I would do anything for my kids. What parent wouldn’t?
My heart breaks for my boys when they struggle in life. When your kids are hurting you hurt. When they overcome something, you celebrate with them. When they’re in pain, you feel that pain even deeper than they do at times.
My youngest opened up to us a few weeks ago that he was sneaking extra food from his friends lunches. After eating what we packed him, he would take leftovers others didn’t want to eat. We knew something had been going on when his clothes had stopped fitting him and we were forced to move to sizes well beyond his height and age.
We had a heart breaking moment, when our baby sat in tears feeling ashamed and confused. He didn’t know what was driving him, but he felt he was doing something wrong. He was embarrassed and crushed. This was so tough for me to watch and hear.
I remember how I felt the day Jeremy (my hubby) walked into the bathroom and caught me mid-purge. I remember the shame that I felt. I remember the fear I had as I wondered what he was thinking. I remember how exposed I felt as the light switch was flipped on to something that had grown in the dark since I was 10 years old. All of those memories resurfaced as I watched my boy sitting on the side of the bed in tears and unable to speak. I was gripped with fear. I know how God carried me into freedom. His perfect strength and the support of my family helped me but how do I now help my boy?
PAUSE . . .
Toward the end of every December, I ask God for a word for the coming year. It’s more than a theme. It’s like a mission for the next 365 days of my life. I take it serious. I focus on it. I push myself and trust God to lead me.
Funny thing about those two words is as I did my best to embrace them, I immediately became fearful. I prayed to God and said, “Ok God, Ill be brave. But what are you throwing my way this year that I need bravery for?”
Don’t get me wrong, bravery sounds awesome and it’s gonna look good on the t-shirt. But we only need bravery to do scary things. So what scary things should I expect to face this year God? My attitude was less than brave. “Sure Jesus, I’ll be brave as long as you don’t make me face anything too hard. And please don’t make me give up any of my things.”
But he reminded me of my biggest promise in 2015. I chose to live “palms up” recognizing I’m all his and nothing belongs to me. I chose to give up control and stop possessing my own life. My life is His. I’m anxious about 2016. Bravery is scary!
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.
BACK TO MY BOY:
And right out of the gate we had our first Nicks Family “Be Brave” moment. How do we help our baby to put down guilt and shame? How do we help him live a healthy and happy life? How do do all this without him becoming obsessed with looking down at the scale before looking up to God? I’m not really sure but God knows and we’re all in His care.
In that moment, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I went to my quiet place and pleaded and begged God for the health of my baby. “Please God, don’t allow him to suffer in shame. Protect his spirit. Tell me what to do. Don’t let our fears affect his growth through this circumstance.”
We’ve been doing our part and trusting God to do his. There was a time fear would have won. I would have ignored the problem or ran and hid from it. Instead we are taking little steps to help our little guy embrace who God made him and help channel is love for food in healthier ways. He helps with dinners, he gets to choose what we make for dinner, and we get to focus on WHOLE health and not on appearance. I’ll share more as we go but for today my encouragement to you is
Be brave by taking one step each day through the circumstances that would normally scare you.
This past week, we went back to our plan. The plan start everyone of my new clients with gives freedom to my son. He doesn’t feel like he’s dieting. He actually gets to tell us what he wants to eat and he’s in charge! We work out OR get active EVERY DAY. We haven’t discussed pounds. We’ve talked health. We’ve talked about handling life. We’ve talked about living in the light so the stuff that scares us has to fear us! So what’s happened?
It started with screaming and ended with tears. The screaming came from my boy after he got out of the shower.
“Guess what?!” he yelled at me. “I lost 4 pounds this week.” There was such pride and confidence as we celebrated his win. In that moment he shared an area where he had struggled last week. This was a win too? My boy isn’t scared to talk to me. That’s more important than 4 pounds! It was my moment to remind him it isn’t about being perfect, its about progress and effort.
Being brave is scary. But I want to grow. I want to be more who I was meant to be. Isn’t that the goal?
Growth demands the temporary release of security.