Over the next year, I’m committing to write a weekly blog post about women suffering from spiritual hunger. It will challenge us, women who desire the Lord’s favor in our respective endeavors, to look honestly at how we have attempted to fill our spiritual voids in the past and consider how those failed attempts are stealing our present joy. I pray boldly: Lord, give us the courage it takes to admit that our spiritual hunger can only be filled with Your Word and Your Presence.
What is the age you’d never go back to? What period of your life would you choose not to relive? At what age(s) do you wish you had more confidence so that your self-esteem wouldn’t have been so easily crushed?
For many of us, the answer is middle school.
Somewhere, in the 5th-8th grade space, many of us became keenly aware that our bodies were leading the change into early womanhood. We may not have understood the responsibilities that came with becoming a young woman or even felt our emotional capacities growing as we slowly edged out of the princess fairytale worlds of castles and magical Prince Charmings, but we did know DIFFERENT was happening.
As our bodies were changing, so were our hearts.
Looking back on the sea change that we were all delicately navigating in unfamiliar territory, I can better understand why I lived so scared most of my middle school years. I was a girl lost in my body, my hormones, my understanding. My heart was willing to consume anything that would satiate the hunger for security and stability.
So, I did what any thinking young woman might do when she feels her life a mess. I responded with resolve. I would control as much as I possibly could. For the rest of my God-given life.
As an adolescent turned teen turned twenty and now thirty-something, I can see how my desire to control manifested itself in a number of addictions, the most life-threatening being my addiction to stay thin. For years, I struggled with bulimia, anorexia, weight control, measuring my body in an attempt to measure my worth.
As I look around at other women, still measuring, still controlling, I am ready to be honest in a new and very terrifying way. It is time to examine my soul that is ravenous for Jesus-truth.
I am crazy hungry. And for the first time in my life, I am willing to consume the bread my Father has been offering. This girl is ready to consume some real deal soul food.
Let’s dig in.