Girl to Girl Talk: Sitting on the Sidelines…Is There a Reason to Live?
Written by Christi Given | September 22, 2014
Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.
PI Girls, I love to answer your personal questions about faith, life, relationships, school and so forth. This week, a special PI Girl emailed me via Facebook and shared her post on the forum. I will keep it anonymous to respect her privacy, but I want to share her story with you. To add to the Girl Talk forum or to ask questions, join us at projectinspired.com/girl-talk; also feel free to message me directly at facebook.com/ChristiGiven.
Here is the PI Girl’s story:
My life has been super messy recently. In eighth grade, I became anorexic and had to go through intensive treatment. My freshman year, my parents forced me to run cross-country. I trained really hard and turned out to be one of the best on the team. As a freshman, I was running at the same pace as seniors. Unfortunately, I developed shin splints (and because I was naive…stupid…I continued to run and developed a stress fracture on both of my shins). I took two years off from running…doing physical therapy, strengthening exercises, icing, stretching…everything I could. During that time, I struggled. I’d put my identity and worth in running and it came crashing down. I almost committed suicide. I started cutting.
My sophomore year started off well. I had a friend who talked to me and put me “back on track” in my walk. I put running on the backburner with hopes to come back to it. However, halfway through the year, I relapsed in my eating disorder (with bulimic tendencies now), and started cutting again.
I was put in therapy and was able to stop cutting and increase my caloric intake…but then my parents said they couldn’t afford it anymore and made me quit.
I was able to run at my Christian camp this summer, so I figured I was ready for running again. But I was wrong. I’ve been back in cross-country for five days and my shins already kill. And I’ve only been running half a mile…less than that, even. My coach won’t let me run anymore. It’s been so hard because all of my friends run varsity (what I would have been running if not for my stupid injury). It’s so stinking hard. I go to meets only to watch everyone run and go to practice only to run my own little measly half-mile by myself. I love my team and they’re supportive, but I JUST WANT TO RUN. It’s been TWO YEARS and I’m so mad, honestly. I don’t understand what I’ve done. I’ve learned not to put my worth in my running anymore. I’m finding it in Christ. But He’s taken away my passion. I’m beginning to hate myself again. I want to cut again…. I know it’s wrong, but my mind keeps telling me it’s a release and reminds me of the relief I feel when I do it. I hate what I see in the mirror. I’ve gained 10 pounds because of my bingeing and purging from my eating disorder. I’ve been crying every night because I don’t want to see myself go back to the darkness I’ve been walking in for the past three years. But all I can see is that darkness. I feel like it’s in front of me and I’m just walking toward it and can’t stop myself. I’ve started having suicidal thoughts again. I really don’t understand my life right now.
I am so proud of this PI Girl for coming forward, being honest and sharing her heart and story. This beautiful girl knows that we cannot put our trust in money, a career, a sport, in people, but solely in Christ, and in God our Father. People fail us, health can fail us and sometimes even people we love, we need to trust God is in control and loves us. We may not understand, we may be angry with God, but God knows, He loves you. He is with you even in the midst of the storm and the raging sea. Just keep focusing on Him like Peter—remember, Peter started sinking when He took His eyes OFF Jesus and looked at fear and the situation (the waves crashing). Remember God is always faithful—it’s just in His timing.
Know that EVERY story matters, and EVERY person has value. YOU are LOVED, CHERISHED, PRIZED, VALUED, HONORED, ADORED, THOUGHT OF and CHOSEN! Jesus died so you could have an abundant life, not a life of fear (John 10:10), doubt and insecurity! Amen?
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
We need to tap into our fierce, faith-filled side that abolishes the lies of the devil (the Father of lies). When you hear in your head, “I am not pretty enough, good enough, skinny enough, smart enough, qualified enough…” STOP right there and cast off every vain, false imagination that DOES NOT come from the LOVE of God. Sure, God disciplines us because we are His children and it isn’t always butterflies and roses, but God will not tell you, “Oh sorry, you can’t serve me because you’re not good enough.” God doesn’t call the qualified—He equips the called! Look at the Bible—God uses broken people!
