Destiny In Bloom

Free Falling

Free Falling

posted on August 3rd, 2009 / by Rebecca Gates / 21 Comments

It’s been a life long struggle for me. I’ve walked around wearing this heavy chain around my neck everyday and some days it feels as though it is choking the life out of me. Biblically put, I am in a bondage that I can’t seem to break free from. I’ve never pretended that I didn’t have a problem. It is so common among women that there is virtually no shame in it, but I hate the way it makes me feel sometimes. I hate that the number on the scale can determine the course of my day. One number down and I can be outgoing, happy, and energetic. But, just one number up sends me crying in my closet desperate for the right outfit that can hide the extra weight for the rest of the day. I will be withdrawn, grumpy, and depressed until the next morning when I get another chance to gamble my fate.

I realize that it seems ridiculous that one pound can have such a dramatic affect. Maybe you have never experienced anguish over your physical appearance, but what about finances? I know someone who criticizes me for my struggle and yet throw an unexpected bill at her and she is irritable the rest of the day. She becomes melancholy and short with her kids.

My question is, what controls you? What makes you tick? What consumes your thoughts? Is it a need to work and be in control? Do you seek fulfillment in relationships to the point that you force a strain on the people you care about or drive people away? It’s about that one thing in your heart that lies, “ if you only had me you would be happy”. It is the master you serve like a faithful slave.

If you saw me, you probably wouldn’t describe me as fat. If you new my friend you would know she is definitely not scrapping by. Overall, her finances are in order. As an outsider you could clearly see the truth, but a person’s vision is clouded when in bondage. You won’t be able to reason with them. You can’t change their mind. They know they need a change, but are unable to trust truth…

The last couple of years I have sought after God with everything in me. I have pursued His presence as a life style and something has began to change in me. The Bible says that perfect love cast out all fear and as I have become intimately acquainted with God’s love for me, I have stepped aside from my own way of thinking and allowed God to have His way in every area of my life…except one. I have pleaded with Him to set me free, to show me the way, but the moment He asks me to step off the scale I get scared that He would allow my worst fear to come upon me. I last only a couple days before I take back control over this area of my life. I take the control away from God and begin again in my own strength to eat right and exercise in order to achieve happiness for myself. I bow to the lie that if only I was the perfect number on the scale I will be free from this bondage. The still small voice behind me keeps calling out gently and patiently, “will you trust me?”

Colossians 3:23-24 says, “ Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”

God planted this in my heart one day while praying again for my deliverance. He showed me that though I was working hard in my own strength He couldn’t bless it. He revealed to me how all my passion to look great was not as unto the Lord, but for other people.

In that moment as the Lord downloaded this to me, I got a mental picture of God, my loving Father, standing behind me arms open and leaning in towards me so as to be firmly planted, ready and waiting for me to make the next move. I could hear His strong voice behind my ear calling my name, “Rebecca, fall into my arms. Don’t look down at the sinking ground before you. Lose control and fall back into my perfect love. Will you trust me?”

I thought for a moment if I was willing to submit to God everything I eat, my workouts, my jeans size, the number on the scale, all that! Could I let go of my slave mentality and make Jesus my master instead. I wondered what my reward would be, but then remembered how God had exceeded my expectations when I gave Him every other area of my life.

I closed my eyes and in my heart took the plunge. It’s not one jump into freedom, rather a daily free fall. My morning routine being disrupted by the absence of a scale, I am unable to look to its magic numbers like my fortune cookie or bank account report. My daily value is determined by my Father’s love for me. A new routine has replaced the old each time I stand in my closet and pray, “Daddy catch me. I’m free falling”.

