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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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Made to Crave--Post 4

I haven't been able to get into this book much lately with friends around and getting back into my routine after Morocco, but I was able to spend a little bit of time dwelling in Made to Crave this week and wanted to share some of my thoughts going through it this week.

When I went to Morocco, all good intentions went out the window with the chocolate that Marilyn brought and it has been hard to get back to a place mentally, and probably spiritually, to be ready to work on this.

This week, I read a chapter entitled "I'm Not Defined by Number"...the battle of the scale.  The scale has not been my friend for many years.  In fact, there have probably been entire years of my life where I haven't even set a toe on the scale for fear of what it would tell me. 

Lysa says, "Like many women, I'd struggled with a flawed perception of myself.  My sense of identity and worth were dependent on the wrong things...If I sensed I wasn't measuring up, I kicked into either withdrawal mode or fix-it mode.  Withdrawal mode made me pull back from relationships, fearing others' judgements.  I built walls around my heart to keep people at a distance.  Fix-it mode made me overanalyze other people's every word and expression looking for ways to manipulate their opinions to be more pleasing toward me."

Wow!  I totally identified with her fix-it and withdrawl modes.  So many times, I drew away from relationships out of fear of what people thought or how my weight might influence that relationship.  I remember my time in high school, I had ONE good guy friend.  It wasn't out of opportunity...it was out of shame for how I looked.  And college was much the same way.  By the time I reached my senior year of college, I had gotten to a place where I felt loved by God the Father and that helped me heal some of those relational holes with men.

But even my relationships with women were affected by my weight.  Entering college, I suddenly had a personal bubble a mile wide.  Hugs were just not given very often and my friends physically had to force hugs at times.  Eventually, I became more comfortable with hugs, but it came with the understanding that people wanted to hug me because that was how they wanted to show me love...and that they loved me...all of me.  I had to get over the concern that it was uncomfortable for me to hug because of my pouchy stomach or any other concern with my body image.

And fix-it mode...well, I still think I suffer from a bit of fix-it mode.  I am a fixer.  I want to fix problems and MOST OF THE TIME, that is to overcompensate for things that I don't do well or don't like about myself.  I work so hard sometimes so that I don't have the time to exercise.  I do certain things very well because I know that physically, I can't do that all that well.  And I sometimes, that is to manipulate people's opinion of me.  I am not at a healthy weight, but maybe people don't see that so much when they see me with kids or leading teachers or playing games and laughing. 

But, wouldn't it just be better all around if I didn't lean on this fix-it mode or withdrawl mode and depended on God to show me my worth and to make me into a healthier person?

Lysa summarizes a passage from Isaiah 45:2-3 in this way, "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that yo may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name...I'm not taking you on this journey because I need you to weigh less.  I am taking you on this journey because I desire for you to be healthy in every sense of the word. I know your name.  Now rest in the security of My name and all that it means to your identity."

Yes!  I need to step into that.  I need to believe that for myself more and more.

She says, "We can step on the scale and accept the numbers for what they are--an indication of how much our body weighs--and not an indication of our worth."

Whew...so hard to do.  And yet, it comes down to believing the truth.  We should be asking ourselves when the lies come into our heads about our own worth as daughters of the King,

"Are you true?  Are you beneficial?  Are you necessary?"  And if the answer is no, then we don't open the door of our hearts. 

We need to be asking those questions again and again.  And believing that truth for ourselves again and again.  I need to be asking when the lies come in hard.  Is this true?  Is this beneficial?  Is this necessary? 

And not just to the cravings...yes, ask these questions when the cravings for a handful of chocolate or that extra large serving of rice and stew or a nightly snack when I know I don't need it.  But, I feel like I need to ask these questions even more so that I can discern the truth from the lies that so frequent my mind.

Are you true?  Are you beneficial?  Are you necessary? 

My worth will never be indicated by the numbers on the scale, but by my name inscribed in the Book of Life.

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