I have pondered the root of many of my disordered eating behaviors for years. My excessive exercising. My calorie counting. My bingeing and purging. My days of starvation. My happiness being tied to a number on a scale. What could possibly be beneath all of this?

I think it's shame.

For as long as I can remember I've always felt a little embarrassed about one thing or another. Embarrassed by my parents... things they would say or clothes they would wear. Embarrassed by my intelligence (this goes both ways... I was mortified when I won the district spelling bee- smart girls are nerds- but equally embarrassed when I lost in the next round for misspelling "incubator.")

I have spent hours mulling over scenarios from years ago... wishing I had responded or behaved differently. Wishing I had been more confident, more witty, less afraid to be different. Wishing I hadn't cared. Wishing I had cared more.

I feel it now. I look down anytime my husband tells someone he wants to plant a church. Why? Because I am embarrassed. Ashamed. I think they're judging him in all of the ways he would be horrible at it. Never mind that I believe in it. Never mind that I know my husband's heart and his calling has been affirmed repeatedly. I find myself flushing, growing warm in the cheeks... my heart beating faster.

I am embarrassed I'm not more spiritual or too spiritual (depends on who I am around). I am embarrassed I don't know more Bible or know too much. The fear of man truly lays a snare (Proverbs 29:25). 

I am embarrassed that I can't stay under my daily caloric count. I am embarrassed that people know I exercise, yet I'm not smaller. 

With this embarrassment and shame comes anxiety and fear. I am terrified of going a few days without exercising, but embarrassed to admit that. Because I am afraid when I tell people this issue, they'll think, "shouldn't Kara be smaller for how often she is exercising?"

This shame is holding hands with my pride and control. If I can control everything, I don't have to be embarrassed or ashamed. I just want to hold on so tightly. Control what my husband says, control my children's behavior, control my weight. Control. Control. Control.

I want freedom from this... for freedom I have been set free (Galatians 5:1). I haven't been set free for weight loss, likability, more friends, intelligence, beauty or financial gains. I have been set free for freedom. Galatians 5 goes on to say that we are to use this freedom to serve others. Get outside of ourselves... outside of my need to look like I have it all together. Outside of my glorification of self and on to the glorification of God.


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