Rebecca Gates

Rebecca Gates

21 Responses to “Free Falling”

  1. This blog brought tears to my eyes [and that's a biggie for me!] bcuz I so resonate with your bondage, as many other women will. It’s so easy to recognize the lie that we should all look the same – size 2 ring a bell? – and that if we can’t fit into the jeans that are on the mannequin in the store window – or our friend who is genetically blessed with “petiteness” – than we are less, or we lack control, or are just lazy…the list goes on. Yes, it is easy to recognize the lies, but it’s so hard to overcome them when everything we see speaks for the lies and not against them.

    Recently, Jesus spoke something to my heart about my obsession with physical beauty [including weight loss] as He showed me where/when that obsession attached itself to my soul. I believed the lie that I have never been, nor ever will be, physically beautiful enough to truly be accepted.

    “Accepted by whom?” He asked.

    Well, I have never really accepted myself because I never have been nor ever will be less than a size 8 [and that's if I literally stop eating and work out 2 hours every day!] But what’s ironic is that I would now give my eyetooth to be a size 8 again…[see that bondage is always present at the back of my mind - and front of my soul]. I was not built like a ballerina nor did God intend for me to ever be that.

    I am fearfully and wonderfully made in His image…and apparently His image comes in all shapes and sizes…right?!

    These are the words Jesus spoke to me when He revealed [so tenderly] the lie I believed that my value is wrapped up in my outer beauty [or lack thereof when the scale screams at me]…

    “Your worth, Babs, is who you are in Me and who I AM in you”

    You are worth so much, Rebecca, because your heart is so firmly grounded in Jesus and your fruit is so full and ripe and juicy…delicious to the ears and eyes and hearts and minds of those you daily walk with!

  2. I loved this post Rebecca! I so identify with this daily struggle with the scale and your determination to give it all to God. I loved the mental image of God ready to catch us on our daily free falls. So encouraging – thanks!

  3. Rebecca:
    I love your transparency in your blog. Not only are you finding freedom but you are sharing it with the rest of us. Now that my friend is better than any number on a scale or in a bank account.
    I too struggle with body image and the bank account. Oddly enough I’m giving my testimony for Celebrate Recovery at our church towards the end of this month and God has been speaking to me about sharing just these things. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that I was able to read your blog today. Thank you, God for Rebecca!!
    Second, I wish you could see you as I see you. You are an amazing person. When I was afraid when we were moving to CFNI, God put you on the other end of the phone to answer our questions and to be real. Oh I love how real you are! You my friend were fearfully and wonderfully made! I love the way The Message bible puts it…(13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. )
    As I pray for myself to really grasp what this means, I will ask God to continue to reveal it to you. Knowing that He knows exactly how I was made, bit by bit reminds me that he knows how my mind was created and how I think and feel.
    Your life touching mine makes me better.
    Mucho Love,
    CB

  4. To my BEAUTIFUL friend who is learning to listen to grace more and more with each new day,

    THANK you for visiting brutally honest land and bringing us all with you so the Lord can reveal to all of our heart we are SOOOO much more than the image we see in the mirror or that number on the scale. Freedom starts as a choice and a responding to the great work of God in you … thanks for being one who listens to His voice and chooses freedom…YOU inspire many!!!

    Great Love!!!,
    ~Ris

  5. What an awesome blog, there is so much truth in there! Thanks for being so real and sharing the yuckies that so many of us women fight on a daily basis.

  6. Rebecca!!
    God uses you to inspire and encourage women all over the place! You are so beautiful and honest and open about life. It is refreshing to read your writings. I know God is doing such a wonderful work in you. You are running the race so you may finish strong, because in the end it doesn’t matter one bit what size we were in this life or how much money we had it matters how Jesus was glorified and souls were brought into His kingdom!
    Thank You for allowing us to see into your life,
    Sarah

  7. Thank you Rebecca for sharing this, I can hardly see through my tears, I am not in bondage to body image, but to control and it is just as binding as what you describe in this blog. A daily struggle that some days I succeed in what God has pressed upon my heart to do and some days I just don’t. It really does feel like a “free fall” that I have no idea where I might land, but on the days that I do make the leap the ending is always a reward it just doesn’t feel like it on the way down.

