little bit heavier and less like myself…that glowy feeling will make me feel better and thinner. Barf!
Do you have an intimate relationship with bathroom scales? And don’t forget the bedroom [hold up flimsy lingerie]…please!
We are surrounded on the outside. And inside, too…humiliating experiences, damaged relationships, taunting voices, and open wounds. And our biggest enemy, Satan, knows just how to twist it all to his advantage.
Many battles have been won or lost in the pursuit of acquiring land…and once it has been won, the winning side better not lay down their weapons or they may just lose what they’ve gained. It’s the same when it comes to our emotional and spiritual territory, and Satan is a sore loser. His power can only hold us when we let it. He can certainly be called the god of this age, but he is not God! He is not omnipotent (all-knowing) or omnipresent (everywhere at once)…in fact, he is a created being just like you and me.
Jesus warned us that we’d have trouble in our lives, and that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph.6:12). But Jesus also promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and we are to “take heart” because He has “overcome the world”. We aren’t helpless victims. We can know God’s truth about who we are and how much we are loved. God’s truth is a weapon with more than enough power to protect and to heal our hearts. It is the light that expels our shame, and reveals the things that keep us captive in self-defeating cycles. It can teach us God’s definition of beauty – a body and a voice that glorifies God by using the gifts He has given us, a body and a voice that cares the weak and the wounded, a body and a voice that enjoys fellowship with others, and most importantly, with God.
I’ve put together 4 “practical” steps:
1) Be honest with God…share your hurts and your insecurities with Him, and ask for help to overcome. Our first reaction when we have a wound is to cover it with our hand. It is only when someone we trust comes to us with a bandage that we are willing to take our hand away and let them clean and dress the wound.
2) “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe”. (Prov. 18:10) When you feel that familiar sting, or hear that familiar voice, when you feel yourself starting to spiral into a self-destructive “pity party” – RUN to God. Don’t walk!
3) Be intentional about identifying and shutting out those things or situations you know influence the voices in our heads. That may simply mean changing the TV channel or it may mean some hard work to re-decorate the wallpaper in your mind.
4) Suit up! Put on the full armour of God every day!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Eph. 6:10-18)
Did you catch all that? OK, quick visual review:
Armour of God
1) Belt of Truth – holds everything securely…so you’re never caught with your pants down!
2) Breastplate of Righteousness – just as this garment disguises what you might be…ahem…lacking (thank you push-up technology), our spiritual breastplate hides what we lack in righteousness. When we accepted Christ as our Saviour, His righteousness became our own (1 Cor. 1:30)
Once our upper body is taken care of…
3) Slip your feet into a confidence-boosting pair of heels, the shoes of peace (move over Prada) and boldly take the good news anywhere God leads you, fearing nothing. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (or fear); but a spirit of power, of love, and of discipline (or a sound mind). 1 Tim. 1:7
4) Grab your purse, your shield of faith. We don’t want a cute clutch here; we want the biggest and sturdiest purse we can find because it may have to take a few bullets. Our shield of faith grows larger as we study God’s Word and experience more of Him in our lives.
5) And since we will never leave the house without checking our hair first, grab your can of hairspray to affix your helmet of salvation. This divine accessory declares to our enemy that we forever belong to God because we were bought at a high price through Christ on the cross.
6) And last, but not least, grab your Bible and your lipstick – they go together! Our lips need to be luscious because they have work to do – they’ve got to proclaim the Word of God. It’s our only offensive weapon, our sword of the Spirit and it needs to be sharp. Our enemy can’t read our minds, so we need to tell him verbally to “back off”, out loud, even if you’re the only one in the room. Even if you’re not!
7) And pray in the Spirit, with all kinds of prayers and requests. Be alert!
We can win our battles and hold our ground, not by focusing on our enemy, but by focusing on God. God has given us everything we need to run to the finish line, to not only stop reacting the way the enemy wants us to react, but to also react the way God wants us to. Yes, there will be days when we will be overcome, tricked, retreating…thank you God that Your “mercies are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness”. (Lam. 3:23). I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to settle for anything less than God’s best for me. I want to live an adventure for my King. I don’t want to listen to lies anymore – there have already been too many scars and missed opportunities. I almost missed out on this incredible adventure, serving as part of the team who organizes Morning Break, because I was letting my insecurities get the better of me. I asked God what He thought He was doing? Didn’t He know I didn’t have the ability to do this? God graciously put me in my place…He asked me, “what did you think I was doing the past 5 years when you were home with your little boy, and your only “me” time was reading My Word? You asked me for adventure…getting to know Me was only the beginning of the adventure!” He led me to Scripture that showed me where I was 5 years ago…and where I have grown –I’m just going to share 2 verses, because every time I am tempted to say “God, what are you doing? I don’t have the ability to do …”, this is my prayer!
“But all who are hunting for you – oh, let them sing and be happy. Let those who know what you’re all about tell the world you’re great and not quitting. And me? I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing: make something of me. You can do it; you’ve got what it takes- but God, don’t put it off”. [Ps. 40:16-17 MSG]
I don’t wanna feel like this tomorrow, I don’t wanna live like this today!
Make me feel better! God, I wanna feel better! Stay with me here now, and never surrender!