How losing the baby weight almost broke my brain and stole my joy
At first glance, this may seem like the story of weight. But really, it’s the story of how I approach every aspect of my life: my career, parenting, work in the community. It’s your story too: any time you hustle, work to measure up, strive to meet an expectation you’ve set. This is the story of any woman who fixates on her performance and comes up short. Our stories may flesh out a bit differently, but there’s something weighing you down too.
I was weighed down by goal achievement.
I was weighed down by my appearance and image. Oh, it hurts to say that. As a follower of Christ, I know that my inner heart is more important than my outer self. But I wanted to look like my old self, as if I’d never had two babies.
I was weighed down by my performance. I believed that the only way to rest was to accomplish my goal. My belief system was founded on meeting conditions, proving myself, and performance. Even though I was exhausted, I didn’t know how *not* to perform.
I was weighed down by my need for control. We moved to a new state away from all the familiar things when our youngest was less than a year old. I stayed at home for the first-time ever with our girls, ages 8 months and 2 years. I’d never felt more alone in my life, so I grasped for control by limiting what I ate.
But then a crazy thing happened…all the things that hindered me from experiencing God’s love brought me to Jesus.
After obsessing about my weight, I simply couldn’t do it anymore. My soul needed rest and a firm foundation. I knew that my appearance, performance, and my attempts at control weren’t it.
Like Paul on the road to Damascus, I was stripped of everything that I thought made me good enough and made me who I was. And you know what was left?
Jesus was there all along.
He hadn’t left me. He wasn’t upset with extra pounds. He wasn’t shaming me about my performance-based, points-system life. He wasn’t scolding me about all the things I could’ve done better. He didn’t hand me a checklist of “5 ways to know God better.”
He just gave me Himself.
He gave me rest when I wanted a system.
He gave me grace when I wanted a checklist.
He gave me nearness when I wanted an action plan.
Jesus had always been there waiting to lavish me with His love, to wash me in His sea of grace, to speak the truth over me that I am His and He is Mine.
But I had to be willing to hear it and humble enough to receive it. I had to lay myself at His feet—my hard-charging, never-feeling, always-successful, never-unhappy, hard-worker, do-gooder, fake-fine self.
At my most broken, most not-enough, most exhausted place, Jesus met me.
That’s who He is: unafraid of our hurt and compassionate to the brokenhearted.
What almost broke my brain and stole my joy is exactly what brought me to Jesus. Only He can do that: take ashes and make art, take weight and make it praise.
Jesus did for me what Isaiah said He would do:
He proclaimed the good news that I can’t contribute anything to my salvation, not even my perfect performance.
He restored my broken heart.
He proclaimed freedom as I was held captive by my faulty beliefs.
He released me from the darkness of all my weighted worries so I could proclaim His goodness. (Isaiah 61:1-2, NIV)
When I look back on His grace, I’m in awe. Jesus wants to free you too from your weight of your hurts so your brain isn’t broken and your joy isn’t stolen. Ask Him to start healing you today. He can do it.