A wonderful resource that Bear Creek offers is a five step prayer to wholeness after your deliverance. I know it’s not by accident that since our group returned this week my friend Nikki reminded about this prayer. She and I were talking about the inner healing journey and I felt in my spirit that I should visit the wholeness steps again. Coincidently that same evening I saw a college roommate on Facebook under a mutual friend’s list of friends. I clicked on her page and from there found two other girls who I was in fierce competition with over 17 years ago. A deep unsettling came over me as I saw on them the identity I once associated with myself, a need for approval from others, and the seeking out of love through my appearance and athleticism. I used to compete in bikini contests all down the east coast and was a fitness model, but on the inside struggled with loving myself. I had the admiration of fans during competition events and was sought out for athletic advice even though I was trailblazing a path of jealousy between myself and most women. I was caught up in a lifestyle of lies that had me believing beauty was the ultimate goal, perfection was success and that thinness brought happiness. It was lonely at the top because I could never let my guard down, nor could I trust others to love me for me.
These three women have maintained the fitness level and standard of beauty today that I had achieved years ago but believed I lost along the way. I remembered hearing that people get depressed when they see the success of peers on Facebook but I never understood it until last night when I saw myself as a “has been”. The fact that my friend Nikki brought up the wholeness prayer and then I stumbled upon these girls photographs was not coincidental. The surge of emptiness pulsated through my veins and I knew that I needed some time with Daddy to break down my insecurities. I didn’t think I had any issues concerning failure with my looks but obviously another area of my heart needed to be healed. I saw a remnant of myself in these women, an understanding of where they were coming from. I also remembered many incidents with each woman and how my response when looking at them today, felt familiar to back then. How could they be successful in an area I once was? I thought I was over wanting to be a fitness model, but this loss swept over me like a wet blanket I had a twinge of regret for not staying “on top of my game”, and I definitely felt I missed my chance at stardom because of serving God. Did I just admit that? Yup, it was true, I have held hope in the back of my mind all these years that I could serve my ego and return to my life before Christ should He let me down. I was so close to striking it big; couldn’t He have allowed me the chance? Wow, stark reality reared its ugly head and I saw the disappointment in giving up my “false god” of self-attained glory. Yuck! I was making myself sick. Why would I actually want recognition from the world? Obviously Daddy wanted to free me from my past before I could have any true victory in my present or future. I believe that seeing their Facebook pages was a set-up from Daddy for my inner healing. I still had faulty thinking about my struggle for significance. Had I not obtained freedom from demonization I would not be able to look at this offense I had toward Daddy. My demonic stronghold constantly kept me feeling guilty for wanting something that was not good for me although I resented relinquishing control of it. Now, I had the perfect prayer to take me deeper in my freedom from the past.
1. Identify the lies (core beliefs) behind painful emotions and problem behaviors.
My lie was this: I have to try harder to obtain beauty because I struggle with compulsive eating. I bet these women never overeat because they are as skinny now as I was back then. They are stronger because they can resist eating like I used to be able to do. They have succeeded at stardom because of discipline that I lack. I feel out of control over my body because I give into impulse and my body doesn’t allow me to work out like it used to. It is harder for me to stay thin these days. I am a failure at maintaining a good body. I have been defeated.
2. Confess the presence of the lie and acknowledge faulty thinking as lies/false.
I confess that these lies have influenced my choices. This faulty thinking has made me responsible for my body not cooperating and put undue pressure on me to perform. I confess the lie that says I need to be thin and beautiful to maintain success. I confess that I have made thinness and losing weight as well as manipulation of food, my God. I can see clearly now how my belief “in looking good” has kept me in bondage and that seeking perfection has been my God. Looking good was my goal and identity, constantly lording over me with reminders of how I use to look in my twenties. I’m sorry Daddy for blaming you for not letting me do what I want to do. No amount of hair color, beauty products or working out can add value to my life.
