stop & GO!

I realize that a lot of things are stop and go. I could spend this paragraph talking about generic examples of stop and go, but my time is precious and so is yours. I didn’t create this blog to be phony. But I also don’t want to talk about my stop and gos. I’m super not about sharing with the world my battle with food. I wish I could describe the feeling in my chest and the sting behind my eyes as I type this. I hate this. I hate that I’m still dealing with this. But instead of keeping this inside I’m going to confess my sins to others and trust that you’ll read these words and pray for my brokenness so that I can live whole and healed.‭‭(James‬ ‭5:16 MSG)

I went to a conference today where we explored our hurts from our parents and I realized that my whole life my Mama Bear tried to help me with my weight because it was the only weight she could see. She saw the hurt and stayed up countless nights while I cried and was broken hearted at such young and tender ages. But staying up and crying wasn’t all I did. I ate. I ate too much. I ate ’til I was full. I ate after I was full. I ate in secret. And the weight piled on. So people teased me. My mama saw me hurting and wanted to help. She thought it was their words. To her it sounded like the solution was weight loss. So she put me into every program. Exercise programs. Nutrition programs. Whatever she could think of. And I went. But they never worked. And it hurt. It all still hurt. So I ate. And now as an adult I know it wasn’t because of the weight. Not the weight she could see.

When it seemed like all else failed, my mom refused to give up. So we were off to New York for weight loss surgery. We’d tried everything. So it had to be beyond our control. I remember the psych evaluations they required before they would allow a 10th grader to have weight loss surgery. They asked questions and like with the food, I thought lying and hiding was best. That’s what food had taught me: that I could hide. From my emotions. From responsibility. And I thought I could lie too, but my body always told the truth. The way the pounds kept piling on was proof. But just like my mom they saw the weight without detecting the weights.

My whole life with weight has been stop and go. I’d try and then I’d quit. And then I’d try and give up again. Even this very year, I was going to lose 25 lbs by 25. Then I was going to go to the gym. I was going to meal prep. I was going to the gym. I was meal prepping. And then stop. And I was back to binge eating. To refusing to feel and refusing to deal with the weights behind the weight.

So now I’m confessing and asking that you pray for me. The conference I went to was called Bare: More Than You Can Bear. Here I am bare. Exposing my deepest and most obvious secret. Being honest that this weight is more than my knees can physically bear. But more importantly these weights are more than I can bear. I need your help. It’s not hidden now. I invite you in, Abba. Heal the hurts that make me hide. Behind food. And fat. And fear. Tonight was a night of freedom. And I refuse to let it pass me by. It’s going to hurt to feel everything that I’ve tried to bury with food for as long as I can remember, but I’m giving you permission to take me there. I’m giving you permission to dig to the bottom of those piles. I don’t know what I’ll find there. I don’t know what wounds have remained unhealed. But I want to trust you. I know that you are with me. That you won’t leave me or forsake me. Help me end this cycle of stop and go. Let it be stop & GOD this time, because even my GO! isn’t enough.

In His Love,

A Surrendered Crown

Purpose and a Pen: an ongoing and honorable search

One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 25:2. Like many of my favorites I stumbled upon it by way of a song. In the NLT it reads, “It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them” (Proverbs 25:2 NLT). In the Message it’s called a “delight” and in the King James which might be my favorite, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search things out” (Proverbs 25:2 KJV). I first heard this song months ago. I was drawn to it and it spent an embarrassingly long amount of time on repeat. When I like something I love it and can listen/watch/do/eat it a zillion times.

Recently, I went through a “bout” of severe apathy. I didn’t care about much and I didn’t want to be involved in anything. It was weird, but not all together unfamiliar. I’d felt this way before, I was sure. I was able to appreciate what a long time it’d been. I can’t be entirely sure what brought on this “I don’t give an anything” attitude because I wasn’t journaling daily like I know is good for me. I almost wrote “like I’m supposed to”, but I’m learning that loving yourself isn’t obligatory, it’s an honor. And writing is a huge I love you not only to me, but to the Creator who has set so many words within me.

