Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Break the Tape: Immeasurably More

Welcome, friends, for today's edition of Break the Tape.  Essentially, our goal is to identify the lies that repeat themselves over and over again in our minds, break the tape that automatically begins plays when ever we feel we've fallen short, and learn a new song to sing in its place.  
Meet Roseann Elliot.  She is thoughtful, introspective, and has a soul that sings for beauty.  I love her words -- they awaken a spirit in me that draws me to praise my Savior.  May your spirit be awakened today by her story.
I am not sure when the lies began…those tapes that started playing in my head…
“you are not as good as         “…
“you’re not loveable”…”you’re a failure”.
No matter what success I found in life…
These tapes would not be silenced.
by the time I was in college, these tapes were in high gear.

 In college I innocently joined the pastime...
 a ritual of sorts...taking place in every dorm
a little exercise...and some Diet Tab (that dates me).
But this “innocent” college pastime apprehended me…
 and dragged me down a very dark road…
a road of obsessive exercise...a road of starvation.

This obsessive behavior…
was only fueled by those negative tapes.
But I hid this all pretty well…
from the outside, my life looked really good…
in some ways a life others envied.

But those lies continued to steal, kill, and destroy…
not just my mind but my body as well.

After my first year of teaching…I spent a week in the hospital…
a week to figure out why my body was refusing…
It resisted all the medical attention given to bleed the blood of life…
the blood needed to really be the woman God intended.
While the doctors where figuring out my body…
I lie alone figuring out my faith.
Being very new in my walk with the Lord…
my ears and heart were learning to be tuned to hear His voice.
I cannot say I heard an audible voice…
but oh how clear it was…
this question…
a question not wrapped with judgment nor condemnation…
but a question asked in compassion…
from a heart of love for my brokenness…
”Why are you spitting in my face and telling me you hate who I created you to be? “
I answered back through my tears in a loud cry…
”I do hate who you made me to be.”
This sickness called anorexia is a slow death…
and I was telling the Creator of the universe...
what He created did not deserve to live.
And with that confession…something changed…
I could not bare the thought of spitting in my Savior’s face…
I wanted to be healed.

Did this end all the self-hatred?
Oh, I wish I could tell you yes…
but I did walk out of the hospital changed…
slowly but surely…little by little more freedom came.
Freedom from every bite controlling my thoughts…
freedom from a minimum requirement of daily exercise to find peace.

but the tapes…those tapes…
they were not so easily erased.

I found the healing of the body happens more easily…
 than the healing of the heart and mind.
Renewing my mind and transforming my heart was a very slow process.
God came in many ways to heal me… body, soul and spirit.
He patiently wooed me to trust His Love for me.
Over time my thoughts toward God were finally finding
a safe place to land…
therefore my thoughts toward myself were becoming
more kind…more forgiving...more safe.

After all these years, I am still surprised …
when I can trace thoughts back to self-hatred…
But now when God comes and tugs on that weed of
self-loathing thoughts…
its roots are no longer wound through very fiber of my being.
Instead, it’s like pulling up a weed whose root system is almost dead.
God has brought a freedom I wasn’t sure was possible.
But praise be to Him …
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

My heart breaks now when I meet another…
One whose mind if full of these same lies…
At the same time…my heart is so full of hope…
Because…
The same Kind and Gracious God who loved me to healing…
Whose love never grew weary…
whose Light was bright enough to penetrate even the darkest places…
whose Truth was stronger than the lies…
whose blood came and healed my wounded heart.
This same God will meet each woman…heal each heart…
 and each one will walk in more freedom than she could ever imagine.

I pray if you too listen to lies...
that you will find encouragement here...
encouragement to let God in...all the way in...
to every lie…every dark place of hiding…to let Him show you and tell  you…
of His immense Love for you.. how very precious you are to Him.
  you His daughter...you, a daughter of the King.
Want to read more of Ro Elliot?  Of course you do!  She blogs at Tuning My Heart to Praise, which you can find by clicking here.  

40 comments :

  1. i love this piece so much, ro. it captures your heart - past and present - and offers hope. so glad you shared.

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    1. Thank you kendal...He is so faithful and does fill our souls with hope. blessings to you~

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  2. nice post thanks for sharing looking for to visit more ...blessings

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    1. oh come back to Jen’s place...you will be blessed:)

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  3. What honesty and hope with today's post. Why oh why do so many of us listen to those voices that continually drag us down and tell us we are not enough. I am amazed how many of us struggle with this issue. Love from others and from God seem to be the ointment that heals.

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    1. Jean...I love this... Love from others and from God seem to be the ointment that heals. Such a good reminder...we are His hands, feet and heart to those around us. blessings~

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  4. Tear-filled beauty and truth. Pairing Christa Wells song is perfect.

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    1. Connie...don’t you just love that song...just beautiful. blessings to you~

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  5. Ro, I am so grateful that you are here with us today sharing your story. And I am grateful that He speaks to us whether we've been walking with Him for an hour or a decade. I am thankful you heard His voice. You are lovely, you are a tender soul, you are so full of Him.

