Tuesday, September 4, 2012

on putting the broken pieces back together...

You can't ever be certain how deep a wound actually is until the scab has been ripped off. 

For me, some wounds have cut to the core of my very soul.  And nothing can make you want to heal those old wounds quicker than mothering a baby girl.

There is healing in telling.

You see, I never want her to be wounded the way I have been.

My earliest recollection is from the fifth grade.  Our school was hosting a Sadie Hopkins dance for the fifth and sixth graders.  With all my nerdy angst, I mustered the courage to ask a classmate to the dance.  And his response shattered my heart.

'I don't think so. You are too fat.'

And so the dieting began. 

In the fifth grade.

Over the course of the next ten years, I defined myself by the number on the scale and the size of my clothes.  My weight and size fluctuated for years.  I tried every diet thrown in my face.  Cabbage soup diet.  Restricted calorie diet.  Diet Shake for two meals and sensible dinner diet.  Low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie diet.

At the ripe old age of twenty-one, entering my last semester of my senior year of college, I found myself on the edge of a dangerous slope.  And while this is scary to put in black and white, the truth must be told.

I found myself obsessed with diet pills and over-exercising.  Addicted would be a better term. 

What started as a way to drop a few pounds fast, rapidly spiraled into something much more serious.  Eventually, I found myself eating less and less and exercising more and more.  To the point that I stopped eating all together.  For about nine months, my body survived off of nothing more than diet pills and diet shakes, with the occasional laxative for dessert.  

And while the number on the scale and the size of my clothes were plunging at speeds I could not keep up with, I just could not quite get skinny enough. 

Friends and family were concerned.  But the charade continued for months after the first confrontation.

Over and over I heard the words that haunted me well into my dreams at night.

'I don't think so.  You are too fat.'

So while bones were threatening to peek through and hair was starting to fall out, I saw the pleasingly plump girl I had always been.  The person reflected back at me was like looking through a fun house mirror.  Warped and distorted.

Lies from the Enemy, festered in the wound of self loathing, had warped my entire image.

Years later, God sent me a man hand-picked from above.  A man who would take one look at my outer person and see right through to my heart.  A man who tells me I am beautiful regardless of my size, shape or smile. 

This man, my husband, with all the rocky terrain we have crossed together, has helped strengthen my relationship with Jesus. 

I find myself, in this mending process, clinging to the promises of my Creator. 

I hear Him whispering to my broken, but healing spirit, how He doesn't make mistakes.  I hear Him rejoicing over me with singing and delight.  I hear Him tell me that He is enthralled with my beauty.  I hear Him promise me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

I hear Him.

And so, I echo these promises back to my baby girl.  For I want these words,  these promises, this Truth, to bury itself so deep in her heart that she never has to wonder about her beauty or worth. 

Yes, this mending, this putting back together all the broken pieces, started when I met my husband.  And it wasn't until the birth of our baby girl that I was able to see just how beautiful His creation is.  Funny how a seven-pound bundle of pink and precious can act as a salve to a wound so deep.

And while the mending isn't complete and all the pieces are not where they belong {and maybe they never will be this side of Heaven}, you can bet we are a far cry from where we started.  I'm walking this journey all the way with Jesus.  After all,  He is entralled with me.  Just the way I am.

In celebration of Angie Smith's new book, Mended, I am linking up to her blog and telling my own story of mending and putting the broken pieces back together.  If you have never read anything by Angie Smith, I suggest you run to the nearest book store and purchase one of her books.  You can snatch up Angie's new book here or here.

I would love to hear your story of mending.  Of how God is working to make you whole.  May you find healing in telling.  May you know that He yearns to bandage your wounds and heal your heart.

'He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds.'
Psalm 147:3


  1. I never knew you struggled with this. You always seemed so together and confident. I always thought you were so beautiful and glamorous. Wouldn't it be nice if teenagers could give each other compliments?

  2. Oh, and you are a wonderful writer! You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it.