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In His Image

April 19, 2010

I’m not a very good writer.   I’m not a very dedicated blogger.  I’m good at a couple of things.  Trying to sound as humble as a person can sound when listing the things they excel at, I’m very good at singing, cleaning, organizing and loving others.  That didn’t sound too bad, did it?  Anyways, it seems though, that no matter how good, or even great I am at those few things, the list of things I’m not good at is huge.  It also seems that, the list of things I’m not good at tends to overshadow the good, at least in my mind.

So, this is me, in a nutshell:  I love to sing, I adore my husband and think I’m a pretty great wife.  I love to clean, and am quite proud of my organizational skills.  My love language is Acts of Service and anyone who’s been on the receiving end of my language is usually pretty grateful.  So far, so good; but now here comes the crazy.  I have a difficult time loving myself.  I feel ugly and fat.  The more ugly and fat I feel, the more I eat, because while I’m eating, I feel good.  Then after I’m done eating, I feel bad.  When I walk into a room I immediately assess if I’m the biggest girl in the room.  It’s sad.  And I’ve spent more tears than I can count on this struggle.

So, I started talking about it.  I figure, I can’t be the only one… even though a lot of the time I feel like I am.  I feel like no one could possibly understand my love/hate relationship with food; no one could possibly understand what I see when I look in the mirror; no one could possibly understand what I’m going through.  But as I started to talk about it from stage, people started talking to me about their struggles; heavy girls, skinny girls, young girls, older women, moms, daughters, sisters, aunts. Apparently there are a lot of us out there.  And by us, I mean, women who have forgotten that no matter what the mirror reflects, we were made in His image.

Genesis 1:27 – God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

It’s so easy to forget that He made us. And whether we are drop dead gorgeous, or just average looking, that does not define who we are to God. We are all beautiful , unique and precious to our maker.

Psalms 139:14 – 17- I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.

This blog isn’t for negativity. I don’t want people to jump on here and tell us how fat we are, or that we need to go on a diet.  I’ve heard that my whole life, and I’m done listening to it.  This blog is for beautiful women/girls who need to be reminded that they are beautiful to God; who need to be reminded that they are not alone; who need, once in a while, to be reminded that it’s okay to be and look the way they do.

This blog is for the broken.  Because I can honestly admit, that I am broken. I am deep down, fractured by words, and hurts that have never really seemed to heal.  I don’t want it to just be me posting either. If you want to post a comment, please do so. But I only want heartfelt honesty, not rude comments.  I also plan on having guest writers who have dealt with weight/body issues.  My heart’s desire is to see a network of women loving each other, and building each other up as they journey towards loving themselves.

I want this to be a ministry. I want this to be a safe place.  I want to feel good about myself again.

Amy

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24 comments

  1. I support u fully and would love it in return. I feel broken as well and pray God has His hand in how u minister to other’s thru this site. God Bless
    Jo


  2. so glad you are starting this! Here lately, I have been struggling really bad with this issue. I think how addicted to food I seem to be, how ugly and fat I feel when I let myself get this way and how I eat when I am happy or sad..i don’t understand why I cannot view food the way other people do. So many other topics that christians or people in general have trouble with get talked a lot about and lots of books or such come out on them but I have yet to find a book that deals with my food struggles from a christian perspective. so glad you are doing this…amy you are not alone! I LOVE to sing too girl and I have weight issues too! When you came to our church, it felt good to actually see someone up on stage singing that wasn’t under a size 8!