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    1. Oh Jen...you are too kind...thanks for taking this non-writer blogger and sharing my story. If you have a moment...read my blog today...God used you my friend. blessings and thanks for this place~

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  6. Thank you for sharing this. I love posts that encourage women who struggle to know that they are not alone, there is hope, you can reach out to Him and to your sisters, you are not damaged goods just because you struggle. You did all that and some.

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    1. Gaby...thanks for your encouragement....Oh He does take our brokenness and bring healing and redemption...to God be the Glory...blessings to you~

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  7. smiles...the healing of the heart and mind does take time...and changing those tapes are not so easy...the grooves we have created in our way of thinking...the constantly putting truth to those lies that we have been repeating...nice....

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    1. Brian...renewing of our minds...it does take time...but by the grace of God freedom does come...blessings~

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  8. I think i read this or a similar post on your blog. Blessed me then and blesses me again. You are really on to something about the "safe place to land" being so important. God values real relationships that are vulnerable and safe. I know you are an awesome safe place for others because of your redemption and restoration. May God continue to use your story to His glory!

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    1. Dea...Oh that is my hearts desire...to be a safe place. I have to say that has not always been the case. but as I received HIs love and grace for me...I then could extend it to others....we can’t give what we don’t have....thanks for you kind words...blessings~

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  9. well look at you!
    I remember your first day in the blog world....
    you are a grand friend for sure!
    T

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    1. T...makes one laugh doesn’t it....and I remember that first day...I think you were the first to comment. Your encouragement through these months are a really blessing to me my friend. more than words can express...thanks~

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  10. "I do hate who you made me to be."-- so real, raw and honest. So glad freedom came little by little! Our stories are all different, but we are all in desperate need to be free of the tapes taht tell us lies. Thanks for sharing here!

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    1. Loranine...yes...the lies he speaks are different but what they do to our souls is the same...so glad He brings truth and freedom to each of us. thanks for stopping by~

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  11. Your story is so raw and beautiful and redemptive. Thank you for sharing your light with all of us here.

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    1. Theresa...He is a God of redemption...praises to Him...blessings~

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  12. Thank you for sharing your story, Ro, and for always pointing to His love and how He has used the love of your husband to combat the lies...Many blessings to you :)

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    1. Dolly...my husband was a big part of my healing...he showed me what God love looked like in the flesh. thanks for stopping by...blessings to you~

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  13. I thank you too! I know some who need to read this. . .I'm going to share this with them. SEE, you are a writer and God is using your words to be a blessing. Thank you :)

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    1. Kristin...oh that blesses me...isn’t that all our hearts here...if one person could be helped by our words...to God be the Glory...have a blessed day my friend~

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  14. Thank you for sharing this part of your testimony. I'm so glad for your relationship with your maker. He does love you so very much.

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    1. Brandee...His love has healed and I am continuing to be amazed at His love for me...blessings to you as He continue to reveal His love to us~

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  15. Jen, Thanks for hosting all of these people I already like, now I like them even more! And you, Ms. Rosanne Elliot, beautiful story told just perfectly. Thanks for laying your heart out there for us.

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    1. Yes...Jen thank you so much for you special spot in this community...your heart is a blessing.
      amy, thank-you...your words are so very kind...blessings to you~

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  16. "the blood needed to really be the woman God intended." This hit home. I have observed anorexia in people I care about, but this is true of every tape playing in every life. We know God made us, and our soul yearns for Him at every wrong turn, no matter which tape is running. Our blood flows toward Him relentlessly and I am so glad.

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    1. Mrs. P...your words are rich...thanks for sharing your heart...blessings to you~

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  17. Powerful post! So thankful you are replacing the lies with His truth! I struggled with anorexia and excessive exercise in high school...that pursuit for control and perfection transferred to an alcohol problem in college. The lies hold us captive. So glad to be free!

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    1. Eileen...Praises and Joy...who the Son sets free is free indeed...so glad He has loved us to wholeness...thanks for sharing part of you here....blessings~

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  18. Your honesty blows me away, Rosanne. Thank you for your beautiful testimony to our Lord's power and love.

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    1. Thank you Janice...no more hiding...the Light is a wonderful safe place...blessings to you~

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  19. So beautifully, tenderly true. The healing is so slow, so tedious; multi-layered in a way that is only revealed over years and years.

    Now, a decade after facing my demons, I am still surprised by the ugly, accusing tapes that play when I look in the mirror. Seven lives were born of this body, and still I would disdain the creation of the Creator?

    His mercy is new every morning; every morning a new chance to change and grow and rest and rejoice and remember the music of truth-over-lies.

    Thanks for the gracious encouragement!

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    1. Teri...yes this process can be slow...but with every step we leave more of those old tapes discarded by the wayside...may He continue to sing His Love over you so that you may know how deep His love is for you...just the way He created you...created for His pleasure and to call you His beloved. Thanks for sharing you heart.

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  20. This is so.very.encouraging! And now, to know the backstory behind this beautiful woman! What a gift. Thank you, Jennifer, for opening up this space for tape-breaking freedom. And Roseann? Just wow. Grateful for who you are in Christ. Much love to you both.

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  21. I love the title of this series tape breaking freedom. Breaking free of the lies that hold us back from being all that God created us to be-YES!!
    Roseann's testimony is a blessing to all who hear it

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