Ack! Something weird is happening. See the part of that mirror, below?
Each time before I go out into the world, I stand before that mirror and I look, well, decent. Not thin (no way!), but tucked-in the right places, tailored and, well, again, decent enough to make me feel presentable. Not great, but ok.
Well. On Saturday, I drove to our local Target, pushed my cart along the aisles then stopped in front of a full-length mirror and --and -- (sniff, sniff)--and-- I looked like a balloon! A roly-poly, dressed-in-black-but-it-ain't-helping, balloon.
Immediately I told myself, "You need to go home and not eat. And not come out of the house till you lose ten pounds." (Yeah, right....). "No more bread. Only an occasional dessert," (rather than, er, daily ones). "More exercise and water and a stronger determination to stay away from that dreaded, craving-inducing high-fructose corn syrup."
Say what you will, but I know HFCS is a huge reason (along with stress and inactivity) why our Country is filled with big, heavy waddlers like myself. How do I know? Because I'm 53 years old and I remember being 10 and every family I knew lived for jello, cokes, ice cream, candy bars, cakes, pudding, pies and cookies--and back in those days--they contained sugar, not HFCS. And how did people look back then? Normal, the way people should. Only sometimes in school or church or in your neighborhood would there be a child or a family who was 'heavyset' (I hate the 'fat' word and refuse to use it). I've read literature from both sides (so please don't try to convince me otherwise) and find the HFCS supporters inadequately unable to defend their positions. (I mean, just look at many of us now!)
Then I thought, "Well, at least I have a polite mirror at home which makes me look much trimmer than I do in Real Life. That's something, at least!"
But is that a good thing? Is a lying mirror which makes me appear slim at home actually doing me a favor? I think not.
Since 1994 (especially) it's been the Truth which has set me free. And trust me, I've had to face a whole lot of truth about myself. I had to see and admit that I'd been stubborn (and not the good kind that keeps you from giving-up, either) and tactless (with a dreadful tone of voice) and fearfully-and-pridefully shy with lots of selfish ambition and --- well, I'll spare you the rest. Anyway, only by letting Jesus show me those areas, confessing they were true, repenting for them and then allowing Him to change me--only then--did I know what an amazing life of freedom looked and felt like.
And I guess that's why I have a hard time hearing people advise, "Just sit and listen to people. Pat them on the back. Tell them, "Hang in there and just keep doing what you're doing." (Did Jesus ever do that?) Especially if what they're doing is what led them to their current mess(!), for oh! that's so difficult for me to do. Or understand.
No, freedom comes from facing truth about ourselves and letting that truth lead us right back to the only One who can set and keep us free. Someone who, all the while, will love us unconditionally even before our freedom, right in the middle of our self-made disasters, no taunting or ridiculing, ever (but He will ask us to do some hard stuff. I know.)
And since He's not condemning me, I need not condemn myself.
And this Jesus is the same One who loves me even with all this winter weight I'm carrying around... and He'll be my greatest advisor, cheerleader and friend during the losing of that weight. Thank-goodness. I'd be so sunk without Him.