My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Friday, August 31, 2012

If you've been reading this blog for awhile...

So, this blog post might be a little bit of vomiting my emotions online (as my friend, Robin Beebe and I like to say about disclosing too much information), but for the sake of being real, I wanted to talk about something I've been struggling with for some time.

For those who have read my blog for awhile, you might remember me talking about our dear friend Andrea who came as a volunteer during February and March.  She was this amazing little package of encouragement and she was an absolute blessing to us during her time here.

Stacy and I often talked about starting to work out together, but for one reason or another (many of those reasons having to do with our love for chocolate), we never were able to actually buckle down and begin the process of losing weight.

But, with Andrea here...that all changed.  That little 5 foot tall girl got us working out almost every day and in one month, I was 10 pounds lighter and 10 times more sore than I had ever been before!

And then she left, and with her leaving came the April school break, and then the May rush of volunteers, which have yet to have stopped.  And so stopped our workout sessions.

I could feel my body and the weight coming back on.  But, I never knew what to do about it.  My life is just busy here...when is there ever time?

And then, this morning, I spent some time looking over pictures from the past few months and was just so disappointed in how much weight I have put back on in these past few months.  It's completely discouraging.

My weight has been this incredible burden that I have struggled with ever since I was 8 years old.  An up and down roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain, it's almost a constant thought in my mind.  It has separated me from relationships, has taken my confidence, has forced me to compensate with other things--leaning on my sense of humor or loyalty towards friends and family, believing that that is why I am loved.

I know this season has been stressful for me.  It has definitely been one of the hardest ones for me since coming to Ghana--the stress of running a school and the responsibility of 185 students in my hands, overseeing a staff of 18 teachers and other staff--this is not a job for the faint of heart.  And I know that that has contributed to my issues with my weight.

And it probably hasn't helped to have volunteers bring in the dark chocolate that they know I love!

But, really, I have had to come to the real root of this issue.

I can be a prideful person.  I can take on all the responsibility of this job, not asking for help or handing any of it off, afraid to be a burden or that someone else won't do it the way that I want it to be done.  I can make this place about me.  And it's not. 

I can lose my identity in my work.  I sometimes forget that it was God who gave this vision and it will be God who equips and leads this place.  There is only so much I can do and I can't do any of it without HIM!

And so, I have realized that I've taken myself from my place as "God's Beloved" and made myself the savior of my own life.  And honestly, it's just not working.  The stress...I don't want it.  And the weight--a physical manifestation of this stress--I don't want it.

So, I'm stepping back into my identity as God's Beloved...and letting him have the reigns again.

God, forgive me.  I surrender.  it all...

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