  3. I feel like you just wrote my story…I can’t wait to walk this journey with you!


  4. thank you so much for this..i also feel like you just wrote exactly how i feel..the feelings aren’t always though..i only feel that way sometimes..and it’s so hard..but then someone will say something and it’s like God has used that person in such a way that it encourages me and reminds me that we aren’t just another person..we have a purpose and he is going to use us no matter what we see when we look in the mirror


  5. How increbibly parallel our stories are to one another! I finally got to hear you guys in concert at Women of Joy in Pigeon Forge a few weeks ago and just felt a kinship with each and every one of you! I suffered a miscarriage several years ago and Todd was the first person to acknowledge that loss in nearly 7 years. I came back and read every word of Angie’s blog and today just finished the book. While reading it, I discovered that what I had been experiencing with my weight and self-image was just a different kind of grief! It is not the same grief we experience with loss of life, but when we are broken, we are stricken with grief. We find ourselves in pieces praying to the Father to put us together again begging for wholeness. The problem I face is that I never let Him break me completely. I hold on to that one shard that tends to keep me from being whole. It’s a vicious cycle and sometimes a VERY lonely journey! I had breast reduction surgery last year and thought this was going to be the year the baggage melted away. One year later…not a stinkin’ pound lighter! I think I’m so desperate to lose it because the weight reminds me of my failures. Each pound represents a misstep and one that I wish I could take back.

    I just started Nutrisystem and have high hopes that it, coupled with LOTS of prayer support will be the answer. Praying with and for ya! May it be a blessed journey for all of us! 🙂


    • Can’t believe I forgot to mention this, but I totally thought I’d marry a musician and instead fell in love with a total computer genius (aka…nerd)! LOL


  6. Hey Amy,Im loving your blog 😉 I have issues too. I have trouble seeing myself as beautiful or even just ok.I grew up with a verbally and physically abusive brother who told me I was stupid, ugly, and fat from the time I was maybe 10 until I was about 21.It’s hard for me to replace the old negative with the positive that I hear nowadays from people in church. But still, some days I wonder why anyone would want me. Anyways,Im looking forward to your posts and if I can help you in this journey I will 🙂 Amy, I love you and you are SUCH an awesome person! I really do admire you!
    Hugs,Julie


  7. Amy,
    First off, you are a great writer. You put your thoughts down clearly and concisely. Secondly, I am glad you are doing this blog. It takes a lot of courage to speak out on these issues and I believe a lot of people will benefit from hearing your story. I look forward to walking with you through this journey.
    T.J.


  8. Amy,

    I to have struggled with my weight all my life. I have been called fat and lots of other words that are not very nice. I totally understand where you are coming from. I heard your story about two months ago during a concert that I attended. You are the most beautiful person I know. I will be with you every step of the way in your journey to become healthly. I will be praying for you as well.
    Cheri


  9. Amy,
    I came across this blog only because I was searching for Selah songs. In listening to your amazing voice, for me it overshadowed what you look like. I know what a struggle it is to lose weight. Weight Watchers is a great program and I wish you all the best in your weight loss journey. Stay with the program and don’t deny yourself the food your love. Face it we will always be surrounded by food but learning to live with it and making healthy choices will make us successful! You are beautifully amazing and I love how your voice ministers to me.
    God Bless!
    Patricia


  10. I grew up as the “fat” child and was picked on all the time at school and the names will remain forever imbedded in my memory. While they were very hurtful and led me to not have any self confidence in myself. I tried the quick fix diets and the diet pills, but nothing seemed to work to make me skinny or look how I thought I wanted to look. All of the stress of body image and others issues occuring in my life at the time, I began to binge and purge which led to a lifestyle of being a bulimic. I hid this eating disorder for 7 years, and while I was loosing weight, I knew it wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t until it accidently came out one day I was talking with a good friend, and immediately he prayed for me and has held me accountable. It is by God’s strength and power that I have been freed from this for over a year now. I praise God and give him all the credit for setting me free from this and pray that I can use this for a testimony for others to share what God has done. While I still struggle with my weight and always will. I know God has a purpose for me and I am not gonna let the media and society get me donwn because I am not a size zero. I’ve learned to change my eating habits and strive to eat healthy daily! While it is a battle, we serve an awesome GOd who has the power and the strength and the courage to help each one of us with this daily struggle!!!!


  11. I am so glad you are trying weight watchers. I did it about 9 years ago. I lost 40 pounds. However I have put it ALL back on. I am getting ready to try it again after trying everything else. It does work but you MUST keep the good habits. Even though I do have good eating habits portion control is also very important. I am starting out at 177.4. I am going to do this with you. I will pray for the both of us to have a successful journey. I love your new song “Redeemed”. It fits me. I feel lost and very unloved. You will never know what part your music plays in this world for some of us listening until Jesus shows you. I am sure you will be amazed. Thank you so much.