Anyway, I do know that I was reading a few self help books and really trying to get my life together. And in some ways that was good. But I think the apathy came from a purposelessness. I was compiling goals and hopes for my life, but what was the source of them? Why did they matter?

I’m learning that I feel really unfulfilled when I’m overly focused on myself. I’m learning that my “why” comes from focusing on others. It makes sense that I have to write if it might help someone somewhere. Sometimes that someone is me and no one else and I’m good with that. But I have to let God decide.

A lot of us are looking for our purpose. Trying desperately to figure out what in the world God put us here to do. I can’t speak for anyone else, but many times I’ve hoped and even expected the answer to just fall into my mind one day. And I’ve heard what I’m about to say a million times. You probably have too. “It’s a journey. You figure it out as you go.” Same old same old, I know, but this time I see it in a new light. If it’s the glory of God to conceal a matter then the matter of my purpose should be no different. Thank you God for helping turn the horor of not knowing into the honor of searching it out. Thank you for making pen and paper companions on this exploration. You be knowin’.

In His love,

A Surrendered and searching Crown

Baby Steps

Dear self,

The only things that should be just black and white are the cookies.

Love,

A girl in need of grace

I’m learning that I see things so severely in black and white. And it’s not good for me. It cripples me in fear of failure and deprives me of the grace my God put in so much work to give me. Jesus did not die on the cross for me to be so hard on myself that I can’t experience His peace. Last week when I set the rigorous goal of losing 25 lbs in something like 60 days my brain immediately began to panic that I wouldn’t be able to do it and thoughts that I shouldn’t even try started surfacing. I was blessed enough to have one of my mentor/big sisters sit down with me and vision out my year. One of my goals was to work out in community once every two weeks and another was to get a gym membership by January 31, 2019. Well today is was January 14, 2019 and guess who got her membership?!?! That’s right, this young queen!!! This morning when I signed up, I told myself that I had to go to the gym tonight and that didn’t happen. I was tired after getting out of my Bible study at well after 10 pm and I was ready to go home and relax and blog and sleep. My initial reaction was to beat myself up, but I refuse to. I’m celebrating that even though everything in me was screaming, “RUN!!!” I signed up for a year long contract with the gym. My goal is to go 24 days out of the month so that it’s essentially a dollar a day. That feels like getting my money’s worth to me.

Speaking of money, when I initially visioned having a gym membership I kept saying I wanted it to be free. My mentor/big sister helped me see that I was demanding that it be free as a way to cop out of getting one. It was an act to blame not having a membership on the fact that I had to pay for it, instead of taking responsibility for the fact that I didn’t have a membership because I choose lazy a lot of the times and don’t want one. There are so many nuggets in this. 1) Surround yourself with people who can see you for who you truly are and for where you’re at. Often times those are two different versions of you that vary in authenticity. 2) Allow people to call you on your stuff. Facing your truths even when they are ugly is such a blessing and allows you to get out of circular patterns and grow. 3) I wasn’t seeing myself as valuable enough to invest in. A gym membership is an investment into my physical well being and I’m worth that. I’m worth the $24 a month to take care of my body. And by ruling out the membership if it wasn’t free I was saying that I wasn’t worth it.

Here’s to 2019, a year full of gym workouts, lots of grace, tons of truth, and people (including me) who remind me of how valuable I am in Him.

In His Love,

A Surrendered Crown

P.S. My heart is so grateful. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17 NIV) Thank you for being the goodest and most perfect gift and still being dope enough to send more. 

Nineteen

Nineteen has been my favorite number since middle school. True confession: somebody’s son’s birthday was that day and I thought he was everything. News flash: he wasn’t or at least not mine, but never the less the number stuck.