There is divine, HOLY PURPOSE to YOUR life…yes, YOU reading. God created YOU in your mother’s womb with a plan in His mind. You aren’t here to eat, breathe, go to practice, go to school, sleep, live till you’re 80 and die. No, God has you here to do the mundane, but He strategically is placing you where you are for HIS glory.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
We are born to glorify God; until we understand this, life will not make sense. We need to have a deep understanding and revelation that life isn’t about us. No, sorry—it is not about YOU. I hate to burst your bubble, but the moments we start to think it’s about us, or our empire, our goals, etc., watch how quickly God will remind you that you aren’t in control. Of course, God is loving and gracious and gently reminds us by adding or removing things or people in our lives, but we need to take our eyes off ourselves and start helping others. Do you know an antidote for depression? Serve, love or give to someone! Amen? The book I recommended to Nicole when she was depressed and suicidal was The Purpose-Driven Life by Pastor Rick Warren. And guess what? One of the first things Warren mentions in the book, which highly impacted Nicole, was it is not about you. The truth is it is all about JESUS! It is all about the Savior and how God wants a relationship with us, and how He died for our shortcomings and imperfections on the cross! (John 3)
God created us to be in partnership with HIM! When we agree to do this and we humble ourselves and surrender, God gives us supernatural peace, love, joy and the fruits of the spirit. Ask yourself: Do I have these fruits in my life? If I don’t, what does this say about my walk? We need to ask for more of God, and less of us. We need to become servants. Even Jesus said:
But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:26-28)
Of course, if there are other issues and things that are going on that are painful, know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. God loves you. Sometimes bad things happen and we don’t understand them. To encourage you, look at Job’s story in the Bible: He lost EVERYTHING, but never turned from God and disobeyed. Instead, the story is a testament of faithful obedience even though Job’s home, flock, wealth and health were taken (he had sores all over his body), the enemy attacked him, his children died, and his wife told him to curse God and to just give up…Job didn’t, though! Because of his love for God and his TRUST that God was so good DESPITE his circumstances, do you know what happened?
After this HUGE test, which you can argue Job didn’t deserve, it turned out for his best because God restored to him double. Yes, when God takes something, He will restore what was lost, and not only that, but give you BETTER. He will give you double for your trouble. Hold on, your breakthrough is coming, beloved precious girls. Jesus loves you so much! Just trust that God has your best interest.
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)
Sometimes God allows suffering or loss to take place, not to harm us but to TEACH us something about ourselves or about others or even about God. Sometimes God tests us like He did with Job to see if we will genuinely still worship God, even when things don’t go our way. If you find yourself weary or unable to withstand a trial, remember that is what the ENTIRE Bible is about! It is all written testimonies about God’s FAITHFULNESS and His grace toward us! We mess up, we doubt, we fear based out of distrust in God, when in reality, He never fails us! You may be on the sidelines now, and yes, it hurts, but precious daughter of God, it is for YOUR benefit!
I have lost a lot, but I have also seen and gained a lot. My life has been FAR from easy. I lost my Dad at 14, I grew up with a single mother and my brother, and had to live with my aunt and uncle for a little, but guess what? It was all for my benefit! The hardships teach us, prune us, refine us…yes, they are painful at the time, but they always to allow us to HELP others down the road who go through similar situations.
Keep your eyes out for others—while you are hurting, seek out how you can love another person. Write down three people this week you can contact, write a letter to, bless with coffee or ice cream, or even a phone call. Change around your situation by helping another. This doesn’t mean your situation is less or not important, it’s just that we don’t harp on the loss or the pain. We seek God first and EVERYTHING falls into place in due season. I love you, PI Girls. You are all so so so precious to God. Please don’t give up; please read one scripture a day and meditate on it.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
If you need a good worship CD, but don’t have one, look up Kari Jobe, Hillsong United or Tenth Avenue North on YouTube. You can also watch or listen to my favorite playlist mixes for the month. These songs will speak life into you! What are you listening to and absorbing—God’s Word or the world’s lies?
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)
You need to fill your MIND with the truth, because faith comes from hearing the Word and also will abolish the lies. You are what you think you are, and what you speak out of your mouth or sing out has power, so be wise, be watchful, examine yourself and see if you are in the faith. We are all here to help each other out! We need our Sisters in Christ, amen? You are NOT alone—we all go though ups and downs, and we are in this together! I am praying for you, precious beautiful jewels! Let us serve one another this week in love, amen? God is able to turn any situation around if we seek Him and trust Him and that He is able! (Ephesians 3:20)
PI Girls, write down below any prayer requests so we can be lifting you up in prayer! @ChristiGiven