  12. Hi Amy;

    I wouldn’t say I have struggled with weight but I have struggled with being told that am not physically attractive….It is such a journey and am glad you started this for women. Words have a way of getting to us and reaching places we never knew existed. Therefore, if we feed off God’s word it will reach those places and heal our wounded hearts-coz that’s what His word does….it heals.

    To every woman or man out there who cries themselves to sleep over careless words, God sees each tear as it falls and He hears your prayers…it is a broken road but we can only see so far..because our sight is limited. We serve a LIMITLESS God. Dare to trust Him!

    Remember child of God, nothing happens to you, everything happens for you.

    Thank you Amy, may Jesus carry you through this.


  13. Well, in my mind we’re good friends! You didn’t know I harmonize with you while I’m making supper? 🙂 Don’t be creeped out, I’m not weird. Just love to sing, am a big girl myself, and love that my favorite group got themselves a brilliant singer who looks a lot like me (size-wise).

    I have struggled with my weight for a long, long time. I look back and realize that had I been told all along that I was bigger than others (and really, it’s just that I’m bigger boned and grew faster than the others… and was never meant to be a skinny little thing), but I wish someone would have told me that I was okay the way I was. Instead, I remember eating (hiding) my way through the years. I have never done the binge/purge thing, but ice cream and chocolate are my best friends and worst enemies.

    I am now at the point where I gained 40 pounds after getting married nearly three years ago, and while I’m blessed my husband loves me for who I am completely, I hate that I weigh even more now. I’ve sinced turned 30, and really feel tired and hurt often. I get out of breath easily. And although we’re in the same boat as you mentioned regarding a baby, I just feel like I wouldn’t be able to keep up with one right now.

    What have I done? I’ve tried Weight Watchers, but as I dropped 9 pounds or so, my husband dropped 30, which only discouraged me. I gained any losses back. I am in a First Place group with some colleagues, which is great for the motivation and Bible studies, but I haven’t taken the meal watching as seriously as I should.

    I am at the point where I want to simply feel better… I don’t care how “skinny” I get. Actually, even 50 pounds off (a long way from the real goal) would be so satisfying. And then I think about it. And then I go get the comfort food because it’s so daunting. I think about walking, then realize how I’ll feel after exercising, so I avoid it.

    I sometimes adopt the attitude that we’re all going to die anyway, so who cares what it’s from? Then I am reminded that we should take care of the temple that the Lord has blessed us with.

    The bottom line I’ve come to is that I don’t have to be a size 8. In fact, I won’t ever be a size 8. I’d be happy with a 16, to be honest. Anyway, anxious to follow your journey here. Keep being real. There are many of us women, I’m positive, who look up to you so much. The Lord has given you a talent of singing which has blessed more people than you’ll ever know. Thank you for your ministry and passion.


  14. ((hugs))


  15. Love the blog, Amy! Can’t wait to walk this journey with you… 🙂
    A BIG Selah fan,
    Chare 😉
    http://www.charebear1010.blogspot.com


  16. Dear Amy,
    You are a beautiful lady! I pray that you would be able to see yourself as such. I struggled with anorexia and bulimia during my teens. I was so broken when Jesus found me and told me that He was my healer. It took a couple of years to walk out my new found freedom. These years I regard as the best in my life because Jesus held me so close to His heart. He whispered truth to my heart, helping me to believe His words of love more than the lies that had told me I was worthless and ugly.
    One book the Holy Spirit really used in my life was You Are Not What You Weigh by Lisa Bevere. I recommend it becauses instead of being a “self-help” book, Lisa gives wise and biblical counsel of how to get freedom in this area.
    I look forward to hearing you sing when you come to HCF in Burnet this summer!
    King regards,
    Linsay


  17. Dear Amy,

    Thank you for sharing your heart. It is a gift. I have struggled with my weight all of my life and am only now in recovery from my eating issues.

