I was reading my devotions yesterday from Sally Clarkson’s ‘Mom Heart Moments’. She was talking about the struggles we face in life and how important it was to always be facing towards God. These struggles are inevitable because we live in a fallen world, and, she continues, ‘Heroes are made in times of battle, and our lives will tell a story.’
I have grown up with an alcoholic father, faced a horrible post-natal illness which lasted three years and was diagnosed with cancer when my youngest was just nine months old. There are hundreds of other smaller battles I have fought in (as we all have) but these are the ones which affected me the greatest. These are the battles which changed me the most, grew my faith, my character and brought me closer to God in immeasurable ways. However, they are also the battles which left scars. These scars have faded over time but they are still there reminding me of the consequences of the struggles I faced.
Not Every Battle Ends in Heroism
There are some battles however which do not end in heroism. These battles are messy, one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of battles; battles which seemingly have no winners, least of all the person fighting them.
I fight in one of those battles every single day of my life. It is silent and ugly and eats me up inside.
Of course, I am talking about my weight. I have struggled with this for as long as I can remember. Insidious in nature, my weight is my biggest enemy. It makes me ashamed to be me. It stops me living my life in the way I want to. It stops me being brave.
It is ugly in the biggest sense of the word. Oh, I am not talking about what it looks like, (although I think I am predisposed to consider fat to be an ugly thing on me, yet on others I do not consider it ugly at all) I am talking ugly as in sin-ugly. It is the thorn in my side that only I can do something about, yet, as many close to me have testified, I am not sure it is something I will ever overcome this side of Heaven.
Every Battle is Worth Fighting
However, for as long as I breathe I will continue to battle against this thorn in my side. I want to be one of those women whose stories are ‘breathtaking and encouraging and cause others to want to trust Jesus more for their own problems.’ But with only failure trailing behind me, I don’t see how this can be.
I was chatting to Charlotte and Ads the other day. I am bleakly honest about my struggles with food, and both are fully aware that I fail more than I succeed. I think I said something along the lines of wanting to be a good role model for them and apologising that I failed them on all fronts.
Charlotte then looked me in the eye and said, ‘Mum, I don’t see a woman who fails, I see a woman who wakes up every morning and fights. I see a woman who never gives up, regardless of how many times she fails. I see a woman who inspires me.’
You what now?! I inspire her?
Even now, I am shaking my head over how that can possibly be the truth. I fail at least half of the time, if not more. How can that possibly be inspiring?
I was reminded of the story of God’s tapestry, which I have told my children so many times over the course of their lives.
Imagine God in Heaven weaving a tapestry of your life. As we look up Heavenward, we only see the frayed ends, cut, knotted and in no pattern or recognisable picture. God however, sees His work on the other side, and he calls it good. His view is of the incredible, individual tapestry He is weaving, where there are no ends, frayed or knotted. There is only beauty.
There is only beauty.
God uses every single struggle in our lives to craft beauty. He is the master weaver. We may not know how all these frayed, sinful, ugly threads will be woven into the picture of our lives, but God does.
All we have to do is to keep going. One day at a time. One thread at a time.
After all, the battle belongs to the Lord, not us ❤️