I saw her picture on Facebook a few weeks ago, holding her bundle of one year old on his birthday. A year later, & she she isn’t a stick. Unlike every other woman I’ve known to have a child in a good while, she didn’t seem to squirm underneath the weight of that extra skin. She looked like she had a baby. She looked like a mama. She looked comfortable, glowing, & beautiful. She was radiant. For her, her son was something to celebrate about. A year of mishaps, throw ups, coos, & bruises, & he didn’t die. He made it, that charming little thing. For me, she was the celebration. Because the longer I stay, the more I know the challenge of choosing not to listen to others, & sometimes even yourself, when you’re told who to be. I know it takes a real woman to not be afraid of her own footsteps. To speak love to each weighted thud. To eat cake for her birthday because it’s a celebration, & the next day because joy & why not. It takes a real woman to know the balance of her family & the balance of her God over the balance of that scale. I know because I’m still in the becoming, still learning to keep my eyes lifted.
“You want to see real jiggle, I’ll show you.”
It’s my mother’s famous line, only made familiar because of my deep need of reassurance. Reassurance that I’m not the girl that my grandmother whispers about when a twenty something girl we grew up with walks in the room with a little more figure. That even though I ate two meals yesterday, that even though I drank a venti caramel macchiato, that even though I feel like I grew a second chin the size of Jay Lenos, that I’m still okay. That everything is still alright. My weight fluctuates with my emotions, but having no correlation to thin or flub, but rather, the failure to gain control. The lack of will-power to say no to the maple cream stick. The inability to wholeheartedly thank God for his daily bread without feeling it a bittersweet curse. The weight that food hangs over my head, & the constant battle that I will never win until I hand it over to the One who provides the food in the first place… this is where my emotions are torn. Because I’m forever broken hearted by a lose-lose battle until I can see past the questionable stretch marks. Sometimes I curse the sounds of my own footsteps. & this is the girl that’s supposed to have Satan shaking, this girl who trembles at her own shadow in fear it may have grown. But there’s more. Because my family can attest to my inability to eat in the same room as others on most given days, & I think if I’m truthful with you I’d like to tell you that really I’m just frustrated. Frustrated that they can eat whatever they want & fully enjoy every lick. Frustrated that their slice of pizza disappears as it enters the mouth, & I can’t see where it landed in their stomachs. I’m frustrated that my mind can’t shut up long enough for my saying grace to be truth filled thank yous. You know, I keep trying to fix myself. I’m trying to win this battle The Lord already told me I can’t win. He can. I cannot. But in ignorance, I’m still dancing, throwing my punches at that black bag that will never be removed from that spot in my heart until The Lord breaks the chain that holds it up. This isn’t about my weight. This is about allowing Jesus Christ to do what I told Him when I met Him that He could do. That day I told Him He had full reigns. This about me not taking back this gift that I’ve laid at the foot of the cross. This is about me allowing Him room to breathe His life into these wounds, to invite His works into my brokenness. This is about His grace that permits me to look past my pant size, & His glory that blossoms in the midst of my vulnerability. Grace to let go, glory to flourish.
It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.