I love the new Tauren Wells song, Hills and Valleys, about how God is with us and in control in the good times and the hard times. I'm sure we've all heard Christianity referred to as a crutch. But, I think it's more like a super power. We're just normal people that get transformed to become stronger and more confident because of the new identity Christ offers us. The power He gives us doesn't make us impenetrable or divert pain or conflict from entering our lives. But, it empowers us to face the struggles that burden us head on with knowledge that He will be with us through it.
Before I knew Christ I struggled for years with an eating disorder. The endless loop of overeating and then obsessively working out that I was trapped in was a prison that kept me too preoccupied to grow. I hated my prison, I felt miserable and hopeless and stuck in it. But, my relationship with Jesus helped me to see that it was self-imposed and self-serving. The benefit of being imprisoned was that I could avoid the fear that haunted me the most. I didn't grow in relationship with people, I didn't chase my dreams and I didn't dig in deep and face my life in any way during those years; I stayed still.
I felt trapped by my disease, but the truth was that I was trapped by my fear. My greatest fear was seeing that I wasn't enough. The thought that I wasn't enough and couldn't depend on my myself to manage my life was always in the back of my mind and it absolutely terrified me.
My self-imposed prison was an effective diversion. When I met Jesus, I didn't expect Him to heal me from my eating disorder. I didn't expect anything in particular from my relationship with Him. I'd attempted Christianity before and when my life wasn't transformed, I left bitter and disappointed. My real life transforming relationship with Christ started when somehow I understood that He loved me. In a moment, I felt His grace and affection and approval of me deep down and it felt like freedom, peace and empowerment.
I chased after Him afterwards like I was trying to capture every morsel of Him because it tasted like the peace and hope that I knew I could never muster on my own. I didn't present Him with an agenda or a To Do List of things He needed to fix in my life to prove that He was deserving of Lordship over my life. Instead, I just sought and accepted His leading curious and excited to see what He'd make my life into. And, though my life isn't easy or without conflict, it's so much more than I could have ever imagined or hoped for.
In its simplicity, I have in my life an abundance of everything that I've learned to treasure most. Genuine vulnerable relationships with people who love me, fearlessness to pursue challenges and face failure, and the confidence to know that Christ will always be with me and I will never have to depend on myself alone. And, I enjoy total freedom in my love of both food and fitness today. Not because I found the right diet and exercise program that worked for me, but because I no longer need use them as obsessive diversions from facing my fears.
A crutch helps us to laboriously limp along with brokenness. Christ has healed my every brokenness and lifted me to soar.