    I know most have recommended diets but I won’t do that. I don’t believe diets work unless weight is your only issue. And for most of us are weight is a symptom of a root issue. For me it has been a variety of issues: low self esteem, self hatred..etc.

    I joined Overeater’s Anonymous about a year ago. It is a 12 step program founded on the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Both organizations are founded upon Christian values and beliefs. http://www.oa.org is the website for OA. OA has worked for me because my weight/eating is no longer in my hands- I give it to God and work the steps to recovery. I have been in the program for about a year and have lost 40lbs. My mind and heart is sooo much lighter and that’s the best part.

    I think that’s it. I thought I’d share what’s been working for me. It has been a tough but amazing journey. All the best.

    God bless.
    Jasmine

    If you have any questions feel free to ask. I clicked the “notify me of follow up comments” button so I will get them. Take care.


    • Jasmine, I have been trying to work up the courage to go to OA. Just in the month that I have heard about them and read the materials on their web site, has changed my thinking. It is scary to think about going…embarrassed…
      Any words of encouragement for taking the first step and going to a meeting?
      Found Amy’s blog this morning looking for info about a concert they are doing in my home town. I decided to start reading her blog from the very beginning and here you were with the OA comments.


  18. Dear Amy,

    You are doing great! Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

    Warmly,

    Tina


  19. Hi Pam,

    Would you like to email me? That’s probably best. I’d be happy to answer any questions. OA has changed my life- my faith has grown through it too. I don’t know if I should or am ‘allowed’ to post my email address here, Amy, I am sorry if it isn’t. My address is jasmineleigh86@gmail.com talk to you soon. God bless, Jasmine


  20. Amy,
    Thank you for sharing your heart. I have one question, how do you “Love” yourself? I know how to love others, but myself not sure. I see God’s beauty in everyone else but again not me. I want to open a salon to show people they’re beautiful. In God’s eyes. The name will be “Your Beautiful”. I’ve always wanted to show my sisters and other they are beautiful. See, I have 5 sisters and I was the “pretty” one. I didn’t and don’t see it. I’ve always had an eating problem, not eating and now I can’t stop eating. 20 years ago I found out I was pregnant, the problem was my weight was 94lbs. I was 4 months along and I couldn’t make myself eat. I was losing weight not what the doctor wanted. I just couldn’t let myself get “fat”! By the time my son was born, I had gained 100lbs. My delivery weight was 198lbs. To date, I’m still overweight.
    I heard you on AFR with JJ and Ron the other day say that you loved yourself. How do you do that.
    Kathy.


  21. Thank you for writing. Words fail me, tears are streaming down my face…because I relate to what you have said about weight. I am so very sorry for your struggle. It is painful, I do know how you feel. Reading your blog just sounds like my own inner voice of experience. I was a chubby kid. Everyone in my family is thin and I was looked down upon because I was fat. I have cried out to the LORD many times to help me loose weight and keep it off. It has always been a “yo-yo” of fat/thin/fat/thin for me. It seems like I have “always” been on a diet. I can never remember a time in my life that I haven’t been trying to loose weight. I have heard the line “you have a beautiful face if only you would loose weight” over and over and I hate it. I’ve tried First Place, Weight Watchers, TOPS, South Beach…you name it, I’ve tried it and failed and failed and failed. I exercise faithfully and still I carry around 120 extra pounds I cannot seem to get rid of. I made it through high school fairly thin because I learned how to throw up food or chew it up and then spit it out. After having children, I ballooned into what I am today. I still diet and still exercise. I can loose 20 lbs in 3 months and gain it all back by a weekend of “normal person” eating. Again, thank you for sharing your story and for this blog.


  22. Amy, I would like to encourage you to check into Dr. Pompa’s Cellular Healing Diet. He has a website and has some videos you can watch to learn more. Read thru the list of things that make you a good candidate for his diet and try it if you fit into those categories. I would also like to encourage you to get tested for food allergies. Some people have headaches, gas, bloating, etc and think it is just every day problems when they may really have food allergies. Good luck with your journey.



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