(By Tammy Vaughn)
Have you ever felt that way?
I recently felt like this while taking a trip on an airplane. After being removed from the exit row due to my weight and away from the friend I was traveling with, I was sat next to two teenage boys. The space was tight, they were tall and I was wide. I made several attempts to chit-chat with the guys and make an uncomfortable situation more comfortable. I made several attempts to talk to them and ease the situation, all the while getting more and more uncomfortable inside. I think what I felt was shame- shame that I was overweight and causing a “scene.” I also felt disconnected from my friend who was in the exit row and unable to connect to the people around me. I got quiet. I prayed and God spoke. The thing I love about Jesus is that he is able to speak quickly into our hearts and reframe our minds. It was as if he was saying, “Tammy, I know you. I know that you have been working on losing weight. I am here. You are fine. Be glad for the progress you have made and keep going.” Immediately the storm inside me quieted, shame was gone, I was not alone, I was proud of the progress I have made and I began to read my book quietly. The young men were still uncomfortable, so I said, “Why don’t you go to the exit row and check out the seats?” They moved there, and my friend moved to the seat next to me. At the end of the flight the young men’s father came to me and apologized for any discomfort his sons may have caused me. I graciously accepted and let him know that Jesus was helping me lose weight. Their mother also said that they thought they were going to lay down three seats and sleep. I smiled.
In our lives, especially in healing or recovery, we feel like there is no use, or that we are never going to make progress or get anywhere. I think the story is significant because often small things can get us off of God’s track of healing in our lives. It would totally stink if I gave power to those two young men who I did not even know. If I would have basked in shame, feeling alone or even made fun of, I could have just said “Forget it.” I could have dismissed the forward progress I have made in my weight loss journey. I could have called myself names.
I love Jesus because he is always there, always defending, always cheering us on. Take courage, my friend, if the journey is hard. Jesus is there to help, comfort, guide and assure you when evil comes against you. Quiet your mind, rest in him, listen and obey his word, use it like a sword in a war. You are worth it! The others that you will encourage someday with your story are worth it! Becoming more like Christ is worth it!
Psalm 55:22 “Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”