Daily Delight

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

My mom sold her house last fall and I had to make the ritual childhood relics purge. Amid laughing at Jonas Brothers posters and all my elementary school crushes dutifully noted in my Minnie Mouse journal, I found a ledger that made my stomach drop. It was a food log from when I was 8-yrs-old, carefully detailing every item I put in my body with the calories listed and totals noted at the bottom. I did not keep years of calorie counting journals because I was guided by a health professional to do so. At just 8-yrs-old I fell victim to shame-soaked guilt. I was only a child, yet I felt the weight of appreciation and praise versus the freedom of honesty and wholeness. This shame led to years of obsessively weighing myself on scales, overeating, undereating and extreme dieting.

My character will be built through good grades. My endurance will be shaped by the size of my body. Hope is found when no one can tell from the outside that on the inside I am constantly hating, despising and judging myself. These are the lies I believed. Sometimes we twist the phrase, ‘you can be anything’ into, ‘you have to be everything.’ We have to be the perfect daughter, mother, wife, sister or friend; answering every call, making it to the gym, excelling at our job, fighting for a seat at the table. We are sometimes so “good” on the outside, that all we feel is bad on the inside.

“...We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5: 3-5, ESV). 

In my world of shame, there was no room for suffering or messing up. The truth is none of the striving or obsession would create endurance, character or hope. I was living in shame and in the Kingdom of God, hope does not put us to shame. Letting myself just live life with all of its beautiful imperfections, even the suffering, will produce endurance, character and hope. The hope is not found in the shame-induced guilt, the hope is found in the grace-soaked love from a God that loves me just as I am, right now in this very moment. 

photo: @dreacoci

Amy Werner

Amy grew up near the mouth of the Appalachian trail in a northeastern town in Georgia. She now lives as a writer and science nerd in our nation’s capital, navigating life as a 20-something obsessed with finding sanctuaries in nature on the edges of the urban hustle of D.C.
This new transition to D.C. has been a season of learning a posture of surrender and peaceful silence found with God even amid the noise of cultural expectations and standards.

Amy is passionate about seeking justice, finding faith in all of life's details and championing young women to see and appreciate their divine value and worth. Amy loves stories, campfires, donuts and strong friendships, often the combination of all these elements equals her happy place.


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