The message I’d go back and give myself, and the message I want others to hear now

The other night I was doing normal quarantine things like going through old boxes of school work because everyone saves past assignments and handouts, right?! I’m joking. I know this is not a normal phenomenon, which is why I decided I should probably sort through the weird attachment I have with past reading assignments, statistic quizzes, research articles, printed powerpoint presentations, and speeches I’ve written.

There’s always that voice in the back of my mind…What if. What if one day I’ll need to reference my previous statistic assignments for help with a real-world problem? What if I just really feel the need to research almond milk and need this article and essay I wrote as a reminder of how much water is used to produce almonds? What if—okay I’ll stop.

I have to laugh at myself because of how cute I was when I boxed these papers up. I neatly sorted them, used dividers, and labels. The effort was too great not to read at least read a few things in the box.

After a little time, I came across a paper I wrote about why people run. Specifically, why people run marathons. This was the introduction:

It was the night I began sleeping in my athletic clothes that I started to realize I was addicted to running. It was my eagerness to wake up at five o’clock the next morning and take a six-mile cruise through backcountry roads in my brand new shoes, even if it meant coming face to face with a skunk or being sore the rest of the day. I craved a satisfaction deep within that could only be met through sweaty socks and 45 intensifying minutes of pure commitment.

Before the end of the paragraph, I flashbacked to the very mornings I illustrated in the paper and cringed. Days when I identified so deeply with running that to imagine a life without it, paralyzed me. A time in my life when I was deeply hurting on the inside, yet worked to perfect my outside and suppress every ounce of emotion through distraction after distraction after distraction.

So, this is my message to the girl struggling above; the truth I wished she could have known then, and the truth I want others to hear now. If you’ve battled or are currently battling an eating disorder, this message is for you.

Beloved,

You are enough. Behind the mask. Behind the doing. Behind the running. You have nothing to prove, and you can rest with trust that the world around you will remain as it should. Take a few deep breaths.

When outside in nature, let your mind wander. Stop thinking about the calories burned, steps walked, miles reached. Enjoy each moment. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Instead of running further away from your feelings, run toward them. Let emotion pour through you and experience what it’s like to be human. It’s okay if you feel broken, no one expects you to be perfect. Just come as you are. Let God sort out what needs fixing and believe Him when he says you are His. You are loved. You are chosen. Know this: Your identity does not lie in the things you do, the men you’re with, your failures, your past, your current circumstances. You are more than all of that and don’t for a second doubt your place in this world. Your place is here…now. Right where you’re at. No need to look for validation or approval. 

You are enough. Behind the mask. Behind the doing. Behind the running. You have nothing to prove, and you can rest with trust that the world around you will remain as it should. Take a few deep breaths.

If you haven’t already signed up to get your 5 Free “I Am” Affirmations to read over yourself daily, they’ve been helping me so much when feelings of unworthiness arise.

Opposite of my past, I’ve learned to sit in my discomfort and negative emotions. I no longer run from them, I embrace them. Knowing that how I feel is only temporary, and this too shall pass.

You see, what I craved while writing my paper on why runners run, wasn’t a “satisfaction deep within that could only be met through sweaty socks and 45 intensifying minutes of pure commitment.”

What I needed was rest for my soul. A break from achieving and few moments for me to acknowledge my pain and bring it before Jesus.

Our minds and bodies are connected dear friends and to honor one, we must honor the other.

Minutes before writing this I finished a book called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer.

The number one thing I took away from the book is this: Until I rest and until I slow down my life through acts of simplicity and resistance against our digital age and the attention it begs of us, I will continue to experience restlessness in my life and soul.

So here’s to an easy yoke. The yoke of Jesus.

To end, I leave you with Matthew 11:28-30 from The Passion Translation:

Are you weary carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s