Story From the Middle: Self Sabotage-er


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gty_woman_mirror_jt_110916_wgOver the span of my life I’ve been a professional self sabotage-er.

Having a colorful past before the romance of Jesus, working life out, ‘finding myself in God’ if you will was full of experiencing two steps forward and one step back.

It initially looked like creating emotional havoc in my relationship with my husband before we got married (and let’s be honest after), when things were going well that thing began to stir, that pull toward dysfunctional attachment. That thing in me that in one emotional, angry, pointed, accusational outburst posed the question, … “Will you still love me if, even if, in all my crazy emotionalism I try to destroy this?”

What I was really saying in my self sabotage behavior is, “Everyone I’ve known to love me I have experienced and felt rejection from, so I am going to set you up to see if you will reject me too!”

I would NEVER actually say that.

You would NEVER actually say that.

But our wounded hearts grasp at control when fear is present. When we believe love is to good to be true and ultimately we think we don’t deserve it or really know how to receive it. But golly we know how to receive rejection. So we grasp for the familiar and like that … we self sabotage. Or maybe just I have. In one way or another I’ve done it over and over again. I’m now coming up on 14 years of marriage and I’ve come a long way, really WE have come a long way.

My self sabotage behavior has become more covert in other areas in my life where I have felt loss of control … like, let’s just get crazy honest here, my ability to balance self image, weight and exercise.

I’ve been the pre-adolecent chubby fifth grader who with out thinking dressed up as Miss Piggy for Halloween and never lived it down. I’ve been the rail teenager using drugs as a means to stay thin. I’ve been the girl who ran 5 miles a day when I lived at Teen Challenge not to blow up getting clean. I was the girl in college who was thought to have been thin but had to always work at it. I was the girl who was nearly 200lbs after having her babies and being diagnosed PCOS who struggled and fought and fought to lose it all.

I think I get it.

I’ve known struggle and I’ve struggled to find God and balance in the area of my self image. I’ve held in one hand knowing my body is temple of the Holy Spirit, wanting to be a good steward of myself for the kingdom, my family and myself … while … in the other hand weighing with great heart evaluation that my weight, my workout and physical appearance has little to nothing to do with what beauty looks like or my value or my worth.

God’s scales are NOT our scales for ourselves.

I guard in my heart the place that only belongs to God and who He says I am. He says I am am beautiful. He says I’m an over-comer. He says I am enough … right now just like I am.

Just like I was at 200lbs.

There are many times I am able to anchor peace in my heart from these truths BUT there is something about ‘the holidays’ and ALL the amazing food that rips my anchor from it’s depths. The more I feel that feeling of being out of control the more I begin to self sabotage all the hard work and efforts I’ve put into being healthy.

I give up.

I’ve actually given up a lot of times.

And then I give in to out of control behavior.

This holiday season I decided for the FIRST holidays ever NOT to give up. Which to me translates just keeping up with the days a week I would normally exercise and not let one cupcake or fudge piece or tamale turn into a dozen. Which believe me has been effortless in the past.

I am actually more acquainted with my professional self sabotage skills than NOT giving up.

In making this choice I thought I’d feel free. But instead I was conflicted. What if the way I live out loud my friends would think I was a workout freak or obsessed. What if … what if … I felt rejection and THIS TIME instead of self sabotage-ing, I was just true to myself, and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought (even those who encouraged me), because my approval was from above.

As I asked this question, I felt God smile.

Smile as he traded my professional skills for an extra does of grace not to give up. Permission to be stronger than I thought I was, permission to do things differently than I ever have before.

It’s not all finished this work He has started. I’m still in the oven not fully baked in this area. But today I choose to write honestly from the middle … the very place I sense God in. The only place today I want to be.

Much love to you where ever in the journey you are.



  1. Mal Bassham
  2. Cara
  3. Brooke

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