I was a chubby kid growing up. It’s a battle I still deal with today, as I struggle to find some peace at my clothes fitting into a size 12. Five years ago I would have been scared to share that number, and I would have also been elated as I was around an 18. I’m not alone in this struggle as I see the commercials for fat-reducing pills and gym specials all the time. (Maybe I should be off the couch more as well…) The scale is either my friend or my foe week to week. Each time I go back to being my 8 year old self.
Why do I go back to that? Because I hear my mamaw, telling me in her kitchen, to “go ride the fat off” of me. I see my chubbier self, on my hot pink BMX Mongoose riding for my life every day. Twenty three years later and I still hear her voice and go back to that moment when my own grandmother made me insecure about my body.
I hear her in the moments I am sweating at the gym, eating dessert, and fixing a salad. I hear her as I try on clothes and find that this time a size 10 no longer fits as I have gained weight. I hear her almost every morning as I look in the mirror after pouring over my closet for work.
The last couple of months, in the wake of my papaw’s passing, I have spent more time with my mamaw than I had since my childhood. This was at the urgency of my father as my mamaw has told him repeatedly how she doesn’t think my sister or I like her very much. For a very long time, she was right. I can say that now as I have learned forgiveness. I had to learnit. It didn’t magically show up one day with me feeling all loving and roses with her. It took the very mighty hand of God impressing upon me that I had to let go of her words and their effect on me. I had a Father, King of Kings, who said I was beautiful. Who adored and loved me, and showed me what it means to be secure in Him.
Forgiveness isn’t easy. I still hear her voice when I have been eating unhealthy and fluctuating in my weight. I still feel my anger rise up along with my insecurity. That’s when I have to choose to love her. I have to look at her in love and know she doesn’t get to have an influence on me. Believe me when I say that I am still a work in progress on this…and always will be I have a feeling. My weight will always be a reminder to me that forgiveness isn’t easy nor is it once and done. It’s over and over and over again.
Much like living a healthier life in each moment of each day.