  8. Rebecca,

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart in such a real way that hits home with so many of us-truly all of us in one dimension or another, if we are bravely trusting the Lord enough to be honest and vulnerable about it.

    A few years ago, I was asked to share some thoughts with a group of teen-aged girls at a good friends’ church on the topic of inner beauty and our true value and worth in Christ Jesus alone. As I laid on the floor surrounded by different Bible translations, concordances, reference guides, index cards, etc., in efforts to put together a talk, I began to pray for the Lord’s guidance. He gently but abruptly interrupted with, “Baby girl, do you really believe what you are preparing to teach?”
    I thought, “Well, I don’t know…I think so.”
    And He said, “Well, then, I want you to start by thanking Me for everything you complain about and think you don’t like about yourself.”
    Woa! And then, came about twenty to thirty minutes of whole-hearted, heavy sobbing and head-to toe thanksgiving from little, chubby feet to wirey, gray hairs springing from the top of my head that the sun illuminates perfectly in my rear view mirror. Eek! You would have thought it would have been a smack in the face, but in His presence, there was security and acceptance in just being the me He created.

    He spoke again, “Did you know that I am crazy about you? All of these things are uniquely you, and I am delighted in you. I receive you, and I love you.”

    Oh for those moments of freedom and fullness! What a blessing it is to hear His voice of Truth spoken into our hearts and minds through the power of His Spirit Who dwells in us while the enemy continues to hurl at us lie upon lie with false notions of beauty and acceptance based upon an ever-changing worldly standard.

    Today, my main struggle–nope, it’s a war–is in another area of identity, which for years I have so quickly and firmly said is in Christ–the One and Only. Truly, I do know it is in Him, but sometimes something happens whether it is caused by you or one you have dearly loved, that exposes pieces of you–that you may like or dislike–that have never before been realized. I am seeing where I have boldly proclaimed my identity in Christ while clinging to another for significance. These lines can be so blurry at times. The loss of this relationship has brought upon me grief that seems unbearable at times, but in the uncovering and surrender in the pain is great healing and greater freedom all because the Lover of my Soul is ever-present and hands-on.

    You are right, Rebecca; it’s a daily freefall–all day long. It’s a journey. It’s a choice. For me right now, it’s a crossroads, and I want to get it right. I want to be brave; I want to go against the flow. And, if it were just me and Jesus with all else forsaken and everyone unto me abandoned–I want Him to be enough…because He is and more so. That is truth. I have to believe it.

    But then He interrupts again saying, “Do you believe it? Right now, do you believe Me?”
    And I say by choice, “Yes, Lord. I believe!”

    What’s He doing in us, Rebecca? Has the enemy’s fury increased in order to distract us from our calling, which is expressly to know and trust in our God through His Son Jesus? Are you sensing that, because I am seeing God’s girls not wanting to settle for the world’s version of less than but desiring more of what is real–Truth…Him?!?!

    Wow! Great outlet for me today. I needed it. Thank you, my friend, for being so incredibly real and out there. You are kindling the fire and spurring us on towards Him!

  9. You have given me ever so much to ponder and I can’t thank you enough for being so brutally honest.
    much love to you!
    D

  10. Rebecca, i can so identify with the bondage that hangs around your neck, day after day, year after year. Mine is the “need’ for perfect health associated with fear that a Dr appointment or test might reveal that it is not perfect. Also in bondage to achievement and the need to perform…even if it is to just accomplish a self motivated task. I love the term you used about a daily free fall. This weekend I went “tubing” with my eight grands and their parents. On one run down the river my oldest son kept telling me where to position myself to go over the rocks without getting stuck. I realized this morning that my search for a deeper intimacy with Father is “positioning ” me with Him so I will flow freely over the rapids of the strongholds that have in the past caused me to get “hung up” in my daily walk. Thanks for your insights. Believing, Jean

  11. Hey honey you are my hero! I noticed a couple weeks ago your scale out in the garbage pile WAY TO GO!! I am real proud of you and watching your relationship with Jesus grow and grow over this past year. I will be honored to carry your Bible and luggage wherever the Lord takes you!

