Chains Breaking: Emily's Story
Happy New Year CTC! We are so excited to launch several new designs over the next few weeks! Be sure to look out for our announcement email Monday because you're not going to want to miss it! We've ordered limited quantities so get ready.
We've also got a whole new concept coming SOON and its all about the #TruthTribe. Get ready because it's going to be a great way to hide God's truth in your heart AND build community!
Everybody has a story. As I’ve grown in my faith and am more drawn to understand brokenness as a part of God’s rescue plan fore each one of us, I yearn to know the stories of those around me. Truth is, someone has to go first. I’m happy to raise my hand.
Over the past 10 years, God has broken so many of my chains. It’s one big story, but also lots of little stories. These days I have no shame, no guilt, nothing to hide. I’ve learned that sharing my story with my sisters in Christ can inspire their faith and can help propel them forward to share their story too.
See, we’re all sinners. Christ has wiped away that sin, but none of us will stand sinless on this side of eternity. I used to think that sharing my broken parts meant that I couldn’t possibly be useful for Christ. I reasoned that for my faith to be attractive, I needed to show that I had it all figured out. Sadly, this is what was modeled for me for too long. Everything needed to look a certain way. That’s what Christianity was about.
How wrong is this! The only perfect person that others need to see is Jesus. That’s all. It all points to Him. In the middle of the broken and as He puts us back together. I praise God that my eyes were opened, and I realized I needed to share not my “right now”, but also where I came from.
You have a story too. Here at CTC, we would love nothing more than to share it with the thousands of women who might be inspired or set free. You are a vessel of the truth. Share your story with us so we can share it with others!
Here’s a bit of mine:
Fear and Shame. I spent decades of my life wavering between the two. I wanted so badly to be freed from the chains of obsessing over food and wondering just how much exercise I needed to do to burn off the bagels and fat free ice cream I had eaten the night before. I knew at my core that nothing about the way I was living was healthy, but I refused to let anyone in on my struggle. I held it closely, closer than anything.
I grew up dancing and cheering all the way through college. I can’t think of one day that I ever felt ok about my body or my eating habits from roughly age 15 to 25. I couldn’t ever rest with “good enough”. I ran my tail off with hours of cardio and threw in some weight training and decided how many minutes of exercise were required that day based upon what I ate the day before.
My diet consisted mostly of fat free yogurt, fruit, salads with light dressing, Subway Sandwiches (NO mayo ever), Wow chips, and copious amounts of fat-free ice cream. However, my body craved more so whenever a friend would invite me for pizza and bread sticks or bagels, I literally could not stop myself. Every single time I would vow to “burn it off” the next day.
I was miserable. Truly miserable. But of course, I couldn’t talk about it.
God uses so many things to direct our paths. For me, the beginning of my chains breaking was fitness competitions. Yes, really. Walking around on a stage in a bikini is not something I ever plan to do again, but for a season, I learned how to feed my body and exercise it in a more appropriate way that allowed for rest. I also stopped embracing skinny as my goal and began appreciating my new muscular curves. Of course, my obsession with my body did not improve as each competition involved a group of judges subjectively evaluating each female’s body.
Over time, God started really working on my heart. My priorities began shifting away from my physique, especially as my husband and I planned to begin a family. It was time for me to surrender. I wish I could tell you that this was a fast and easy one and done process, but it wasn’t, and it still isn’t. I still struggle with comparison and perfectionism. The surrender is daily.
In 2013 I became a first-time mom. Everything changed. No longer was there time for hours long workouts. If I was going to breastfeed my son for the two years that I had planned, I needed to focus on making sure my nutrition was solid. The focus of almost everything was no longer about me. Surrender.
For the first time in my life, I didn’t spend hours per day calculating. I enjoyed food. I enjoyed exercise. I no longer lived for them. I started seeing exercise as a gift. I started seeing my physical strength and ability as a blessing. I began to realize, that every breath belongs to God. The temple He gave me is His. Yes, it’s my job to honor it, but my body is here to do His work. It’s not a trophy, it’s a vessel.
As I leaned into Him, He took over the control that food had over me for so long. I began to surround myself by women and mentors whose priorities were ordered after God. Transparency became magnetic. I realized that He uses everything for His glory. Even me and my struggle!
These days, when I catch myself picking and prodding in the mirror, I remind myself of who I am in Christ. Tearing apart my body, comparing it to someone else, or trying to find worth in my physique is never going to bring me satisfaction, nor is it going to bring God glory.
And it’s all about His Glory. If my “gain” doesn’t bring Him glory, it’s not my gain. It’s worldly pursuit.
Each day I must arise and surrender. I know just how easy it is to fall into old patterns when I take my eyes of the one true prize. Each day I must focus on Truth and turn away from the lies of the enemy. I must dig into scripture and remember that my job is to fix my eyes upon Jesus. Nothing. NOTHING else matters.
If you’re like me, the chains won’t be completely broken until we’re on the other side of eternity. But we can lean in. We make the daily decision to surrender.
I wear my CTC gear every single day that I exercise. I NEED the reminders of His truth. I need to be reminded of the WHY behind my fitness. I need to be reminded constantly about His grace and my purpose.
Share your story. We want to hear it! Email us back or message us on social media and let us know how God using your health and fitness journey to bring you closer to Him. He will use it!
Many blessings as we Sing His New Song in 2020!!!!
Keeper of Cross Training Couture