Summer 2017 wasn’t quite as I expected it to be. Some events at the start of the year and before the summer holidays slightly moved my what-I-thought-to-be solid ground. My heart could feel shaky every so often but it brought some fundamental lessons for the year to come.
It’s gonna sound ridiculous but I had told my mom thousand times to stop offering me an apple every time I suggested to get something sweet, especially when my mood wasn’t the brightest and it wasn’t a suggestion anymore. Whatever she wanted, but healthy.
That woman would suggest me an apple anyway and that drove me nuts.
-You know I don’t mean that!
It started being quite annoying, then it became a joke, but in those dark moments, when all I could feel was shame and unworthiness, it felt like a sting in my heart. She would follow with suggesting me to go to the gym, go on a spontaneous trip but if that wasn’t enough, she would put Jesus on the table. Oh boy. She could show herself sorry for me for a few minutes, but then she would suddenly turn my attention away from myself and point me to think about other people instead. She pointed me to Jesus.
Can I be quite honest with you? That wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear in those moments but, much as it stings, It was what I desperately needed, and I knew she was right, it may hurt, but it is right (ouch).
One night, when I started falling quietly into a tangle of lies and hiding behind my grumpy face, I pictured in my mind those two or three boxes and bags of sweeties my brother got on his Halloween school party. I was gonna do what I knew best but my mom did what she knew best too.
‘I just want to eat something sweet, and no, don’t you dare say apple, not now.’
She looked at me and smiled tenderly. Not a word. Just a gentle smile that made me soften my tone.
‘It doesn’t need to be an apple, why you cannot suggest a real sweet once in a while?’
‘What do you want me to offer? I try to think of something else, really, but I cannot offer you something I know is not good for you. I just can’t. Maybe it is because I am your mom and I love you, sorry.’
And something hit me right away. I took my prayer diary and started writing some thoughts (while eating an apple my mom had brought right away, of course).
Every time I feel like this I run to sweets, chocolate, and other things not good for me (not just food). I can’t stop, rather I don’t want to stop.
Many people could tell you “It’s alright, girl, you deserve it. “
But someone who loves me dearly, whose eyes wept along with mine when I got my heart broken during the summer, when I complained about my body day and night and when I confessed bitterly being scared of loneliness, makes me see, no, I don’t deserve it.
I deserve better, you deserve better. Not because of us, but because of our creator. We are precious to Him, and I believe God gave us a unique body to take care of. I’m not telling you to not take your sweeties (CALM DOWN) but, please, make me (and yourself) a favour:
Not when you are sad, not when you feel shame, not when you feel invisible, not when you feel worthless.
Why? Because if you are like me, at that moment you are thinking ‘Bah, Who cares!’ And you start feeding your shame, guiltiness, and that lie that it’s too late.
When my mom hands me that apple after binge eating, I feel shame.
“What’s the point? I’ve already screwed it up. I am too messed up.”
Maybe you’re thinking, “what is the big deal with sweeties?”.
I realized, in this context, that food (or anything not very good for you, you name it) can be just a reflection of my heart. That broken heart that settles for anything (or anyone). Does it ring a bell?
I think sometimes God is like that apple.
We know God is perfect, just and truth but you know what? He is also redeemer, forgiving and the perfecter of our faith.
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Remember, only what is broken can be healed.
I truly believe He rejoices when we come back to him and give him all our mess and invite him inside to take all the broken pieces and make everything new, with his distinctive touch, of course. He calls us by name, he knows us individually.
Ding ding ding!! And what’s more, did you know that apples are not just good for you, but rather they work as a detox as well?! I looked it up right after I wrote my thoughts, with a sense of I’m sure there’s something else!” I found this information on the next statement.
“Eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
-Possibly someone scared of doctors.
I learned that when my mom hands me an apple, she is not only giving me something good but a new chance to start over and repair some damage already done, so there is, indeed, a point.
It is more than worth it trying to keep pursuing what is best, especially in those rough days.
Now, God is my Heavenly Father, your heavenly Father. How much more he will want the best for you and me?
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
–Jesus (Matthew 7:11)
Now I am getting to understand that even so I don’t see what I want to see happening, I know He knows better and doesn’t withhold good from his children (Psalm 84:11).
So, now you know, You are never too screwed up for God. He is willing to give you a new and fresh start. Just a prayer away from you. Why not now?
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. “
He is your best detox.
Seeking God every day keeps the bitter lies away!
(Okay okay, I made that up, was trying to be creative but, It is true though!! LOL.
and, of course…
Eat your apples!
PS: Thanks, mom, you are my inspiration.
This is a special for Mother’s day (UK) and International Women’s Day, for all those strong, fearless and beautiful women out there. Next to us, in the distance or in our hearts forever. You could not only share it with your mom but with the women who brought you up, who encouraged you when you most needed, who guides you on the right path, despite it could mean taking the “bad guy” role every now and then.
To all of you, Thank you.
Why don’t you share about the special woman/women in your life? 😉