Tuesday, June 17, 2008


As I mentioned in my "Lemonade" post, I've been out of town doing some public speaking. Most people have a real and normal fear of public speaking. Me---no. I actually thrive on speaking to larger crowds. In fact, it's the smaller crowds that intimidate me. I've had the opportunity to do some public speaking during this trip and the enemy has been after me with one thing.

I've gained weight.

Two years ago when I came to town for the presentations I lost a decent amount of weight in a short time. I was under a great deal of stress but also taking a class at the Y. As that stress ended and I gave up the class for a season, I ate out of guilt when our daughter was placed in a special needs preschool. The lie I believed was I had not done enough. I failed. I was a failure. And apparently, this failure eats.

To make a greater impact, last year I started having physical problems related to my long dormant case of polycystic ovaries. I won't get into female details but I started showing symptoms most women don't until their late forties or fifties. Up suddenly became down, black was white, and full was now starving and empty.

I had to be put on a medication just to stabilize the intense mood swings and constant hunger. There was sleeplessness, hot flashes, the whole nine yards. I was sent to a specialist. Since then I've been on a monthly injection in the stomach that suppresses all of that and has for the most part, given my life back.

Except for that one thing. I have almost daily fought and sometimes lost that battle of the bulge. More than the weight gain itself has been the onslaught of words the enemy has feasted in front of me with.

"Who would want you? After all, your husband said every day two years ago how thin you were."

"All your other friends your age aren't looking like you."

"Of course you write. No one would want to look at you."

It's been hard. But God is good.

Preparing for this trip created some anxiety within myself because I want to look nice yet I feel bleh in everything I wear. Finally I felt the Lord say to me as I dressed for the first presentation something like this---You are beautiful. I know you're sad about how you look but no one sees it but you. Your words are what they are coming to see, and they will be amazed by the beauty.

I felt His peace and dressed in a shirt that hugged my rolls a bit but it was a great hair day and I went for it as far as feeling my mission was to encourage this boy and those students with a word of life they could chew on for a long time.

Not one person said, "Didn't you look twenty five pounds thinner last year?" "Wow, you sure look old."

Every person came forward to say how the words (From God) affirmed them, gave them hope, and moved them to tears because of the emotions.

It was beautiful.

The next night our son was watching Nick at Nite and it was Home Improvement. The mom had an emergency hysterectomy and went into immediate menopause. When she uttered the following sentence, I knew God gave that episode to encourage me. I had said the very same words to my husband before leaving last week.

"I am a fat, old, hag."

But as that mom displayed the adversity of aging in ways one doesn't expect, all I saw was her beauty. Her husband was traveling all over town for milk. Her boys were loving on her. Her mom was loving her enough to tell her the truth.

It was a love note from God for me.

Sunday I gave another public speech of sorts and I knew that I knew that I knew the Holy Spirit had something to say through me. I led a prayer for fathers and I gave a testimony about broken places.

Again, I didn't leave for a good 40 minutes after church because people lined up to share their thoughts on what God did through those words. It wasn't about how I looked, my age, my weight, none of that.

I think the enemy, who really has this name, the defeated one, knew that all along.

So if this is your struggle, can I just say this:

You are beautiful.

You really, truly are.

Stay tuned for Thursday when I share what beautiful words God asked me to share.

Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/. A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09.
Starting summer 2008, Julie will be a monthly columnist on surrender over at http://www.takerootandwrite.com/.
To get to know her better, read her interview by Lynda Schab at:
To contact Julie, please use the e mail provided in our profile.

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