The year I was nineteen was the end of my freshman year of college and a majority of my sophomore year. I remember how bitter sweet my nineteenth birthday was. It was my first birthday away from home and it was weird to be without my family. I didn’t know it on my birthday but that was the year my depression was really beginning to manifest. I thought that year was going to be one full of fulfilled dreams and accomplishments. And it wasn’t. Or at least that’s not how I remember it. I remember not wanting to leave my dorm room. I remember hating school. I remember gaining so much weight that I maxed out at 309. I came home from school and spent the summer partying to the point where some of my friends are still triggered by seeing me in a dress at night.

This year in 2019 I have a milestone birthday (not telling y’all which one because I fully intend to be one of those women who act like their age is life’s greatest mystery). Even though just like when I was nineteen and the number didn’t really mean anything it feels special. I’ve learned since age nineteen though. This time I know that if there’s going to be amazingness in my 2019 I have to put in the work to make it happen. Having said that I’m doing a 25 x 25. Lose 25 lbs by my 25th birthday (oops, secrets out). So if you know me in real life, hold me accountable. Remind me that I said this year was special. That I was going to do things differently. Don’t let me lazy my way out of it, Abba. Send your children to harass me.

In His love,

A Surrendered Crown

Note to self

Dear Ki,

I found a meme this week and it made me think of you. Remember how desperate you were to be loved? So you’d create whole marriages in your head and let unworthy men take you to their beds? It felt like it was at the drop of a dime. Did you think about the long term? Did you really believe that you could make it work? That you could make them want to make it work? That you could make us want to make it work? I guess you didn’t know that I was in you. You could only see the version of us that you are now. Don’t give up on trying to get it all together. It’s really worth it, sis. It ends up all better. And I’m not even at the end yet. Would you believe me if I told you new you values us? She carries herself with dignity and in God she trusts. I know you want it – a relationship with Him. Don’t confuse your “h’s”. The lowercase ones can’t provide the same things or fulfill all your needs. Would you believe me if I told you that you embrace it now when things get tough? You cry less. Almost not at all. You’re capable of more than you know. You’re completed by God, so let those guys go. Let go so completely that you scare yourself and run with your fears to the only one who collects every tear. No matter how hard the road may get. Please don’t stop. It’s too beautiful here for you not to make it. Let go of your life and let our God take it.

In His Love,

A Surrendered Crown

Rest and Responsibility: a personal pep talk

These are the moments that determine whether or not you are who you say you are. I am tired. Like deeply, on a soul level tired, but I have things to do. I gave my word that certain things would be done today and they haven’t been. I gave my word that I would blog on Mondays and I haven’t been. That’s not who I want to be. And if I’m honest, I wonder what I could have accomplished this week if when I felt like I needed a break I’d spent it in the Word of God instead of scrolling through social media. I wonder how much more energized and encouraged I would be in this moment. No shade to social media, but it doesn’t feed my soul and that’s what I need right now. I’m all for rest (and Lord knows I want and need some), but I think today I need to play on team responsibility. Thank you Abba for being a God of your word and the perfect model of integrity for imperfect me. Thank you for all the promises you’ve kept, and for all the ones you’re keeping that I haven’t even learned about yet. I feel you and I see your hand. Thank you for growing me. Thank you for your plan. Thank you for positioning and pruning. You’re everything. Thank you for a new me, a new degree (of glory), and the experience of being free. 

In His Love,

A Surrendered Crown

P.S. Theme music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx6mfAgHDsY

Everything I Prayed For Preface

This season has taught me that when God answers prayers He does it His way and bigger than I could have ever imagined. I am currently so tired that I’m struggling to complete sentences, but I can’t complain because God has given me what I asked for. I prayed for grit and He’s developing it. I prayed to be planted and sprouting roots is not a glamorous process. I’ve been witnessing God move in ways that blow my mind. But it’s also required diligence, hard work, pressure, sacrifice, and faith that I couldn’t even fathom a month ago. The reality is that I’m too sleepy to blog. That’s where I’m at. So pray for a young queen. God, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, though. Keep doing your thang. I’m grateful. 

In His Love,

A Surrendered Crown