I was on Facebook the other day looking at pictures of friends that are turning 50...and looking great. I stepped away from what I was doing and went and got on the scale. The number staring back at me made me desperately sad. I saw that I weigh the most I've ever weighed in my life. I proceeded to the medicine cabinet and found an old bottle of SlimQuick and popped two pills.
I was done. I didn't want to think about how bad they are for you or deal with the larger reasons for my weight gain. I just wanted it to be fixed, right then and there, with no work on my part. Thirty minutes later, I was cleaning like a mad woman and doing 100 things all at once and the old feelings of guilt and shame washed over me. In my younger years, when I was into fitness and appearance, I would occasionally turn to diet pills when I needed to "slim down" for something. A quick fix instead of a long term solution was always my answer back then.
I passed by my kitchen table and looked down to find my bible and devotional still untouched. I had begun my day with social media instead of my God and look where I was - that same old place of regret and guilt. I sat down, my heart racing from the diet pills, and I kid you not. This was my devotion . . .
"Fearful, anxious thoughts melt away in the Light of My Presence. When you turn away from Me, you are vulnerable to the darkness that is always at work in the world. Don't be surprised by how easily you sin when you forget to cling to My hand."
As I prepare to turn 50 and I look back at old pictures of myself, I am always amazed at how good I looked on the outside during a period in my life when I was so confused and mixed up on the inside. I had good friends, a great husband and three beautiful girls. But the reality is that I hid A LOT and I made some very poor decisions. I also never turned to anyone for anything or shared my REAL vulnerabilities. Needless to say, that bottle of SlimQuick has been thrown away. And the fact that I have chosen to even share that day with you, instead of hiding it, tells me that I don't want to live in fear or shame anymore. I want to be loved and accepted for who I am, struggles included. I work hard to put God first and surround myself with people who support that (and forgive me when I don't :)). I am also blogging for The Chase is Real with some amazing women. Women who inspire me to seek God when it is so real, I can't stand it. And to love like my life depends on it. I invite you to join us. Not just the "you" on the outside that everyone sees, but the real you on the inside that everyone can't.
April is wife to an amazing man, mother to three beautiful girls, and grandmother to the most precious boy EVER. She began to recognize God's chase at the age of 44, in a season of major change. April continues to search for God daily in the middle of this fast-paced, over-stimulated world, and when something makes her uncomfortable and challenges her she knows that God is knocking and she should listen.