3. Take every thought captive.
Daddy I give you over these lies and this false identity. I do not accept any longer the lies from my mother, media or other women that I need to compare with their definition of beauty. I ask that you remove my identity in my looks, being vain and seeking false confidence through my affirmation of others. I am not obsessed with food or thinness. I no longer compete or strive with others because those things are symptoms of woundedness from my past. I give you all striving, dieting, vanity, disappointment and pride associated with how I use to look. I am not a “has been”. I place the cross of Christ between myself and my parents to stop the emphasis of success based in appearance and to stop the flow of lies that would keep me looking outward for worth.
4. Invite H.S. to heal the wound from loss or offense where the lie was.
Holy Spirit heal the wounds in my heart that kept me bound to lies of perfection and striving to change my body instead of accepting it. Heal the brokenness where I did not feel loved or accepted by my mother, heal the areas where my body was violated by my father and men which made me susceptible to self-condemnation. Heal my inability to be intimately connected with myself, Daddy God, and others, allowing distraction to enter in and cause rejection of myself. Heal the wounds that have had me pursue the love and validation of man instead of You.
5. Ask Daddy to replace kingdom of darkness thinking/lies with Kingdom of Light.
Daddy replace all the built-up lies over the years that have plagued my self-worth with vain attempts to alter and control my appearance. Replace the striving and focus on my past with freedom and hope for my future. Daddy said, “I have loved you through every moment that led you to this one. I saw the rejection. You were meant for so much more. You are new”.
His timing is perfect. My deliverance dislodged the façade I hid behind my whole life. In my deliverance session when they were describing the oppression of a jezebel spirit leading a life masked by sophistication yet feeling out of control underneath, I knew they saw the heaviness I lived under. I believe it was only possible to call out vanity and perfectionism this day because of my recent deliverance. Maintaing the dream of being a fitness model no longer made sense after I became a Christian because it seemed worldly, yet I perceived my relinquishing of it as a failure, and I felt guilty for seeking affirmation from others instead of Daddy. I brought my faulty perception of success through looks and thinness into my walk with Jesus because it wasn’t identified as a link to demonization. My five faces of control were founded in people pleasing, martyrdom, anger, sex and fear; every decision I made tapped into the response I wanted based on controlling my circumstances. I was caught up in yesterday and what I once was, never able to rest in just being myself. I am happy to say that new revelations appear daily since the ruling spirit of Jezebel over my life is gone and my walk into wholeness offers gratitude for where I am today.
An application of scripture solidified my personal journey which I hope can help someone else who may struggle with controlling mindsets focused on looks, weight or identity.
James 4:2 “You lust and do not have” (not enough sweets, self-control, weight loss, love) “so you commit murder” (extreme anger in thoughts or action leading to death of a dream and snuffing out life over a part of a person; that person being yourself, hating yourself and focusing on the choice of killing your own dreams toward success) “you are envious and cannot obtain” (when others have the freedom to live and let live, and eat what they want, it becomes an obstacle of jealousy because you cannot grace yourself with the same freedom) “so you fight and quarrel” (you ruminate on thoughts of strategy and how you failed, got angry with yourself, blamed your weaknesses and beat yourself into submission with negative thoughts and exercise to purge the guilt, all in preparation for the next battle) “you do not have because you do not ask” (the belief that eating problems and defeat is your lot in life becomes bigger than Daddy’s ability to be your victory, your portion, your healing, or your strength. Finally you ask Him for help in leading your food choices, walking out in a body of divine health nourished by foods that cleanse and become worship unto Him)
James4:7 “Submit therefore to God” (You wait for His leading and believe you can hear Him. The overcoming power to do His will manifests and the power of your positive prayers begin to take shape in your mind and over your body) “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Turn from the tempting thoughts and captivate all vain imaginations offering them up to Daddy to carry) “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (Run in the opposite direction from what you have known, what hasn’t worked and run into the safety of Daddy’s arms) “Cleanse your hands you sinners” (Wash your hands of mistakes and sin and take your right standing as a saint) “and purify yours hearts, you double-minded” (Give over yourself to Daddy, once again committing your core to His leading, leaving faulty beliefs and confusion behind. Restore yourself to a mind and heart of power and love. Be at peace with how you respond and move forward in assurance that you know Daddy’s voice) “Therefore to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (In the midst of your decision trust your ability to choose His ways. Break off condemnation that would have you focus on your faults, or what might have been. If needed, say you’re sorry and get back up again.