Let's get stupidly vulnerable here for a minute.
with the way I see myself.
Specifically when it comes to body image.
It is a battle I have been fighting ever since I can remember.
And it is a battle that at many times, I have lost.
I'm kind of obsessive when it comes to working out... in the sense that I can run an entire half-marathon on an elliptical machine, given that I have an hour and forty-five minutes to spend at the gym.
It's a good thing that I enjoy it and it isn't just some sort of strange masochistic habit (although, I'm sure some would argue on that...), but the thing is, I know that I care way too much about it.
I have pretty much always known that I have.
I just choose to ignore it most of the time.
Just as I choose to ignore the entire issue most of the time... at least outwardly.
Inwardly, it eats me up at every single moment.
If my clothes don't fit quite right, it ruins my entire day.
I notice myself telling myself negative and hateful statements in my head non-stop, and I convince myself that I deserve them and that they will stop if I start "doing better".
So maybe it is masochism. In a round about way.
But here's the deal, in caring way too much about this, my own body image has become my idol.
I serve it without question and think about it constantly. I will make any time that I possibly can to get to the gym to "work off" whatever I just "did to myself" that day.
(And yes, this is frightening to hear myself acknowledge out loud...)
But recently, with all the Call+Response stuff going on, along with my 10 hour work days, and the weather getting colder, I haven't been able to go to the gym nearly as much. If at all. And I have noticed myself slipping, slowly, back into that self-hating routine.
But something happened last night. Something changed.
And I am still trying to put my finger on what exactly it was.
Earlier in the day, I had been sort of secretly lamenting doing so much with this project and not being able to work out. I could feel my body shifting and changing and was not happy. I felt as though I needed to get control in order to make myself feel worth something. But there was (and is) absolutely no time. So what was I supposed to do?
I was at the Radical Living Marcy House with Alissa working on C+R plans, when Jeremy called with the news that the link for purchasing tickets had gone live.
After jumping up and down in excitement, I saw that Courtney had posted a new video about our time in Thailand on Facebook. This video is honestly one of the most personally moving things I have ever seen. It means so much to me. And it meant even more at that moment as we began to see the first stages of the fruition of our work.
Through streaming tears, I watched those girl's faces flash across my screen, and all I could think of after the events of the evening and the events of the past week was that their rescue is coming. With every single step made in advancing the awareness of this horror of sex trafficking... their rescue comes closer and closer and closer.
Only in retrospect did I realize that in that moment, I completely forgot to hate myself.
I could not remember how to only care to a fault about my own selfish desire, like I always have.
Is my own body really what I am going to make my life about?
As all of this was happening, I wrote Ashley:
"The link for C+R just went live (http://www.tribecacinemas.com/calendar/Call__Response_Screening_Guide.html) at the same time Courtney posted her video that she made about Thailand (it's now reposted on my profile).
I can't explain this feeling right now. I balled like a baby at the convergence of these two events
I can't stop crying.
Those girls in that film.. my girls... this is their rescue.
I'm claiming it...They're fate DOES NOT lie in trafficking.
They will be happy, and healthy, and innocent.
They will be free.
This is what I want to spend and spill my life on for the rest of my life.
I don't care what it takes, I don't care what it requires of me, I don't care what I lose.
All I care about is setting captives free.
This feeling is unlike any other I have ever had before.
And I wish I could share it with everyone in the world right now.
I love you, best friend.
Everything is so so right."
Everything has a purpose.
And last night I remembered mine.
Food was made to be eaten, and life was made to be embraced.
I was made to set captives free and dance with abandon while doing so.
A heart that has not fully embraced itself for all that it is, all that it will be, and even all that it will not, can never known the exhiliration found in that abandonment.
Because it can never know the freedom found in surrender.
I surrender, for I am not my own.
And I was made for Something More.
Help me, Jesus.
Teach me how to love myself like You love me.
My body is not my own.
Release me from it.
Set me free.