I can’t remember exactly when the light went off in my head that even though I proclaim Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior and am adopted into God’s family as His beloved daughter, that I was not living a life that reflected this truth. Oh, from the outside, you might not notice how I hid the pain and critical spirit inside. My pride made me put on a cheerful face. After all, I couldn’t let you see all the negative things I believed and said about myself. I think the song, The Tears of a Clown, was written for me. I am sure that my family and friends would cringe and really not believe the inner conversations I have had. After all, I don’t speak to them the same way that I speak to myself. God’s word tells me to live at peace with everyone so I’m going to be nice to you! Sadly, if you really looked at me, you would see that my excess weight was hiding pounds of pain and shame. And, if I really was paying attention to God’s word, I would have let go of my inner critic a long time ago.
You see, I have a little negative, inner, personal critic and she isn’t very nice. I say she is little, but she has a loud voice and she sounds just like me. I can be going through my day, having what I would call “a blessed day” and out of the blue, she starts in…“You don’t look very good today. The bags under your eyes have packed bags! Where did all those wrinkles come from? You had better get some anti-aging cream before it’s too late! You are so fat. Where did that extra tire come from? You’ll never lose that! Why did you wear that outfit today? You look so frumpy! No one who has it together would ever go out of the house looking like you do!” I don’t like that inner critic, but she has been around for most of my life so she seems like an old friend. She has been allowed to voice negativity in my life for so long that even though she is hurtful, she is comfortable. Why hold on to her when there is another Voice that I want to hear and listen to that brings life and light and healing?? I want to say, “Goodbye!!” to her. Can I face my fear of letting her go? The answer is a resounding YES!!
Have you heard that voice? Let me tell you how I silenced that critical, snide, scolding and negative voice and how I am releasing pounds of pain and shame. It all started with Facebook, believe it or not, and a Facebook friend and sister in Christ leading me to join a Hunger Within group.
I have tried a group like this in the past, but didn’t have any victory. I don’t know if it was because my little friend the critic was too loud for me to hear the message being taught. Or, more importantly, it could have been my disobedience and sin and deep seated shame that held me back. You may ask what got my attention this time; what is different?? I believe it is because God’s word is becoming alive and active in my life in a new way around my issues with excess food and weight. I have always believed Hebrews 4:12 which states that the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, and it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. But, the thing that was missing and is now found in my heart is the willingness to allow God and His word to penetrate into my food issues and the hidden false beliefs that made me run to food for comfort and to fill the void I felt in my life. God has always proved He is faithful to me in so many areas in my life but I had held the door to this area closed to Him with white knuckled fists. Then I reached that proverbial rock bottom. I had decided that I could not face another diet. I knew I would drop weight on a diet. I’ve done this numerous times before but the weight always came back with a few friends!! I was seeking more. My heart was seeking a permanent change. I wanted to be set free of the grave clothes that kept me bound in the tomb of denial that I could control my weight if I just found the right plan.
What have I found as I have let go of my inner critic? I have found a deeper relationship with my Father who loves me more than I could ever imagine being loved. I have found a deeper relationship with my Lord and Savior Who laid down His life for mine so that I could have life and have it more abundantly. I have found comfort in the arms of the Holy Spirit, Who comforts me in all of my troubles. And I have found a true and honest circle of dear sisters in Christ who walk this journey with me. I claim Hebrews 12:1-3 which says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
How about you? Are you ready to say, “So long critic!!”? Then take my hand and walk together with me and the One who loves us more than we could ever imagine.