  12. That was really sweet Honey! I’m a little choked up.

    Thank you everyone for sharing with me so openly. I know it makes the enemy mad to see so many ladies coming together and exposing his ugly lies while offering encouragement and hope that binds us together stronger than ever. God is definitely doing something among His daughters!!

  13. Rebecca, wow did that hit close to home. Do you know how many times I have tried to give that part of my life to God wholly and completely. I think today I will be able to come closer. How can that one number bring so much pain or joy. I have a number in my head that I want to get to, the question is, is it the number God wants for ME. Am I trying to achieve God’s will or mine? My husband doesn’t even know how much I weigh, too much shame on a number. Thank you for hope and a new way to pray and to give it to God completely for His will to be done. You are an inspiration to me. Your are BEAUTIFUL inside and out. Thank you for sharing and helping me with my hourly struggle.
    Beth

  14. Thanks for sharing such an intimate and honest struggle. I love reading about the reality of life, in black and white, and how you have seen God beyond it all. I have had the same issues with caffeine for so many years (and blogged about it of course!) and finally decided that i was tired of letting Me have control of this one area. I have been completely “caffeine-free” for about a week now! Ah, the freedom!!!!!!!!!!! You go girl! You are an inspiration!

  15. Sweet Rebecca, I love you more and more each day!!:) I love your realness, your truthfulness, and most of all your amazing heart! God has been molding you into His most magnificent creation! Your walk with the Lord is so sweet to watch. The words you wrote about Daddy catch me I’m free falling gave me those “Thank you Jesus Chills”. Those are words I long to cry out to Him every day and by telling the world about your inward struggles and freedoms from those struggles have opened so many eyes to see that there really is a God out there who loves me and cares for me and wants to see me set free. Thank you for your realness and for your words of life!! I look forward to reading more!!:)
    Love You,
    Maree

  16. I’m not very good with words, so all I can really say is that I’m proud of you. I love you and this encourages me to “free fall” in some of the hard areas I’m my life.

    Love and appreciate you more than you know, Princess Sarah

  17. Thanks for making me cry, sweet friend! Better rebuke from a friend than kisses from an enemy! I love reading these to be inspired & stand with God loving sisters of faith, but, oops, today Gid stretched me & said “Try again, daughter, but this time, give that heavy thing to me first! I paid for it a long time ago!” Truely, thus is the day our giants have fallen & freedom to walk in is ours! Love, Sach

  18. Rebecca, Love you, love your heart. Am so amazed by what God has done and is doing in our lives. I just stand back and see His heart and in you. Wow. I can just picture you free falling in your closet with Jesus. Thank you for always being so real..it’s always so refreshing. It’s like you and Marissa have started the ‘real’ movement and we’re all aboard! Love you and If Travis gets to carry your Bible, I get to carry your water :}

  19. Hmmmm…deep in thought. Applying what you said. My control, fear, and insecurity comes in to play with relationships. What would Jesus say to me when I want to keep tabs on who is treating me what way? The same thing as you, I guess. Because there is wisdom in what you wrote! I am learning to free fall too, but you phrased it in a way I hadn’t before. And now I have a term to hold on to while I am holding on to Jesus. :)

  20. Rebecca
    Thanks for sharing your heart. For being real!
    I enjoy reading your posts and have passed this website on to my girlfriends.

  21. Rebecca,

    Woohooo! Great post, here. Freefalling. I especially loved the title. Perfect visuals and verses… isn’t it ironic how God’s safety net is there and we can’t feel it until we leap? Until we trust? Bravo! Mystery and wonder all at the same time. Isn’t Jesus the best way ever?